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Labour Bureau's new report indicate layoffs of casual & contract workers in Q1 of 2017-18Labour Bureau's new report indicate layoffs of casual & contract workers in Q1 of 2017-18
February 20, 2018

The declining trend in organized sector employment (i.e. in establishments employing 10 or more workers) continued in the first quarter of 2017-18. The sixth round of the Quarterly Report on Employment Scenario in selected sectors (as on 1st July, 2017), which was released in February this year, confirms this. The Labour Bureau’s latest report says that the net number of jobs created in the 8 major sectors of the economy was 64 thousand in the first quarter of 2017-18 viz. between 1st April, 2017 and 1st July, 2017. However, in the last quarter of 2016-17, the net number of workers who got jobs in these 8 sectors was 1.85 lakhs, which is roughly thrice the recent figure. As per the latest Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) report, although the employment of regular workers increased by 1.48 lakhs in the first quarter of 2017-18, nearly 64 thousand contract workers and 23 thousand casual workers...

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Size of tax rebates is large as compared to spending by agricultural & rural development ministriesSize of tax rebates is large as compared to spending by agricultural & rural development ministries
February 9, 2018

Believe it or not, the total revenue foregone in 2017-18 on account of special tax rates, exemptions, deductions, rebates, deferrals and credits -- broadly termed as 'tax expenditures' (an indirect subsidy) – that was given to corporate taxpayers has been more than 50 percent of the expenditure incurred by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) and the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) altogether in that year. In other words, the size of tax concessions and tax breaks, which the corporate sector enjoys, is quite large vis-à-vis the expenditure made by the agricultural and rural development ministries altogether.   The total revenue foregone (due to tax incentives to corporate taxpayers) as a proportion of total expenditure of the MoAFW and MoRD stands at around 88.7 percent in 2012-13, 76.1 in 2015-16, 67.4 percent in 2016-17 and 58.1 percent in 2017-18. It means that the tax incentives provided to the corporate...

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Despite having a food security legislation, spending on food subsidy is lowDespite having a food security legislation, spending on food subsidy is low
February 1, 2018

Recent data from the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) shows that about one-third of children in India is undernourished – 35.7 percent children below 5 years are underweight (too thin for age), 38.4 percent are stunted (too short for age) and 21.0 percent are wasted (too thin for height). It is also revealed that the level of anaemia among women and girls (aged 15-49 years) has stagnated marginally over the last decade from 55.3 percent in NFHS-3 to 53.0 percent in NFHS-4. Yet a country, which is ridden with such severe hunger and under-nutrition, spends less than 1 percent of its national income annually on food subsidy. A recent analysis by the Inclusive Media for Change team shows that the actual expenditure by the Department of Food and Public Distribution (under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution) on food subsidy was less than 1 percent of Gross...

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Hard reality and political compulsions may force a rural-focused budgetHard reality and political compulsions may force a rural-focused budget
January 26, 2018

  Budgetary allocation to a particular sector indicates how much priority the government assigns to that sector as compared to the rest. A preliminary analysis by the Inclusive Media for Change team indicates that the actual expenditure (net of receipts and recoveries) by two of the country’s most important ministries, namely the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) and the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) was less than 1 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the last 6 years.   At first glance it may seem that the actual expenditure by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (under the MoAFW) had more than doubled from Rs. 15,296.04 crore in 2015-16 to Rs. 39,840.5 crore (RE) in 2016-17 (as could be seen from table-1). However, various economists have argued that it happened simply because the head 'interest subsidy for short term credit to farmers', which earlier came as part...

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Agriculture ministry differs with CSO over estimated growth of farm sectorAgriculture ministry differs with CSO over estimated growth of farm sector
June 1, 2018

  The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has contended that the growth in real Gross Value Added (GVA) by the agrarian sector will not decline in 2017-18 vis-à-vis 2016-17 as has been predicted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The first advance estimates of CSO show that the growth rate in GVA at basic price (at 2011-12 prices) of the 'Agriculture, forestry & fishing' sector is likely to dip from 4.9 percent to 2.1 percent between 2016-17 and 2017-18 (please consult table-1). Among other things, the press note dated 5th January, 2018 of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) makes it clear that the CSO has calculated the advance estimates by extrapolating the first advance estimates of production of major kharif crops for 2017-18 and targets based on rabi sowings (please click here to access).   Table 1: First advance estimates of GVA at basic price by economic activity (at...

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