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Financial Sector in the Budget

The 2020 Union Budget has announced several small steps that could give some fillip to the financial sector in the short run, but the lack of a long-term vision for reviving an economy in downswing remains most conspicuous.

Recent Downfall of the Indian Rupee

Assessing the trends in India’s balance of payments, it is argued that a combination of substantial trade deficit and a significant current account deficit financed predominantly by fickle portfolio investments could have made the rupee vulnerable to the moods of the global capital market. India’s huge dependence on oil imports along with high gold and electronic imports could also have played their roles in making the exchange rate volatile.

Special Economic Zones Face the WTO Test

Analysing the cause of the recent dispute between the United States and India, and its implications for the incentives provided to special economic zones, the need for a change in strategy regarding the existing pattern of export incentive schemes is emphasised.

External Commercial Borrowings

External commercial borrowings have emerged in the past few years as one of the instruments preferred by Indian companies to raise debt. However, its growing share in the composition of the country’s external debt is a cause for concern for the economy as the exposure to interest rate and currency fluctuation increases.

Impediments to the Spread of Crop Insurance in India

The Government of India aims to double the crop insurance coverage to 50% through the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana by 2018. By analysing the agricultural household data, this article comments on the feasibility of attaining this target by looking at the past performance of similar schemes. Few critical areas where efforts need to be concentrated in order to increase coverage are discussed.

Calm before the Storm?

It is generally believed that India is doing far better than most emerging market economies in these times of global economic turmoil. Emerging markets are facing capital flight, with large-scale outflows, especially since the second half of 2015, with the trend expected to continue in 2016. India has been less affected than others, but is clearly vulnerable due to the large number of Indian firms that are exposed to external borrowings, a weak rupee, a year or more of declining merchandise exports, falling corporate profitability, and stressed corporate balance sheets.

Death in Police Custody

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...

Politics Overpowering Welfare

An analysis of the Unorganised Workers' Social Security Act 2008 shows its distance from the original National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector proposal. Passed as a measure of political expediency ahead of the 2009 general elections, the legislation creates few timelines or compulsions for central and state governments to provide for unorganised workers. Current schemes included in the Act's ambit focus only on below poverty line workers, threatening to leave out a large swathe of this vulnerable workforce.

India and RTAs: Getting Tangled in the Noodle Bowl

India has been embracing regionalism in a big way in recent years. Regional trade agreements are growing not only in number but also in their depth and coverage, thus diverting a significant portion of India's trade through the preferential route. Such a trade promotion strategy emphasises market access rather than deal with supply-side efficiencies.

The New Indian Postal Bill: Issues and Way Forward

With the Department of Posts facing competition in its traditional monopoly market from private players, the provisions of a new postal bill, which is in the process of being drafted, can have a major impact on postal, courier and express delivery sectors. The bill is expected to define the universal service obligation in the Indian context, and will presumably discuss what privilege or special treatment the national post office will get for fulfilling the USO.

The ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement: An Assessment

Signing the trade in goods agreement with the Association of South-East Asian Nations has evoked mixed reactions in India. The plantation sector, the marine products industry and some light manufacturing industries are feeling threatened by this deal. This is not completely unexpected as some of the south-east Asian countries have a much higher level of efficiency in these sectors as compared to India. This article studies the tariff schedule of India and does a preliminary evaluation of the ASEAN-India free trade agreement.

Undermining Global Trade

Undermining Global Trade Parthapratim Pal The US, which started the postsecond world war period as a staunch supporter of multilateralism, changed its position to fulfil some of its strategic objectives. Bhagwati gives two such examples, the Jagdish Bhagwati

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