ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Balanced Budget Debate in US Congress

'Balanced Budget' Debate in US Congress Amaresh Bagchi President Bush's dismay at the failure of the proposal to amend the US Constitution to mandate the federal government to balance its budget to go through and thereby help him shift the onus of the difficult decisions, which alone can balance the budget, will be shared in India by many who firmly believe that a constitutional limit on the borrowing power of the centre is the only remedy for the fiscal irresponsibility which lies at the root of the country's current economic ills. In fact, the moral of the balanced budget debate in the US, if there be any, is simply that procedural reform is no substitute for the political will of the people and their leaders.


Some Central Issues Amaresh Bagchi The central issue in appraising the report of the Ninth Finance Commission is the manner in which it addresses the task of redressing the vertical and horizontal imbalances in federal fiscal transfers and restoring the fiscal health of the economy. The question can be gone into in three parts: (i) do the recommendations take care of the vertical imbalances adequately? (ii) will they also help to phase out the revenue deficits? and (iii) do they help to reduce the horizontal imbalances and redress regional disparities?

Central Valuation Board of West Bengal-Devaluing a Valuation Authority

before the present round of talks, the TKS had agreed that the company should hold domestic enquiries against the suspended workmen and if the workmen were found guilty the company should impose punishment less than dismissal On the question of negotiating with Rajan Nair, the working president, the company's stand was that Rajan Nair's election was not legal and that they would only talk to a legally- constituted body of office-bearers. On this point the Bombay High Court had already declared that Rajan Nair had every right to function as the working president of the union and directed the lower court to dispose of the matter by December 19. Since monetary demands were never the major issue in the dispute neither party was averse to taking a fresh look at the charter of demands submitted by the TKS and the settlement arrived at between the company and the TEU. In any case, the issue of wage revision was already pending before the industrial court and, if the issue could not be sorted out in negotiations the company had little to lose as wage adjudication takes in inordinately long time. What remained was the company's fear that the workers may not maintain discipline and may not give the required production and the general, doubt that Rajan Nair may not be able or willing to abide by the terms of any settlement.

A Decade of Economic Reform in China-A Retrospect

A Retrospect Amaresh Bagchi Economic rrform in China has now entered a crucial phase with many conflicts and problems facing the policymakers. Rapid growth has caused 'overheating' of the economy, manifested in imbalances and inflation. The attempt to introduce incentives is bringing back inequalities. Delegation of power to lower levels has tended to undermine the ability of the state to manage the economy at the macro-level. Permission to import freely has led to drain of foreign exchange apart from giving rise to fears of an onslaught of 'decadent bourgeois and feudal ideology' while the environment of permissiveness has bred corruption and bribery Has Chinese economic reform, then, run out of steam? Will and can China go ahead with the reforms in their present form or with modifications or will it revert to the earlier system of centralised control? And if reform is to continue what are its major areas of weakness and how can they be overcome?

Poverty Measures as an Index of Backwardness and Their Relevance for Tax Devolution

and Their Relevance for Tax Devolution Amaresh Bagchi Uma Datta Roy Choudhury The use of poverty as a criterion in the tax devolution formula proposed by the Ninth Finance Commission in its First Report has come in for widespread criticism

First Award of the Ninth Finance Commission-An Appraisal

In certain important respects the First Report of the Ninth Finance Commission marks a significant departure from the approaches of the Eighth Commission, Some of these departures reflect an attempt to correct the deficiencies of earlier awards and break new paths, but some are of questionable logic and have produced results which cause concern. This note seeks to appraise the award in order to identify its strengths and weaknesses against the background of the fears expressed over the terms of reference of the commission and the criticisms of the approaches followed by the earlier commissions.

Issues before Ninth Finance Commission

Issues before Ninth Finance Commission Amaresh Bagchi Tapas Sen V B Tulasidhar In the federal framework which the Indian constitution contemplates, the arrangements governing financial relations constitute almost the keystone and in this again the institution of the Finance Commission has a crucial role. For the future of the Indian federation, it is therefore essential that the current controversies over the terms of reference of the Ninth Finance Commission are resolved satisfactorily and solutions found to the problems which the working of the Finance Commissions in the past has given rise to or the terms of the Ninth Finance Commission are likely to create.

Recent Initiatives in Enforcement and Trends in Income Tax Revenues-An Appraisal

The buoyancy of income tax revenues in the last two years has been taken as conclusive evidence of the success of the strategy of lowering the rates of income tax and wealth tax together with vigorous enforcement. Since the apparent success of the new strategy has been cited in support of the plea for further Cuts in tax rates and the question of effective enforcement of income tax is important for the community's confidence in the fairness of the tax system, it is necessary to see objectively whether the new strategy has really paid off and can be depended upon for the future.

Sri Lanka s Experiment in Controlled Decentralisation-Learning from India

Will the provisions of the Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment Bill passed by the Sri Lankan parliament help to lay the foundation of a viable scheme of financial devolution and decentralisation in Sri Lanka and put an end to the ethnic conflict that has been threatening to destroy the country? This was the question addressed at an international seminar at the Marga Institute in Colombo last month.

Planning for Metropolitan Development-Calcutta s Basic Development Plan, 1966-86 A Post-Mortem

Planning for Metropolitan Development Calcutta's Basic Development Plan, 1966-86: A Post-Mortem Amaresh Bagchi With a 20-year perspective, the Basic Development Plan (BDP)for Calcutta suggested a strategy of developing not only Calcutta but also the wider region covering West Bengal and the neighbouring states, especially "a few economically conspicuous centres", stressing strongly that Calcutta being the primate city in eastern India, its problems could not be solved unless its hinterland was also developed. What distinguished the BDP from a 'Master Plan' was its approach to planning for urban development as a positive, integrated package designed to strengthen not only the civic infrastructure but also the economic base of the city rather than viewing the task as a Single shot exercise1 confined to working out the contours of future land use with only a regulatory role for the local government.

The Reality of The Real Income

The Reality of 'The Real Income' Amaresh Bagchi SIMPLICITY has been a perennial quest of tax reformers and quite rightly, since a complex tax structure violates the canon of certainty essential in an equitable and efficient tax system. The quality of simplicity, however, does not seem to be given to direct taxes especially the income tax, as Indian experience amply shows. Two decades of 'simplification and rationalisation starting with Bhoothalingam's labours do not seem to have taken us very far. Hence, presumably, the appointment of another expert group in the Ministry of Finance and further proposals for reform based on their deliberations.

Budget and Long-Term Fiscal Policy

Amaresh Bagchi This paper attempts to examine how far the budgets of the first two years of the Seventh Plan conform to the parameters set out in the Long-Term Fiscal Policy document and where significant departures have taken place and to analyse the implications of these departures.


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