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

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Taxation in the Times of Covid-19

The pandemic spreading across the world has resulted in a rising demand for immediate tax relief measures worldwide. The taxpayers in India too expected that some concessions would be granted to them while paying taxes. While analysing the measures to provide tax relief by the Government of India, it may be helpful to view them in juxtaposition with the steps taken by other countries. There are some issues that are peculiar to India, and this calls for the need to adopt a holistic approach and devise a strategic plan in respect of direct tax laws.

The Idea of ‘Atmanirbhar’ India

The central government’s idea of “Atmanirbhar” India is more instrumental than substantive.

No Stimulus in Economic Stimulus Package

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan falls short of being either a relief or a fiscal package.

Locking Down on Rights: Surveillance and Administrative Ambiguity in the Pandemic

As the third chapter of the COVID-19 lockdown in India unfolds, the guidelines provided by the central and state governments remain ambiguous, unclear, and vague. The authors argue that such ambiguity could be strategic. Combined with instances such as the voluntary-but-mandatory use of technological solutions to contain the pandemic, this could effectively put in place a surveillance state that holds in scant regard the civil rights of the citizens it seeks to govern.

Saving Jobs and Averting Lay-offs amidst COVID-19 Lockdown

Despite unleashing a slew of relief measures, the state is grappling to ensure that employers abstain from imposing lay-offs, pay cuts or unpaid leave during the lockdown. Even if the state mandates employers to pay wages without any lay-offs, then, in this context, there is a need to advocate for wider coverage of labour legislation in India. In the short run, fixing accountability on employers for wages and jobs will provide an interim relief, but, in the long run, we need to take financial viability into consideration and provide stimulus wage subsidy.

COVID-19 and National Disaster Management Act

The lack of a clear legal framework to deal with epidemics leads to confusion between the centre and the states.

COVID-19 Crisis: Economic Stimulus Packages and Environmental Sustainability

Carbon emissions across the world have dropped after economic activities came to a halt due to the COVID-19 crisis. The positive impact on the environment could last the duration of the lockdown. However, to carry forward the momentum, a great deal would depend on the measures governments across the world would take to stimulate the post-pandemic economy. But, several nations have already put environmental sustainability plans on the backburner.

Indian Federalism and COVID-19

Following the principle of fairness to regulate centre–state relations during a crisis becomes urgent.

Reading Ambedkar in the Time of Covid-19

What lies behind the policy blindness towards concerns of the oppressed in India? The “social distancing” induced by the COVID-19 health crisis does not address the problem of deeper levels of distancing caused by “social isolation” and “social nausea,” two concepts used by B R Ambedkar. This article is an attempt to understand the factors behind the collective sociopolitical response towards the poorest sections characterised by lack of empathy, and to develop an Ambedkarite framework to understand social policy generally and, more specifically, in India.

India’s Food System in the Time of COVID-19

India’s complete lockdown has caused unnecessary disruptions in the food supply chain, with the scarcity of labour making it even worse. A sharp decline in demand is imminent with the financial sector being in a freeze and incomes having shrunk for everyone, except for the small salaried class. Consumer sentiment and business outlook on recovery are bleak. While ensuring the free movement of essential goods and availability and safety of labour can mitigate the immediate disruptions in the supply chain, unclogging the financial sector and restoring optimism in the market will take time and heroic efforts from the government.

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