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Latest from EPWRF

Demonetisation: 1978, the Present and the Aftermath - 26/11/2016
In the context of the demonetisation of ?500 and ?1,000 notes, the issuance of currency and its different denominations are traced over time, while also tracking key macroeconomic features of India's changing economy over the decades. Further, the possible immediate and longer term economic effects of demonetisation are discussed.

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What Is Driving Rural Inflation at a Higher Rate? - 05/11/2016
Consumer price inflation in rural areas has been persisting at a higher rate than that in urban areas and the gap between the two has stood at 1.5 percentage points in May 2016. Inflation of both series slowed considerably during the last two years or so, the moderation in rural areas has been slower than in urban areas. This was partly due to compositional differences accompanied by divergent price movements and partly due to higher marketing costs and trade margins resulting from the prevailing rural-urban divide in terms of infrastructure bottlenecks, inadequate logistics support, etc.

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Estimates of High GDP Growth for 2015-16: Not Entirely Convincing - 25/06/2016
In producing the new series, the Central Statistics Office with its rebased National Accounts Statistics has done a studious job of marshalling diverse sources of data and weaving them together into a composite new source. However, the final picture of NAS data would have been more acceptable if better caution was exercised in using new concepts as well as new sources of data, and in weighing the growth results against frequent and extensive revisions. The CSO has failed to refine the growth results juxtaposed against the repetitive and substantial revisions that the data sources have impelled and have completely ignored the analytical construct of gross domestic product at factor cost.

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Underutilised Fiscal Space: Maharashtra’s Budget Post Fourteenth Finance Commission - 21/05/2016
The hike in tax devolution to states by the Fourteenth Finance Commission to give a larger fiscal space to the states has meant sharp cuts for centrally-sponsored schemes. Studying the case of Maharashtra, it is found that without adequate norms and yardsticks of development expenditure, the state has failed to exploit its fiscal potentials.

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Decoding Divergence in Inflation - 30/04/2016
Price inflation in India as measured by the Wholesale Price Index and the Consumer Price Index has shown diverging trends. While WPI indicates a disinflationary situation for 16 months, CPI indicates inflation. The in-depth exploration into the construction of the two indices indicated that different sample sizes and weights of commodity baskets of both indices along with price interventions by the government are responsible for a large part of the diverging trends in the two price indices.

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Budget 2016: Continuation of Under-taxation and Under-spending - 19/03/2016
Yet another opportunity-this time blessed by windfall gains from lower global crude oil prices-has been bypassed. Budget 2016 sticks to fiscal consolidation and ends up producing a budget where off-budget borrowings help the numbers showing fiscal rectitude and the budget unrealistically increases tax revenue, and within that focuses on the more regressive indirect taxes.

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Continuous Revisions Cast Doubts on GDP Advance Estimates - 05/03/2016
Two recent press releases by the Central Statistics Office substantially revise the new series of National Accounts Statistics. The new releases are more than just routine updates, and entail methodological changes and incorporate new sources of data, perhaps in response to various critiques. Yet, on comparing the advance estimates released with past such estimates, the CSO's latest growth projections once again turn out to be far too optimistic.

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Some Puzzling Features of India's Recent GDP Numbers - 09/01/2016
An analysis of the end-November 2015 data release of the Central Statistics Office raises some issues that must be kept in mind while discussing the state of India's economy. If past trends are anything to go by, economic growth in 2015-16 will not improve in the last quarter as some seem to hope. The movements in the GDP deflators and the very odd behaviour of a gradual decline in the investment rate together indicate that growth in 2015-16 will not end as earlier forecast.

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Surge in Union Government Revenues: Indirect Tax Collection Leads Growth - 12/12/2015
The tax revenues of the union government have surged in the first half of 2015-16, growing much faster than budgeted. Indirect taxes led the rate of growth of tax revenue collections, while direct tax collections grew less than expected. Though higher revenue is welcome, indirect taxes are nonetheless regressive, and higher indirect tax revenue will only accentuate income inequalities in India.

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Are Corporates Overleveraged? - 31/10/2015
There is concern that corporations have borrowed too much, and that therefore bank balance sheets are strained as well. Contrary to this popular view, it is argued here that the company finance data of the corporate sector in general does not suggest that this is so.

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