This is a well-rounded budget that promises to accelerate growth on a sustainable basis and transform the lives of hundred of millions of Indian citizens. While the rest of the global economy has been decelerating, India has continued to accelerate. The Budget will reinforce this trend in the Indian economy.
It is generally agreed that a key element in the transformation of India is the creation of a large number of good jobs. While micro and small enterprises provide lots of jobs, consistent with their low productivity, they pay relatively low wages.
The Forest Act of 1927 and Forest Conservation Act of 1980 offer a good example of how good intentions can sometimes lead to unintended adverse outcomes.
In his parting speech to the erstwhile Planning Commission on 30th April 2014, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had stated, “Are we still using tools and approaches which were designed for a different era?
At a time when environmental degradation was hardly an issue, Mahatma Gandhi had famously said that earth provided enough to satisfy every man's need, but not his greed. India has therefore rightly chosen the birth anniversary of the Mahatma to announce its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to combat climate change.
With the lapse of the ordinance amending the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, it is an opportune time to take a fresh look at the land acquisition issue and look for ways forward. I begin with some clarifications.
Land leasing laws relating to rural agricultural land in Indian states were overwhelmingly enacted during decades immediately following the independence. At the time, the abolition of Zamindari and redistribution of land to the tiller were the highest policy priorities.
There can be little disagreement that the fastest relief to the poor in India would come from productivity growth in agriculture. This is where nearly half of the workforce is employed. With the share of agriculture in the GDP at about 15 percent now, this half of the workforce is also significantly poorer than the other half, employed in industry and services.