It’ll be a tight-rope walk, but here’s what Sitharaman can do to boost investor confidence

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman faces difficult choice in Budget 2020 — to provide stable policy regime or make policy changes to arrest the slowdown.
File image of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman | Photo: PTI

The 4 priorities for Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget 2020

Finance minister needs to deliver an expansionary budget that can help revive demand, and there are a few things that can help her boost the Indian economy.
Workers sort onions at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee wholesale market in Lasalgaon, Maharashtra | Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

5.5% inflation is transitory, it shouldn’t prevent a fiscal boost in Budget 2020

The rise in consumer price inflation (CPI) in the weeks before the presentation of the Union Budget has raised concerns that it could influence...
MoS Finance Anurag Thakur and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a press conference in New Delhi |Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

To realise NIP worth Rs 102 lakh crore, Modi govt needs Indians to save long-term

To help India become a $5-trillion economy, the National Infrastructure Pipeline has been unveiled. But the big constraint is money willing to be locked up for years.
Guidelines in many countries require that those on whom an experiment is conducted should be among those who would benefit from its policy implications

Why India needs ethical guidelines for social science trials after Abhijit Banerjee Nobel

RCTs will get more resources & interest after Banerjee & his partners’ economics Nobel. But the poor, on whom these trials will be conducted, need protection.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan at the 38th GST Council meeting | PTI

Cutting income tax is not the fix Indian economy needs. It’s slashing GST rates

Tax officials will try and collect more taxes to meet their optimistic targets. But that will have a further negative effect on consumption demand.
File image of a GST Council meeting chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Cutting income tax and raising GST makes no sense. Both need to fall together

Before govt decides to do either, it needs to take a view about the macroeconomic picture. Is this a time for fiscal expansion, or for fiscal consolidation?
Delhi smog

Smog towers for Delhi pollution are like paracetamol for dengue — won’t cure real disease

Supreme Court order to install smog towers in Delhi can be an experiment, but engineering solutions are just band-aid. The real problem is state capacity.
Onion prices in India have skyrocketed to Rs 80-100 per kg

Tackling onion price rise leads to policy distortions, but it seems nothing will change

Onion is a seasonal crop, and offseason shortages result in sky-high prices in September-November each year. But politicians’ response creates more distortions.
Representational image of wheat

High time Indian farmers are freed from shackles imposed by 1960s’ food-shortage mindset

India no longer has a shortage of cereals, but legacy of mid-1960s droughts has shaped the food economy. India doesn’t trust agricultural markets to work.
Smog in Delhi| File photo: Ruhani Kaur/Bloomberg

Bans can’t banish north India’s toxic air. It needs creative solutions and perseverance

The air crisis needs many creative solutions, including technology and citizen participation. SC order to pay farmers not to burn stubble is the first step.
Ila Patnaik
Ila Patnaik is an economist and a professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

Ila Patnaik & Shubho Roy