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Economy and Infrastructure

Electoral Bonds No Solution

How do donations via electoral bonds funded by legal or illegal money help curb undue influence on policymakers? Electoral bonds provide an additional of such funds.

The Union Government initiated the Electoral Bonds scheme, announced in the Union Budget 2017–18, on January 2, 2018. The aim was “to cleanse the system of political funding in the country”. While many other issues are also germane, the moot question is will this goal be achieved.

Hindenburg’s bet against Adani

Few can vouch for the veracity or otherwise of Hindenburg’s research that raises serious allegations of wrongdoing against the Adani group. The present author certainly cannot. These charges could be accurate to varying degrees but that does not put Gautam Adani in the company of fly-by-night operators or the likes of arms brokers and others who profit purely from government patronage. Adani is a first-generation entrepreneur who has dreamed big, executed with excellence and has built chunks of the Indian economy’s essential infrastructure, whether ports, power plants, grain storage or renewable energy.

Budget 2023- 24: Pro-Growth and CAPEX Conundrum

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has come up with a Budget that did not deserve a thumbs down from the Nifty, which ended the day’s trading 0.26% lower. This was more on account of the troubles of the Adani Group and, by association, of public sector banks with exposure to the group.

The big boost to capital expenditure — including grants in aid of capex; the increase in capex is Rs 3.2 lakh crore, to Rs 13.7 lakh crore — is welcome and suggests that the Budget is pro-growth. That pro-growth glow loses some sheen when we take into account the total size of the Budget. It has come down from 16% of GDP in 2021-22 to 15.3% in 2022-23 and is slated to fall further to 14.9% next fiscal year. This reflects the longstanding inability of the system to significantly increase the share of taxes in GDP — the only way to raise total expenditure is to borrow, which means that fiscal correction also brings down the size of total spending.

Sustainable Environment & the Budget: Need for Consonance

The Union Budget 2023-24 is expected to be a barometer for the Central Government’s policy commitments toward the conservation of the environment and sustainable development. The public policy challenge for the government is how to strike a balance between economic growth and sustainable development, which are at variance due to the onslaught of climate change and its increasing economic costs. On the one hand, the government wants to achieve a $ 5 trillion economy by 2025 and $26 trillion by 2047; on the other, it has set a target of net-zero emissions by 2070. A balanced Budget that intertwines economic growth with inclusive and sustainable development for restoring the ecosystems is needed.

Union Budget 2023- 24: Boosting the Demand in Amrit Kaal

The IMPRI Center for the Study of Finance and Economics (CSFE),  IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, hosted an interactive panel discussion on the topic “The Amrit Kaal and Union Budget 2023-24” on 2 February 2023, under the IMPRI 3rd Annual Series of Thematic Deliberations and Analysis of Union Budget 2023-24, as part of IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk.