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The post-Covid priority: Budget needs to ramp up spending on health and education -S Mahendra Dev

-The Indian Express Budget needs to ramp up spending on health and education. Pandemic has enhanced inequalities, shown up absence of safety nets. India is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and social sector development is important in reaching them. Progress in this sector has intrinsic (for its own sake) and instrumental (for higher growth) value. It is needed even to build a $5 trillion economy faster. Inequalities...

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Decoding the dip in public expenditure -Avani Kapur and Sharad Pandey

-Hindustan Times Despite enhanced commitments across spheres, the government has spent less this year than it did last year Typically, when a crisis hits, the expectation is that the Centre — which has more revenue-raising abilities than states — will take the lead in preparing a fiscal road map, loosen its purse strings and raise expenditure significantly. The Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented in its scale and impact. But this is also when...

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Economic policy needs to address those who have seen the greatest distress during lockdown -Sonalde Desai, Neerad Deshmukh and Santanu Pramanik

-The Indian Express The urban poor is still finding it difficult to return to work. Targeting Social Safety Nets towards them is necessary as the economy struggles to recover. While COVID-19 continues its assault on human lives, the Indian economy, after the devastation in the wake of the lockdown, is showing signs of recovering. Data from a variety of sources, such as exports and car sales, as well as data from NCAER’s...

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Government's key agenda must be to accelerate growth -C Rangarajan

-The Hindu Only a fast-growing economy can generate surpluses needed to create jobs and sustain Social Safety Nets Now that the general election is over, the time has come to pay serious attention to the economy. The national income numbers continue to be controversial. No serious policy decision can be taken with ambiguous numbers. Nevertheless, even with the new official numbers it is clear that growth is slowing down. As in the...

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The dynamic nature of poverty -Sonalde Desai & Amit Thorat

-The Hindu We need to rethink Social Safety Nets in India’s growing economy so that they can also focus on the accidents of life rather than solely on the accidents of birth. Sometimes the grand narratives of the Left and the Right do not seem to have any relationship with the lived experiences of ordinary Indians. For the past two decades, the Left has tried to expand social welfare programmes for the...

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