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

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Response to Sugata Marjit

We thank Sugata Marjit for his response to our article. He is right that voter perception is a complex issue and the process through which economic indicators get reflected in voting patterns cannot be reduced to any simple formula. We are, however, a bit baffled by some of the points he has raised...

Growth in the Time of UPA

This article challenges the prevailing view that the diminished electoral prospects of the United Progressive Alliance government is the result of neglecting growth to launch populist welfare schemes. It looks at a wide range of economic indicators to argue that compared to the National Democratic Alliance regime, the UPA period has been characterised by faster growth, higher savings and investment, growing foreign trade and capital infl ows, and increased infrastructure spending in partnership with private capital. The UPA's political troubles arise not from policies that hurt growth but from an inability to tackle the consequences of accelerated economic growth - increased conflict over land, rent seeking and corruption in the booming infrastructure and natural resource sectors, inability of public education to keep up with increased demand and rising aspirations, and poor delivery of welfare schemes made possible by growing revenues.

The Land Acquisition Bill: A Critique and a Proposal

The 2011 Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill on land acquisition recently tabled in Parliament is well-intentioned but seriously flawed. Its principal defect is that it attaches an arbitrary mark-up to the historical market price to determine compensation amounts. This will guarantee neither social justice nor the efficient use of resources. The Bill also places unnecessary and severe conditions on land acquisition, such as restrictions on the use of multi-cropped land and insistence on public purpose, all of which are going to stifle the pace of development without promoting the interests of farmers. We present an alternative approach that will allow farmers to choose compensation in either land or cash, determine their own price instead of leaving it to the government's discretion, and also reallocate the remaining farmland in the most efficient manner. Our proposed method involves a land auction covering not only the project site but also the surrounding agricultural land.
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