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Corporate Tax Reductions

The claim of sharp reduction in effective corporate tax rate to 25.11% does not, in fact, represent any significant reduction in the tax burden that the companies bear at present, and hence, the fiscal instrument available for improvement in corporate investment gets blunted. Apart from frittering away the tax potential, this measure will shift the tax burden to individuals. Also, several non-manufacturing companies and a handful of large companies are likely to benefit from the measure.

Indian Statistical System in a Troubled State

The recent furore about key economic statistics in India could only dent the age-old reputation of the official statistical cadre. However, if government control continues trampling upon the autonomy and integrity of the official statistical institutions in the country in this manner, then their reputation of competence and impartiality stands the grave risk of being marred in no time.

Trends and Patterns of Household Indebtedness

Based on the data from the All-India Debt and Investment Surveys, a re-emergence of non-institutional credit agencies in the incidence of household indebtedness is found since the 1990s, especially in the rural areas, reflecting the inadequate social commitments of the institutional agencies due to their contemporary organisational deficiencies. The data, however, do not seem to capture the extent of urban distress in totality. Yet, given the general dearth of evidence on the status of household indebtedness over time, institutions like the Reserve Bank of India and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development should revisit this information to resurrect their roles in strengthening credit delivery to the general population.

Global Education as the Driver of Human Transformation?

The New Wealth of Nations by Surjit S Bhalla, New Delhi: Simon & Schuster India, 2017; pp 207, ₹ 599.

Demonetisation: 1978, the Present and the Aftermath

In the context of the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes, the issuance of currency and its different denominations are traced over time, while also tracking key macroeconomic features of India's changing economy over the decades. Further, the possible immediate and longer term economic effects of demonetisation are discussed.

A Banker's Account

No Regrets by D N Ghosh; New Delhi: Rupa Publications, 2015; pp xi + 375, ₹695 (hardcover).

Underutilised Fiscal Space

The hike in tax devolution to states by the Fourteenth Finance Commission to give a larger fiscal space to the states has meant sharp cuts for centrally-sponsored schemes. Studying the case of Maharashtra, it is found that without adequate norms and yardsticks of development expenditure, the state has failed to exploit its fiscal potentials.

Budget 2016

Yet another opportunity--this time blessed by windfall gains from lower global crude oil prices--has been bypassed. Budget 2016 sticks to fiscal consolidation and ends up producing a budget where off-budget borrowings help the numbers showing fiscal rectitude and the budget unrealistically increases tax revenue, and within that focuses on the more regressive indirect taxes.

Continuous Revisions Cast Doubts on GDP Advance Estimates

Two recent press releases by the Central Statistics Office substantially revise the new series of National Accounts Statistics. The new releases are more than just routine updates, and entail methodological changes and incorporate new sources of data, perhaps in response to various critiques. Yet, on comparing the advance estimates released with past such estimates, the CSO's latest growth projections once again turn out to be far too optimistic.

Some Puzzling Features of India's Recent GDP Numbers

An analysis of the end-November 2015 data release of the Central Statistics Offi ce raises some issues that must be kept in mind while discussing the state of India's economy. If past trends are anything to go by, economic growth in 2015-16 will not improve in the last quarter as some seem to hope. The movements in the GDP defl ators and the very odd behaviour of a gradual decline in the investment rate together indicate that growth in 2015-16 will not end as earlier forecast.

Gross Value Added

To estimate gross value added for the manufacturing sector, the 2011-12 National Accounts Statistics series follows the "single deflation" instead of the "double deflation" method. In this note, it is argued that the double deflation method estimates come closer to the Index of Industrial Production growth estimates, and that this reinforces the view that gross value added of manufacturing is overestimated in the 2011-12 series. This has an impact on overall GDP growth numbers, which too end up lower than in the new series.


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