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

Articles By C P Chandrasekhar

In a Macroeconomic Bind

Despite it being the government’s last full budget before the general elections in 2019, the finance minister, constrained by his self-imposed fiscal deficit targets, settled for rhetoric and promises that were not backed with allocations. This frozen macroeconomic policy has foreclosed all options to adopt proactive measures that could make a difference to those who need support. Yet, the financial interests he wants to impress also seem disappointed.

Weak Note of Caution on Unconventional Monetary Policies

The prolonged deployment of “unconventional” monetary policy responses that began in reaction to the financial crisis of 2008, especially “quantitative easing,” set off speculative investments and fuelled asset bubbles. Since they cannot allow the new bubbles to give in, policymakers must persist with decisions that inflate asset prices. By doing so, they end up sitting one more bubble on the previous one. The probability that one or both may burst has only increased.

Erroneous Understanding of Macroeconomic Challenges

The government chose not to adequately expand budgetary expenditure to stimulate aggregate demand due to an erroneous understanding of India’s macroeconomic challenges. It relies heavily on imagined fiscal gains from demonetisation and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax regime. The Union Budget 2017–18 was a missed opportunity for the government and our economy.

IMF's Call for Complacence

The International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook of April 2016 bodes that emerging market economies, including India, are at risk of sudden capital outflows. The IMF once again makes a case for its conventional, much-discredited tools to manage this risk. To repeat these recommendations, that on many occasions have only worsened crises, is to encourage complacency.