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

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Understanding the Urban Challenge

Urbanisation in India: Challenges, Opportunities and the Way Forward edited by Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Ravi Kanbur and P K Mohanty Sage Publications India, 2014; hardback, Rs 850.

The East Asian Crisis in Retrospect

From Asian to Global Financial Crisis: An Asian Regulator's View of Unfettered Finance in the 1990s and 2000s by Andrew Sheng; Cambridge University Press; South Asia edition, 2010; pp 479, Rs 495

Economic Growth: Some Reflections

What leads to sustained growth in output and livelihoods? How important is the role of public policies as distinct from the endowments of geography and the historical legacy of institutions? Which public policies are most growth-friendly in different country contexts? This article attempts to grapple with these questions.

Thirty Years of Tax Reform in India

This paper sketches the contours of India's tax reform story from the mid-1970s to the present and finds that enormous progress has been made in the last 30 years, judged by the standards of economic efficiency, equity, built-in revenue elasticity and transparency. However, key issues for further reform include the plethora of complex exemptions plaguing customs tariff, low buoyancy of excise, integration of CENVAT with state VAT and the broad-basing of direct taxes. Sustaining programmes to deploy IT and modern risk management methods in tax administration will be critical, for the dictum 'tax administration is tax policy' is quite true.

India's Growth Prospects Revisited

During the past year a number of studies have made very optimistic projections about India's medium- and long-term growth prospects. The forecasts of a 7 per cent plus growth rate in these studies have been based on the demographic outlook for India, projected trends in productivity, strength of the country's institutions and an optimism about reforms. However, a critical examination of these factors suggests that India will grow closer to 5.5-6 per cent a year rather than by 7 per cent. It is still worth emphasising that a 5.5-6 per cent average growth is creditable for a large and diverse society and it implies a reasonably healthy per capita income growth of 4 per cent a year.

Back to the Past?

The tax proposals are weak and smack of scattershot populism of the years prior to 1991. A saving grace is the strong commitment to reform of procedures but at present this is only a statement of intent. The economic reforms announced are modest though welcome. In substantive terms there is nothing remarkable about the budget�s expenditure priorities. As for expenditure containment and control, the budget provides an antithesis by its unprecedented indulgence in underfunded initiatives. And this is likely to make the unusually large projected fiscal and revenue deficits substantially greater as the year runs its course. This too brings back memories of the 1980s.

India's Medium-Term Growth Prospects

This paper reviews India's recent growth performance and assesses medium-term growth prospects in the light of relevant factors. These factors include the likely evolution of fiscal and savings-investment imbalances, financial sector performance, the role of the external sector, economic reforms and productivity, infrastructure constraints, problems in agriculture, the likely developments in labour supply and demand and governmental performance. The paper concludes that it might be reasonable to expect growth in the next five years to fluctuate in the range of 4 to 6 per cent, perhaps averaging close to 5 per cent, provided there is no major economic or financial crisis. This is much lower than the 6.7 per cent growth achieved in the Eighth Plan period and far lower than the 8 per cent mooted in the Tenth Plan.

Macroeconomic Management in the Nineties

This paper discusses India's macroeconomic policies in the 1990s. Section II of the paper provides an overview of macroeconomic performance during the decade. Section III recounts the macro-policy responses to the principal problems and challenges that surfaced as the decade unfolded. Section IV surveys the main institutional reforms carried out in the nineties in the key dimensions of macroeconomic policy - fiscal, monetary and the exchange rate regime. Section V concludes by outlining briefly some of the major ongoing challenges for macroeconomic policy.

Informal Credit Markets and Monetary Policy

Informal Credit Markets and Monetary Policy Shankar Acharya Srinivasa Madhur INTRODUCTION IN our paper 'Informal Credit Markets and Black Money: Do They Frustrate Monetary Policy' (see Acharya and Madhur, 1983), we had tried to tackle the issue of whether the existence of an informal credit market and 'black liquidity' undermines the operation of official monetary and credit policy at the aggregate level. To address this issue, we formulated a simple model of the markets for commercial bank credit and informal credit and the interactions between them.

Unaccounted Economy in India-A Critical Review of Some Recent Estimates

Unaccounted Economy in India A Critical Review of Some Recent Estimates Shankar Acharya During the last two years a number of writers have attempted to estimate the size of the black economy in India and gauge its trend over time, Some of these estimates have been in the nature of 'informed guesses'. Others have attempted to articulate and deploy analytical methods which have the advantage of facilitating discussion and assessment of the techniques used, and not just the results obtained. A third category of writers present estimates which purport to be based on the application of analytical techniques, but do not delineate their methods in sufficient detail to permit adequate assessment.

Informal Credit Markets and Black Money-Do They Frustrate Monetary Policy

Informal Credit Markets and Black Money Do They Frustrate Monetary Policy? Shankar Acharya Srinivasa Madhur This paper deals with the issue of whether the existence of an informal credit market and 'black liquidity undermines the operation of official monetary and credit policy at the aggregate level To address this issue the authors have formulated a simple model which characterises demand and supply in the formal and informal credit markets as well as the links between them.

Systems Analysis of Strategic Defence Needs-A Further Comment

 Systems Analysis of Strategic Defence Needs A Further Comment Shankar Acharya J G KRISHNAYYA and J K Satia (henceforth referred to as KS) make a number of criticisms in their Comment (May 3, 1969) on S Swamy's 'Systems Analysis of Strategic Defence Needs' (February 22, 196S). They also provide an alternative 'framework for a systems analysis for the strategic defence of India' (KS p 776). Most of their criticisms require qualification and since they do not use their alternative framework to derive any concrete defence strategy, its adequacy for the task remains untested.
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