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Tax revenue raising must become less iniquitous, with a sizeable chunk coming from direct taxes

Next month, we will celebrate 30 years of the launch of economic reforms. On June 21, 1991 Narasimha Rao was sworn in as India’s ninth Prime Minister, and his tenure would turn out to be historic in delivering economic reforms to modern India. A month later on July 24, 1991,...

Direct tax revenue falls below indirect taxes for the second time in 13 years, hurting the poor

Next month we will celebrate 30 years of the launch of economic reforms. On June 21, 1991 Narasimha Rao was sworn in as India’s ninth Prime Minister, and his tenure would turn out to be historic in delivering economic reforms to modern India. A month later on July 24, 1991...

Can Petrol be bought under the GST Regime?

This is the English version of the article that originally appeared in Prajavani on 19 June 2021 Karnataka became the 7th state in India to record petrol prices crossing the psychological barrier of Rs.100 per litre on June 12th. Bidar, Bellary, Koppal, Davanagere, Shivmogga, and Chikmagalur were some of the...

Blending Borders: Issue #1

 This Newsletter explores ongoing issues and perspectives from India’s neighbourhood countries, including – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan.  Vaccination updates, Bangladesh leads GDP growth, The Colombo Port City project, Security dilemma in Myanmar, Peace for Afghanistan?   The Raging Pandemic  Has India turned its back on its...

Hand Me the Paper #12: Looking at the Indian gig economy

To my delight, the newsletter has proven useful to employees at tech companies, digital rights researchers, people who are looking to build a reading habit or looking to learn more about tech policy. If you like the newsletter or find it useful, consider buying me a cup of coffee (or...

Takshashila Policy Advisory — Managed Reopening After Lockdown: Recommendations for State Governments

Download the Policy Advisory Executive Summary To prudently resume social and economic activity in accordance with outbreak risks, healthcare capacity, and vaccination progress, we recommend that State governments: Designate Gram Panchayats/Wards or groups of Gram Panchayats/Wards as Public Health Management Units (PHMUs) and apply restrictions at this level. Follow an...

#131 Learn From Others. It’s Free

PolicyWTF (revisited): China’s demographic flip-flops This section looks at egregious public policies. Policies that make you go: WTF, Did that really happen? — Pranay Kotasthane On May 31st, the Politburo of the Communist Party of China decreed that parents can now have three kids. Too little, too late. In edition...

Govt owes Indians an explanation. Or its gag order & pension rule can be seen as blackmail

Gag orders are increasingly being issued globally in this information age and becoming fashionable even in democracies. India is also in this race. Former US President Donald Trump’s gag orders were directed at serving government officials and deemed illegal. India seems to be a step ahead of the US, as its latest gag orders have a particular category of retired officials...

Don’t rush into Sainik School public-private partnership. It can dilute and corrupt

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her 2021-22 Budget speech, announced the Narendra Modi government’s intention of setting up an additional 100 Sainik Schools in partnership with NGOs, private schools and states. The move was received positively. There is, however, a need for caution and further introspection. The initiative renews India’s involvement with schools established with the intent to...

Blaming the government’s pandemic response? Do it for the right reasons

The Union government has received a lot of flak over its management of the pandemic response, and deservedly so. But I want to look at three incorrect — or at least problematic — frames being used to blame the government’s pandemic response, inadequate and confused as it already is. The...
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