Praveen Chakravarty
Articles by Praveen Chakravarty

In huge capex bet, an audacity of hope

The FM has been audacious to attempt to strike this difficult balance in India’s $3 trillion economy amid such enormous global uncertainty and headwinds

Increasing capex is a welcome directional shift in expenditure management. The debate is about the levels and the rate of such increases, and at what cost (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 02, 2023 07:39 AM IST

A road map to fight the inflation stress

The Centre must reduce fuel taxes, increase subsidies, and desist from raising indirect taxes. The only way to fund the extra expense will be to find additional revenue streams

Of all the economic woes, inflation pinches people every day; hence, this is the most important economic issue to address on a war footing. (AFP)
Updated on Jul 27, 2022 07:20 PM IST

India must plan for economic shocks

While it is clear that this is not a ‘normal’ year, it is also important to be cognisant of the possibility that the future global economic order may also not be ‘normal’ and plan wisely for it

Now with high global oil prices, a lot of India’s economic vulnerabilities of broken supply chains, fractured labour markets and insipid trade performance are threatening to flare up (REUTERS)
Updated on Apr 06, 2022 07:52 PM IST

Union Budget takes an audacious gamble

By moving away from welfare and subsidies to capital expenditure, the government is betting that trickle down effects will boost private investment, leading to more jobs

There was some expectation from the private sector to boost flailing personal consumption with schemes such as an urban MGNREGS. On the contrary, the government cut even the rural MGNREGS budget. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 01, 2022 10:14 PM IST

Union Budget: Press the reset button

The harsh truth is that India’s economy is not working for its people due to misguided policies. So, there is only one metric that India’s budget must focus on: Employment

India’s industrial policy needs a radical departure from the failed pursuit of big manufacturing that does not produce as many jobs as they used to. Grand announcements of budget schemes without accounting for the number of jobs they create are pointless. (Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 25, 2022 08:33 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Declare crypto will never be currency

Don’t ban, but announce it will never be recognised. Send a signal that those who trade in it do so at their own risk

Communicating clearly and loudly to everyone that cryptocurrencies will not be recognised as currency, or as a medium of exchange in India may be the best option to rein in the frenzy over cryptocurrencies (Shutterstock)
Updated on Nov 29, 2021 01:18 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Making sense of Pegasus-derived data

Pegasus can transmit data. But humans have to process it. Where is this team, who is managing it, how does it operate?

How did information flow from Pegasus on people’s phones to the end recipient of this information? (Shutterstock)
Updated on Aug 05, 2021 07:31 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

The new vaccine policy needs an overhaul

Only 7% of Indian adults have received a dose of the vaccine. To take coverage up to 75%, here is an alternative plan

Representational Image. (File photo)
Updated on Apr 21, 2021 02:34 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Why India’s polity has adopted the logic of Nyay

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has announced a minimum income scheme for the poorest families of Bengal in its election manifesto for the upcoming state elections, as has the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu

I recall a meeting in 2019 when Rahul Gandhi told some of us, “Political parties will soon have to address income inequality with a concrete plan such as a minimum income threshold”, which laid the origins for Nyay (Vivek R Nair / Hindustan Times)
Published on Mar 26, 2021 05:54 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

The government’s arithmetic jugglery cast a shadow over the budget’s right direction

Prudent public investment and a robust safety net can stop India from falling off the precipice of the economic cliff

India's finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds up a folder with the Government of India logo, as India's Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian and Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur look on, February 1, 2021. (REUTERS)
Published on Feb 01, 2021 10:38 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Vaccinating all Indians, for free

The markets are at an all-time high. Impose a Covid-19 surcharge on transactions and use it for vaccination

A tiny tax on stock market transactions can help fund India’s vaccination drive without burning a hole in the wallets of stock market investors and give the government headroom for other expenditure to help save lives (AFP)
Updated on Jan 25, 2021 06:08 AM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Covid-19 highlighted the ‘the tyranny of experts’

Ideas and opinions play an inordinately important role in a liberal democracy and should flourish freely. But the weight of such ideas and opinions rise only when incentives are aligned and symmetrical

Healthcare workers collect swab samples of migrants, Thane. September 10, 2020(Praful Gangurde/ HT Photo)
Published on Jan 01, 2021 08:07 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

The menace of social media monopolies

Facebook’s global monopoly profits helped propel WhatsApp’s domination of India, with great social costs

WhatsApp provides encrypted services to billions of users for free because its costs are borne entirely by its parent, Facebook. So, the fountainhead of “deaths by WhatsApp” in India is Facebook’s monopolistic profits(Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 15, 2020 06:15 AM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

What the Indian markets don’t tell you | Analysis

In contrast to the fate of millions of poor people, stock markets have boomed with little tangible benefit

Excesses of financialisation and financial markets are a real threat to social stability and harmony, not just in India but elsewhere too(REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 30, 2020 11:49 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

The robustness of the US federal set-up

The US may want to import Indian election systems, but India needs to import genuine decentralisation from US

Detroit election workers work on counting absentee ballots for the 2020 general election, Michigan, November 4, 2020(AFP)
Published on Nov 09, 2020 08:03 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

