The economic crisis is taking a huge toll on jobs across India, and what stands out in the government’s response is an utter lack of urgency.
"The intensity of this Asian crisis sends out a larger message. Neoliberalism had failed in Africa and Latin America but had earned a lease of life in Asia, where it was not imposed on but owned by many national governments. The first challenge to the regime came in 1997 when the financial crisis broke in some of the strongest economies in the region. But the forces advocating neoliberal ideology survived that challenge and intensified the process of liberalization and integration. The current crisis poses a second and stronger challenge because finance capital that advocates neoliberalism is seen as responsible for this crisis. It is to be seen whether the advocates of neoliberalism will overcome this challenge as well, or whether the ideology would be fundamentally discredited." writes C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh.
Even in the face of global financial crisis, the Indian Government has not shed the neo-liberal fiscal conservatism. The so called fiscal packages announced by the Government is a testimony to this, writes Prof. C.P. Chandrasekhar.
Finally it is official. Satyam's Rs 7000 crore corporate accounting fraud has been acknowledged to be the biggest fraud in the history of India's big bourgeoisie. While Enron, an American corporate certainly outdid the who's who in corporate crime in India in recent years, there have been many contenders for the title in the last two decades. Global Trust Bank is still fresh in our memory. In this latest instance, Price Waterhouse Coopers is implicated along with Satyam.
Pragoti brings to its readers three articles by three very noted economists which separately and together establish the role of fraud and dirty money in the history of capitalism in general, and specifically in the context of neoliberalism in India.
While the reaction of the Manmohan Singh clique has been cautious and muted and the BJP has adopted a holier-than-thou posturing but carefully avoided pointing any fingers at the corporate sector, the CPI(M) has demanded that the perpetrators of this fraud be brought to book and called for the safeguarding of the interests of the employees. The CPI(M) statement is appended here.
Some observers are of the view that the sharp fall in the month-on-month annual rate of industrial growth in August 2008 exaggerates the actual and likely slowdown in the growth. C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh discuss why the broad trend suggested by the index may not be too far off the mark.
Courtesy: Hindu Business Line
Growth in India is slowing, even as inflation remains stubbornly high. According to recently released figures, GDP growth during the first quarter of 2008-9 stood at 7.9 per cent, down from the 9.2 per cent rate of growth registered in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year. India, some fear, may have crossed a turning point, with growth in the future likely to be below the creditable 9 per cent per annum trajectory achieved over the last five years.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has now been in operation for more than two years, even though it is still being extended to all the rural areas of the country.
In that relatively short time, it has already become one of the most avidly studied programmes of the Central Government, with many independent evaluations in different States as well as government audit of its performance thus far.
The Indian Left cannot be accused of deviance for its decision to withdraw its support for the UPA government on the issue of the Indo-US nuclear deal. It has for long espoused the position that given the aggressive expansionism of the US under Bush, the silence or collaboration of other major capitalist powers in response to this aggression and the end of multipolarity after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the contradiction between Imperialism led by the US and the people of developing countries like India had emerged as the principal contradiction of our times. Supporting any truck with the US would have meant both a violation of its programme and a betrayal of its cadre and the people. Unresolvable disagreement over any attempt to forge a strategic relationship with the US through the instrumentality of a specially crafted nuclear deal was inevitable,says C.P.Chandrasekhar
The political battle is on to divert attention from the economic crisis and make the nuclear deal or communal polarisation the clinching issue in the elections.
The price of oil should be seen as part of a tax-subsidy framework, serving as part tax when global prices are low and part subsidy when they are high. If the government is willing to compensate oil companies with resources mobilised through taxes on those who can afford to pay, rather than through price increases that burden the rich and the poor alike, prices can be held constant until such time that the inflationary situation is brought under control. C.P.CHANDRASEKHAR writes in the Frontline. Cartoons, courtesy The Hindu and Times of India newspapers.