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

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Budget 2021–22 and the Manufacturing Sector

The growth rate of manufacturing value added has been declining continuously since 2016–17 and it had become negative in 2019–20, even before the intensification of the Covid-19 crisis, suggesting that the budget needs to address the structural weaknesses of the economy. The 2021–22 budget has largely adopted the supply side corrective measures in the form of increased capital expenditure on infrastructure. The potential of infrastructure investment in reviving the sector and the implications of the proposed resource mobilisation for financing the increased capital expenditure are discussed. In the context of increased global fragmentation of production, the feasibility of promoting domestic production through tariff protection is also discussed.

FDI Spillovers on Technical Efficiency of Indian Manufacturing Firms

The impact of foreign direct investment on technical efficiency of Indian manufacturing firms during two sub-periods, 1994–2001 and 2002–10, is investigated. Using stochastic frontier analysis, this study shows that domestic firms gain efficiency from foreign skill spillovers and backward linkages with foreign firms in the first sub-period. However, evidence from the second sub-period indicates a significant adverse impact of oreign-owned firms on domestic firms. It may be noted that flows of FDI increased mainly in the 2000s. The study also shows that technology gains occur through internal research and development expenditure, and through purchase of imported raw materials and capital goods rather than through purchase of imported drawings and designs.

The Potential of Participation in Global Value Chains

Low demand, high trade costs, poor infrastructure, unstable law and order and the lackadaisical nature of government impede the economic growth of the North Eastern Region. This prolonged underdevelopment points to the urgent need of the NER to integrate with the global economy for faster economic growth. Such an integration and subsequent economic transformation can be made possible through participation in global value chains. The NER has comparative trade advantage in producing labour-intensive products, and participation in services-based GVCs, particularly tourism, can be very profitable for the NER.

Majoritarian Rationale and Common Goals

Looking at existing policy instruments and goals, and the economic and social outcomes they promise to deliver, it is argued that majoritarian politics and social and cultural outcomes are not part of fringe thinking. The politics of hate actually works to build a consensus for ruling class economics. It is not surprising, therefore, that the only "nationalist outlook" of our times is to stand firmly behind the policy programme for the global investor.

Silence on Investor –State Disputes Debate

The Law Commission of India's 260th report contains a seemingly innocuous suggestion to include a clear clause for consent to arbitrate investment disputes in India's 2015 draft Model Bilateral Investment Treaty. There is an intriguing absence of any explanation for this suggestion, which is curious, especially when viewed in the context of the global public debate on investor-state dispute settlement clauses. This suggestion requires robust public debate in India and must not silently sail past.

Foreign Direct Investment in India in the 1990s

This paper documents the trends in foreign direct investment in India in the 1990s, and compares them with those in China. Noting the data limitations, the study raises some issues on the effects of the recent investments on the domestic economy. Based on the analytical discussion and comparative experience, the study concludes by suggesting a realistic foreign investment policy.

Foreign Direct Investment in China

Foreign Direct Investment in China A New Perspective Selling China: Foreign Direct Investment during the Reform Era by Yasheng Huang, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2002.

The Budget and the Economy

The budget is a collection of measures, disconnected maybe but not necessarily badly conceived. However, it does not amount to a serious stab at launching the economy on to a higher growth path, which is what the so-called 'second generation reforms' that the finance minister has harped upon in the past half year or so are meant to do.
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