BJP’s one market for farmers is a myth | Opinion

Only multiple markets and competitive ecosystems will fetch them best prices for their produce

A key question that has not been answered by the government is this: If the government was indeed keen on retaining the MSP system and assuring MSP to the farmers, why is it not stated explicitly in the new laws.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 23, 2020 09:02 PM IST
ByP Chidambaram and Praveen Chakravarty

The myth of India’s low income tax base

Given India’s GDP and per capita income data, and the tax threshold, its taxpayer base is right

The key to widening India’s income tax base is in keeping the exemption threshold unchanged over many years, not in harassing the 3% of working Indians that fall within the tax ambit(ARVIND YADAV/HTPHOTO)
Updated on Sep 02, 2020 12:56 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

PM Modi can learn from CM Modi| Analysis

In 2001, Gujarat was hit by a devastating disaster. Its economic reconstruction is worth emulating

There is consensus in industry that it is in their own interests to revive demand by putting money into people’s hands(AP)
Updated on May 20, 2020 07:26 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Learning to live with coronavirus, writes Praveen Chakravarty

The original lockdown was correct. But it is now time to return to a ‘new normal’, with safeguards

A majority of Indians may get infected, and then recover from it. The lockdown is neither a cure, nor viable anymore(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
Published on Apr 26, 2020 06:37 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Full lockdown or deaths: The false dichotomy

India may not experience all the health benefits of a lockdown, while being saddled with the economic costs

A lockdown impacts daily wage workers who must step out to work every day to feed themselves and their families. Less than a fifth of the workforce in the US, Italy and the UK are such daily wage workers. But in India, 90% of all workers are. So, the scale of the impact of a total lockdown in India is exponentially larger than in other nations.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Published on Apr 05, 2020 05:02 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Covid-19 will devastate the economy. Buckle up, writes Praveen Chakravarty

A demand stimulus, reduction of interest rates, fixing the financial sector can soften the blow. Is the State capable?

The coronavirus is no longer just a Chinese problem, but a global one. India’s crisis is no longer just an economic one, but a health crisis too(PTI)
Published on Mar 18, 2020 06:37 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

The new IT structure won’t have an impact on the majority of taxpayers

A careful analysis of data disproves the claim that 70% taxpayers will benefit from the dual system

Eighty per cent of income tax filers will not be impacted by the new structure and another 15% will not see any significant savings benefits(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 14, 2020 06:49 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

The budget is insipid. It won’t revive the economy | Opinion

It did not have a bold demand stimulus, a public investment stimulus or any supply-side stimulus

On February 1, the finance minister stood up in Parliament to give the nation a three-hour lecture on India’s prosperity in the “Sindhu Saraswati” civilisation(PTI)
Published on Feb 01, 2020 10:19 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Judge the budget by its tax revenue growth figure | Opinion

If it is a lot higher than nominal GDP, either it is false, or taxes will increase, or tax harassment will intensify

Two weeks ago, India recorded its lowest nominal GDP growth in over four decades.(ANI)
Updated on Jan 22, 2020 07:40 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

The inside account of Abhijit Banerjee’s Nyay connection

The non-partisan economist would have helped any party that approached him for policy advice

Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, two of the three winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, October 14, 2019(REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 16, 2019 06:09 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

India’s sick economy needs Nyay medication

The BJP government should not reject a good and timely idea purely on the basis of who came up with it

The poorest 50 million Indian families still earn a meagre <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>6,000 a month(REUTERS)
Published on Aug 19, 2019 09:08 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

The costs of Modi’s morality governance paradigm |Opinion

The policies for a nearly $3 trillion economy cannot be based on good versus evil storytelling

The purported suicide note of VG Siddhartha is a grim reminder of the devastating impact that an aggressive tax revenue targeting policy can unleash on our economy and society(AFP)
Updated on Aug 03, 2019 10:39 AM IST
Hindustan Times | ByPraveen Chakravarty

Not speaking truth to power has cost us dearly

As the nation gets ready to welcome a new government in a few weeks, let us all pledge to shed the cloud cover syndrome that has engulfed this country and promise to hold governments accountable for their decisions

“I thought that there are clouds, it’s raining, so there is a benefit that we can escape the radar... the cloud can benefit us too.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a recent interview, revealed these backroom details of the military strikes against Pakistan(AFP)
Published on May 16, 2019 01:56 PM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

Ushering in a new social contract through Minimum Income Guarantee

The minimum income proposal will strengthen the State’s ability to deliver on its promise of a guaranteed basic standard of living for every poor Indian family.

The minimum income proposal will not absolve the State of its core responsibilities of providing food, education and healthcare to the poor.(REUTERS)
Updated on Mar 07, 2019 07:27 AM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty

The proof behind India’s rising income inequality

India’s top 5% today earn as much as the remaining 95% combined.

India is experiencing the twin shocks of high levels of income inequality and a rapidly widening pace of such inequality.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Aug 22, 2018 08:45 AM IST
ByPraveen Chakravarty
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