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

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‘Fiscal Federalism’ in India since 1991

The “reforms” in 1991 laid out a new trajectory in which federalism was dichotomised into two parts—political and fiscal. The fiscal was privileged and used to undermine the political. Fiscal federalism in India since 1991 rests on the contradictions generated by the theoretical infirmities of the sound finance paradigm along with a concerted undermining of federal provisions. This political drive is in keeping with the agenda since 1991, eroding the relative autonomy of the state to turn it into a facilitator of a macroeconomic expansion process in which the wage–surplus distribution becomes more and more favourable to capital.

Historiography sans History

Responding to Tirthankar Roy's article "The Economic Legacies of Colonial Rule in India: Another Look" (EPW, 11 April 2015), which reinterprets the economic legacy of British rule in India, this article critically interrogates the relationship between ideology, perspective, and method in an emerging strand of economic history. This strand tries to make history writing on colonialism consistent with the rationalisation(s) of contemporary globalisation. This article traces the ideological basis of "neutrality," explores the conceptual and historical fallacies of the "openness" paradigm, and assesses the methodological inconsistencies of cost-benefit analysis in the historiography of reinterpretations of colonialism in India.

Recent Trends in India's Merchandise Trade

The contraction of India's merchandise trade, both exports and imports, from December 2014 is a worrying development, even if it has led to a temporary improvement in trade balance. The substantial decline in international oil prices, and its direct impact on value of trade, explains this fall only partially. An analysis of the figures tends to confirm the persistence of industrial stagnation rather than a revival of growth in Indian manufacturing, and suggests that this tendency is being reinforced.

Death in Police Custody

Abdul Kafi, Abhijit Bhattacharya, Abhijit Kundu, Aditi Ghosh, Amitava Chakraborty, Amitava Pal, Anindya Datta, Anirban Kundu, Anup Sinha, Apurba Kumar Chattopadhyay, Archana Prasad, Arijit Chaudhuri, Arindam Banerjee, Arun Jana, Asimananda Goswami, Aurnab Ghose, Ayesha Kidwai, Bhupen Sarmah, Bijay Bal, Binayak Dutta-Roy, Biswajit Haldar, Channa Basavaiah, Chirashree Dasgupta, Debabrata Pal, Debi Prasad Mishra, Debnarayan Jana, Dinesh Abrol, Dipak Kesh, Dwaipayan Bhattacharya, G Arunima, Gautam Gangopadhyay, Gautam Gupta, Guruprasad Kar, Himansu Charan Sadangi, Indraneel dasgupta, Indu Agnihotri, Ishita Mukhopadhyay, Janaky Sreedharan, Jayati Das, Jayeeta Sharma, Jyoti Sabharwal, Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya, Kaberi Chakraborty, Kamales Bhaumik, Kandarpa Das, Kaushik Bhattacharya, Kuntal Ghosh, M Rajivlochan, Mahalaya Chatterjee, Maitreyee Nandy, Maitreyee Saha Sarkar, Malabika Das Gupta, Manas Ray, Mritiunjoy Mohanty, Padmanava Basu, Parthapratim Pal, Parthasarathi Bhaumik, Parthiba Basu, Pradip K Mahapatra, Pranab Sarkar, Rahul Roy, Rajni Palriwala, Rajyeswar Sinha, Ranjeeta Dutta, Ratan Khasnobis, S Anandhi, Samantak Das, Sanjukta Ganguly, Saswata Bhattacharya, Satyabrata Chakraborty, Saumyajit Bhattacharya, Selvyn Jussy, Shantanu De Roy, Sharmistha Banerjee, Sharmistha Sen, Shaswati Mazumdar, Shibani Chaudhury, Subimal Sen, Subrata Pal, Sucharita Sen, Suchetana Chattopadhyay, Sudipta Bandyopadhyay, Sudipta Bhattacharya, Sukanta Bhattacharya, Sukhendu Sekhar Sarkar, Sumangala Damodaran, Sumit Kumar Baruya, Surajit Das, Surajit Mazumdar, Surajit Mukhopadhyay, Sushil Khanna, Taposik Banerjee, V K Ramachandran, Vamsi Vakulabharanam.
We have watched with disgust and horror the brutal police assault on students during a peaceful demonstration organised by four Left students’ organisations on 2 April 2013 in Kolkata and the subsequent death of Sudipta Gupta, a participant in the demonstration, while in police custody. Sudipta was...

Unstable Rupee, Floundering Economy

Adverse sentiments by themselves are not the real source of the current problems being faced by the Indian economy, of which the weakening of the rupee is only one manifestation.

Investment and Growth in India under Liberalisation: Asymmetries and Instabilities

This paper makes the case that the growth trajectory of the Indian economy in the post-1991 liberalisation period is characterised by an inherent source of instability in manufacturing and industrial growth that distinguishes this period from the 1980s. This instability is a result of an investment-growth asymmetry that flows from a combination of a services-intensive growth pattern and a manufacturing-intensive investment pattern, which reflects the pattern of demand expansion within the domestic economy as well as in external markets, as also reliance on private corporate investment as the driver of the economy's investment process. In such circumstances, maintaining the balance between capacity creation and demand expansion in the manufacturing sector becomes impossible. Investment is thus prone to a high degree of instability, which, via its effects on demand, makes industrial growth too highly unstable. The services-intensive growth trajectory after 1991 is therefore more correctly viewed as one which is unable to fully utilise the capital accumulation potential of the economy rather than as a trajectory that is cheap in the use of capital. Correcting this problem however requires measures that are inconsistent with a liberalised economic policy regime.
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