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

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Macroeconomic Aspects of Goods and Services Tax

The introduction of the goods and services tax may indeed be the biggest reform of taxation so far, but the proposal, as it stands, has led to confusion. Certainly, the myriad taxes producers face will be simplified. But the benefit will go to large-scale producers while the small-scale ones will be at a greater disadvantage than before. The cascading effect will be reduced but not eliminated. With resort to revenue neutrality, prices and costs will not decline. A "revenue neutral rate" will, however, be difficult to calculate and will be controversial, given the variety of taxes being replaced. The adoption of a fixed revenue neutral rate for all stages of production and distribution will lead to a rise in the prices of basic and intermediate goods, as also of services, making the introduction of GST inflationary, unless this problem is specifically addressed.

Window to a Crisis-Ridden Period

Left of Centre: Kamal Morarka in Parliament edited by Lina Mathias (New Delhi: Rupa Publications), 2013; pp xviii + 267, Rs 495.

Delhi University and the Crisis in India's Higher Education

The Four Year Undergraduate Programme at Delhi University will aggravate the problems of higher education that are so visible in DU and that it is supposed to solve. Delaying specialisation till the students have found their interest is good but this is a process that has to start during school education. 


Measuring Illegal Outflows from the Indian Economy

The paper "An Empirical Study on the Transfer of Black Money from India: 1948-2008" (EPW, 9 April 2011) by Dev Kar suffers from definitional and methodological flaws. As a result, it is not very clear what is being captured in the estimate - illicit financial flows, gross capital flight or net capital flight.

Tackling the Current Global Economic and Financial Crisis: Beyond Demand Management

This paper highlights the depth of the crisis confronting the global economy. It presents the various ways of understanding demand deficiency, which was the underlying feature of the earlier downturns in capitalist economies. A resolution of the problems faced then was possible with demand management using Keynesian tools. But the current economic crisis is different from the past ones and the lessons learnt from the past may not be applicable to solving the crisis of 2009. The arguments presented here imply that demand management alone will not work because capitalism faces a basic crisis. One implication is that we need redistribution, but that is not on anyone's agenda today.

Faltering National and Global Growth Prospects

What are the causes of the sudden adverse change in the economic scenario in India and the world? Growing disparities, financial uncertainty, a weakening dollar, the falling share of labour in aggregate income and rampant speculation in commodities are together forcing the economic slowdown. Rising disparities are aggravating the tendency towards "underconsumption", while the high rates of surplus generation driving investment are likely to result in "overproduction".

Recruitment and Weeding Out Process

The article on job recruitment (October 13, 2007) makes interesting arguments but there could be a basic flaw in the methodology, which prevents one from concluding that there is a bias in job recruitment.

Culture, Development and the Cultural Capital of Farce

The case of the musahars of Bihar, a largely landless caste referred to as the "dalits among dalits", who continue to work as bonded labourers highlights the axiom that denial of development to certain groups has been an inexplicable part of the nation's culture of development. In explaining the dismal failure and collapse of many imaginative development schemes, it is the role of state-driven development paradigms led by local elites and former landlords that needs to be squarely addressed. To explore the processes whereby systematic inequalities were perpetuated, this paper emphasises the case of village Shri Rampur in Gaya district of Bihar.

Black Economy, Underestimation of Unemployment and Budget 2005-06

This paper analyses the effects of the black economy on the estimation of employment in order to throw light on the true extent of unemployment in the economy. This is done through an analytical presentation of the issues involved. The paper also analyses the union budget 2005-06 to see whether the steps proposed are adequate to deal with the problem.

Violence and Political Culture

Violence, no matter in what name it is courted - tactic, expediency or compulsion - blurs the distinction between emancipatory and retrogressive, the Left and the Right. As a political method it functions on the principle of absolute dualism, permanent war between the good and the evil god and satan. The Ultra Left in Bihar began its career by following the violent path already taken by a number of individuals between 1967 and 1971. It picked up the argument of the 'inevitability of violence' involved in individualised cases of resistance and turned it into a 'party-line', a generalised political wisdom, into a social good. Not surprisingly, in the Ultra Left's extreme vision there was little space for self-criticism, doubts, ambivalence and thus for dialogue and democracy itself. Today the Ultra Left, unable to break the vicious circle of violence, is doomed to follow the politics of marginality.

Illegal Trade and Capital Flows

Illegal Trade and Capital Flows An Assessment of Contraband Trade and Capital between India and Sri Lanka by M Sarvanathan; Kumaran Book House, Colombo. pp xvii + 197.

India at the Seattle Meeting

India's failure in Seattle has not so far been well-acknowledged. Not only did it align itself with the US and its interests, but it failed to play any role in mobilising the block of developing nations. And in sharp contrast to many European and African nations it made no attempt to set up dialogue with the array of NGOs from India, which would have proved useful in the official deliberations.


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