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Public Finances and Macroeconomics

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.

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. 

Global and Domestic Perspective of the Forthcoming Budget 2023-24

This article discusses the overall global and domestic context in which India’s 2023-24 Budget will be presented on Wednesday 1 February 2023. The overall context sets the broad boundaries the Budget and its specific proposals must be viewed. It should be noted that while the Union Government’s Budget presentation (along with accompanying documents such as The Economic Survey, Finance Bill, Memorandum Explaining the Provisions of the Finance bill, Statement of Fiscal Policy under the FRBM, Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management, Act, 2003, and others) is customarily the prime economic event of the year, Union Government’s economic and fiscal policy initiatives are undertaken throughout the year. Therefore, the Budget should not be taken in isolation. Professional analysts would not rely on just the Budget Speech to assess the Budget of a particular year.