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

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NDA and UPA Budgets

This article attempts to judge the fiscal performance of the UPA and NDA governments from the point of view of broad macro-fiscal indicators. On the tax front, the UPA deserves credit for improved performance but there are severe misgivings about the lower proportions being allocated to capital expenditure in key social and economic services. The fact that the UPA has not curbed subsidies and is spending higher proportions on administration than the NDA are some obvious flaws. The performance of the UPA is well below expectations.

Towards Economic Empowerment of Urban Local Bodies in Maharashtra

Scarcity of resources for urban infrastructure is a universal concern in developing economies. Also, prudent mandate of macroeconomic management has led to a reduction in hand-downs from higher governments. The sub-national governments have had to look at several alternatives with a sense of urgency. In this paper we focus on the possibilities of the sub-national governments accessing, the financial markets in general and the debt market in particular. Our paper focuses on the need to create virtual entities - self-help groups amongst the urban local bodies - that could expand the domain of eligible ULBs. We visualise a scheme for capital market access by ULBs, which would work without the state acting as an intermediary and also without any new institution being set up. We provide the theoretical underpinnings, illustrate and operationalise the idea with the help of data related to ULBs in the state of Maharashtra.

Budget 2005-06: Promises to Keep and Miles to Go....?

The outlays from the centre to the states as a consequence of the Twelfth Finance Commission recommendations do not justify it being labelled as the cause for the union budget 'pressing the pause button' on the FRBM target. Without institutions and rules in place for states to avail of loans from the market, this recommendation of the TFC, which is based on sound economic logic, may actually backfire and take its toll on state finances and future growth. Also, no tough decisions have been taken to curb the burgeoning subsidy bill; no significant effort to curb the growing revenue expenditures and across the board cut in capital expenditures are some other counts on which the budget 2005-06 has disappointed.

Budget 2004-05:Letting the Numbers Speak

The budget for 2004-05 was a far cry from the 'dream budget' that was being expected from the new finance minister. It has certainly not delivered on the promises and goals of being 'pro-poor' and 'pro-rural'. The budgetary allocations in no way make it appear significantly different from its predecessor. However, the one important message that the budget did send out is that it intends to maintain and take forward the reform process.

Learning to Pay for Your Lunch

Shorn of statistics and verbiage, a budget document is most important as a signalling device. This premise is crucial to our treatment of the budget. Looking at the statistics and arithmetic in the budget for 1999-2000, the general impression which emerges is that the budget allocations do not conform with many of the commitments of the budget speech, particularly in the case of economic services - agriculture, irrigation, rural development and industries. For social services, however, the budget does seem to promise a somewhat better package. Of the lessons that need to be learnt and which are very much hinted at in the budget, viz, learn to let go and learn to pay, are of essence. Internalising especially the last of these lessons by the principals (the public) involves facing and resolving contradictions in their own actions. Unless we stop pointing fingers and realise that there is no free lunch to be had, no budget, however well formulated, can really achieve anything.

Some Anomalies in Indian Data Sets-Tackling Inconsistencies

Tackling Inconsistencies Mala Lalvani A dose look at the data on select aggregates in public finance reveals that a number of accounting changes had been resorted to over the years, making the data series subject to inconsistencies, rendering futile any further research based on these series. In the present study a long time series of fiscal aggregates were subjected to microscopic scrutiny and an attempt made to circumvent the problem posed by the inconsistencies in these time series.

Interest Groups, Subsidies and Public Goods-Farm Lobby in Indian Agriculture

Interest Groups, Subsidies and Public Goods Farm Lobby in Indian Agriculture Ajit Karnik Mala Lalvani Indian agriculture exhibits a wide array of government controls combined with enormous subsidisation of inputs to the sector Apart from the subsidies, the federal and state governments incur large expenditures to provide public goods to agriculture. This article examines the influence of the farm lobby in determining the availability of subsidies and public goods to agriculture.

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