Too early to pass verdict on impact of demonetisation: Ex-SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar
Oct 21, 2021  In ThePrint SoftCover, Rajnish Kumar, author of ‘The Custodian of Trust, a Banker’s Memoir,’ published by Penguin India,  the NPA crisis and the inner workings of the SBI.

There is increasing worry that in some areas of critical importance the situation in India has been deteriorating steadily during the last 8 years or so. As India is home to about 18 per cent of people in the world, this is clearly a matter of urgent concern. Hence a review of these disturbing trends is urgently needed with a view to suggesting suitable remedial actions for checking this deterioration.

  1. Inequalities have been increasing recently to record levels. According to the World Inequality Report, after years of significant reduction of inequalities in the post-independence period, inequalities are coming back to their colonial levels in recent times. This report tells us that the bottom 50% have only 6% of the wealth, while the top 1% have 33% of the wealth. The bottom 50% have only 13% of the income, while the top 1% have 22% of the income

By Bharat Dogra


Need Right Environment For Formalisation Of Industries: Raghuram Rajan  September 14, 2021 


"Would You Call Government Anti-National?" Raghuram Rajan On RSS Magazine's Barb At Infosys
Renowned economist Dr Raghuram Rajan spoke to NDTV on a range of issue related to India's economy.
 September 15, 2021

Summary by Sukla Sen

Dr. Rajan has touched upon

(i) the open bullying of a flagship corporate body - A number of private sector firms have in recent months faced the ire of individuals in the government or entities close it, the most recent instance being that of Infosys. 

(ii) the distortion of the "economy" in favour of the "big" and to the detriment of the "small" -- larger, more formal firms are experiencing significantly more profit growth as compared to the smaller firms, even among the listed firms. We are seeing a forced formalisation of the economy. We haven't supported our small and medium businesses to the extent that other countries have , 

(iii) the deliberate subversion of the "federal" aspect of the obtaining governance structure --   the rising revenues aren't being shared with the state governments, "State government finances are in a pretty bad way. The Centre has, sort of, swallowed up a significant part of the revenues through central cesses," 

(iv) very much in tandem with that, over-centralisation at the Centre itself and its economic cost ... "India is getting too big to be run exclusively from the Centre. And that too not just from the Centre but from the 'Centre within the Centre'. This kind of over-centralisation holds us back." Decisions, he said, aren't being made until very late. On this front, he cited the example of appointing CEOs of government banks. 

(v) the need for a sort of cash transfer scheme in the urban areas, broadly on the lines of the MGNREGA, in order to jack up "demand" so as to give a push to the stuttering "economy".... reported increase in gold loans -- people in India, he said, sell their family gold only when in dire straits -- and the marginal fall in consumption.

(vi) the suicidal short-sighted aloofness of capital vis-a-vis "democracy" ...businesses usually don't care as long as it doesn't affect them. They realise often late that when a government operates without checks and balances, it affects them eventually. Arbitrary decisions can then be taken with respect to the businesses, too.


Amazon, ‘Economic Terrorism’ and the Destruction of Livelihoods Colin Todhunter   September 12, 2021

 Since the early 1990s, when India opened up to neoliberal economics, the country has become increasingly dependent on inflows of foreign capital. Policies are being governed by the drive to attract and retain foreign investment and maintain ‘market confidence’ by ceding to the demands of international capital which ride roughshod over democratic principles and the needs of hundreds of millions of ordinary people. ‘Foreign direct investment’ has thus become the holy grail of the Modi-led administration and the NITI Aayog.


In January 2021,  The Joint Action Committee against Foreign Retail and E-commerce  JACAFRE published an open letter saying that the three new farm laws, passed by parliament in September 2020, centre on enabling and facilitating the unregulated corporatisation of agriculture value chains. This will effectively make farmers and small traders of agricultural produce become subservient to the interests of a few agrifood and e-commerce giants or will eradicate them completely.

Although there was strong resistance to Walmart entering India with its physical stores, online and offline worlds are now merged: e-commerce companies not only control data about consumption but also control data on production and logistics. Through this control, e-commerce platforms can shape much of the physical economy.

India colonises its ‘frontiers’  ASHISH KOTHARI  13 SEPTEMBER 2021 The quest to become an economic superpower is leading to sub-colonialism 

Several hundred thousand hectares of forests have been ‘diverted’ for mining, dams, industries and so on, with the rate of diversion significantly rising since the 1990s..the process of occupation and dispossession that this has entailed is not so very different from what the British colonial powers did. In some parts of India it is even as brutal, where armed police have been used to evict resistant landholders, forest-dwellers and coastal fishers...its economy has become more privatized and corporatized, especially since the early 1990s..

Now, the Indian state is eyeing the ‘frontiers’ of the country that have so far been relatively less impacted by its development sub-colonialism – regions in its far north, northeast, and the islands off its coasts.  the mindset of developing mentality is accompanied by undisguised attempts at cultural homogenization, in line with the agenda of the political party in power.

The most blatant of these relates to Lakshadweep. ..measures that were clearly aimed at undermining Islamic culture, such as banning meat in schools, opening up liquor shops, and specifying that anyone with more than two children would not be eligible for government jobs. Also proposed are major investments in tourism and urban development, and the Administration is seeking to concentrate more power in its hands to acquire any lands for this through a draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation. 

On the other side of India lie its second (much bigger) set of islands, Andaman and Nicobar. They contain rich rainforests and coral reefs, and with high degrees of animal and plant endemism and diversity, are considered a global biodiversity hotspot...The NITI Aayog,  has proposed a massive investment  ..(which)  includes an international container trans-shipment terminal, an international airport, a power plant and a township complex.. 166 sq kms (16600 hectares) of the island, much of this comprised of biologically rich and globally important coastal systems and tropical forests, part of a World Heritage Site, will be exploited... Andaman & Nicobar Islands are also being proposed as one of the sites for a palm oil push that the Indian government is making.

Large-scale palm oil plantations are also proposed in north-east India, a region that has historically seen a convoluted approach by the Indian state... (besides militarisation) In the last few years one of the biggest investments, both public and private, has been in hydro-electricity projects, often touted as ‘green energy’ ..

And then there is Ladakh.  The people here are a predominantly Buddhist and Muslim faiths, and as in the case of Lakshadweep, the central government seems to be pushing or supporting a combined strategy of neo-liberal development with cultural hegemony. 

Other ‘frontier’ areas under attack are Kachchh, a unique, vast grassland and salt desert ecosystem with a largely pastoral, agricultural and crafts-based people in western India bordering Pakistan; and Kashmir in the Himalayan belt, whose special constitutional status of relative autonomy was taken away by the central government in 2019. Both have been are or being opened up for huge corporate investments



In an alienating economic system, Basic Human Rights Services provided by unpaid care givers, need to be protected, supported and even paid for, rather than be preyed upon by formalised for-profit systems.  Traditional Education Systems, Family Health Care including child care, Local Social Security Systems would be an important source, after being vetted of unacceptable practices and being upgraded with new knowledge and referral systems.