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

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The State and the Market

Pulin B Nayak The real issue is not whether to have the market or the state. This is an empty dichotomy and no serious school of political economy would today credibly argue for only one or the other. The question is one of striking the right balance. What one has also to guard against is a new mode of thinking that the market may be entrusted to sort out all the basic problems confronting an economy, even with its manifest incapacity to deal with issues pertaining to income distribution and deprivation.

Sharpening Inequities

Pulin B Nayak Given the obviously deleterious consequences of last year's economic policy initiatives one might have expected the government to be more circumspect in pushing further the liberalisation drive. But in fact the latest budget presses forward on a number of proposals that were initiated eight months earlier. The hope presumably is that good results will come about as the process of structural reforms works itself through. But this is unlikely to come about in a number of vital areas.

On the Crisis and the Remedies

Pulin B Nayak It is difficult to be enthusiastic about the recent package of economic policy measures which mil be highly inflationary and wilt slowdown investment in economic and social irtfrpstructure. Additionally, it is going to hurt the poor via cuts in schemes like the rural employment generation programme.

PERSPECTIVES

Writing about Hindu-Muslim Riots in India Today Gyanendra Pandey The dominant nationalist historiography that insists on the totalising standpoint of a seamless nationalism needs to be challenged not only because of its interested use of categories such as 'national' and 'secular' but also because of its privileging of the so-called 'general' over the particular, the larger over the smaller, the 'mainstream' over the 'marginal

Fiscal Crisis and the Budget

Pulin B Nayak The annual budgets of any government cannot be expected to bring about fundamental changes in the structure and operation of the economy. For that one would have to look for more potent political-economic measures. However, a budget may be devised to provide useful pointers for change and, on the whole, Madhu Dandavate's budget appears to have made a number of desirable changes. The hallmark of the budget appears to have been pragmatism, especially when one notes' that the finance minister has had to skilfully balance a number of contending claims.

Exemption Limit and Personal Income Tax

Exemption Limit and Personal Income Tax Pulin B Nayak Pawan K Aggarwal R H DHOLAKIA (EPW, November 25, 1989) has sharply criticised our paper published in the EPW of July 8, 1989. He raises questions that have to do with (i) the methodology of our study, (ii) choice of the sample, (iii) composition of the sample, (iv) low R2 of the regression equations, and (v) the exclusion in the analysis of other indicators such as the extent of inequality of personal income in the economy.

Personal Income Tax in India-Alternative Structures and Their Redistributive Effects

Quite apart from its role of raising revenue, the personal income tax has long been regarded as a potent weapon of effecting distributive justice. This paper examines, first, the structure of personal income tax in India to check the extent of progressivity inherent in its structure and, second, the redistributive effects of alternate income tax schedules that are (i) simpler in their structure, (ii) earn no less aggregate revenue, and (iii) are in consonance with the current thinking on taxation, in that the top marginal tax rates arc not too high.

Exemption Limit and Personal Income Tax-An International Comparison

An International Comparison Pulin B Nayak Pawan K Aggarwal This paper analyses the relationship between the exemption limit in personal income tax and per capita income for a group of 26 selected countries. Two alternative kinds of exemption limit are examined, viz, the actual exemption limit and the notional exemption limit, where the latter is defined to be the income level at which the marginal rate of 25 per cent becomes applicable. Norms for both the actual and notional exemption limits are devised using a determinants analysis on the basis of per capita income and the share of personal income tax in total revenue. It is seen that the actual exemption limit and the marginal tax rates at low levels of income are high in India, Pakistan, Jamaica and Spain and low in the US and Thailand.

Nozick s Entitlement Theory and Distributive Justice

Distributive Justice Pulin B Nayak In this paper the theory of entitlement proposed by Robert Nozick in his Anarchy, State, and Utopia is critically examined. It is argued that contrary to Nozick's thesis, there cannot logically be any historical theory of acquisition free of patterning. It is also argued that fairness cannot ordinarily be ensured in exchange transactions. Thus both the theories of justice in acquisition and exchange are seen to be seriously flawed. It is suggested that there is no choice but to resort to periodic patterning in terms of certain end-state theories of distribution. The Marxian notion of distribution given by from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', is found to possess great merit precisely because it abandons the notion of distribution in terms of material goods altogether.

On the Frontiers of Public Finance

The Theory of Taxation for Developing Countries edited by David Newbery and Nicholas Stern; Oxford University Press, 1987; pp 694, $ 29.95 THE book under review is the first major collection of essays on the topic of taxation in LDCs since the often cited volume edited by Bird and Oldman (1964). To any person familiar with the older volume, the growth of this area during these intervening years would appear to be nothing short of phenomenal. It is a measure of this growth of the theory of public finance during this period that the volume under review seeks to answer some of the well known and traditional questions of taxation in LDCs with absolutely fresh insights and with state of the art theoretical rigour. Some of the questions raised in the new volume, which is a research publication of the World Bank, are themselves quite novel, and the analyses provided by different authors, authorities all, provide much intellectual material to mull over. Yet, as we shall point out later, some of the conclusions arrived at in these studies would direct us to re-examine the very basis of this new research.

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