Surjit S Bhalla

Articles By Surjit S Bhalla

161 Articles

Remembering Sunil Jain: A model human, and model journalist

What made me admire Sunil was that he was first and foremost an evidence-based journalist—a relative rarity in India, and the world

There are journalists, and there are editors, and then there was Sunil.

No country for inflation targeting?

A detached reading of the evidence suggests inflation targeting wasn’t responsible for the decline in India’s inflation—It contributed to a decline in GDP growth

The last two entrants to adopt the IT arsenal (an appropriate use of the warlike term is because its proponents do want to wage a war against the scourge of inflation) were Argentina and India in 2016.

Budget FY22 lays the foundation for future growth with reforms

Sitharaman has faced down the critics with performance. Breaking from the conventional past is very courageous—and effective in achieving India’s destiny

This will go a long way in culling exemption notifications which either lose their relevance or become outdated for whatever reason.

NFHS – Ideology trumps analysis?

The newly released NFHS data reveals large improvements in welfare for Indian children, women, and households. Then why the deep angst?

No intellectual basis to the opposition to new farm laws

That there is no defense for old farm laws is vividly illustrated by the hypocrisy, and intellectual dishonesty, of those defending the richest farmers in India

Fourth, forging market linkages may be quite challenging for the capacity of the FPOs. The markets in India are quite complex and entrenched.

Fighting Covid-19 pandemic: Show us the evidence that lockdowns work

Lockdowns were an unnatural experiment, and they have not worked in achieving their major health objective of fewer infections or slower pace of infections

Today, cases are 40 times, and deaths 24 times higher.

India’s Covid package combines short-term macro policy with long-term structural reforms

The Indian Covid response package combines short-term macro policy with long-term structural reforms, and at around 5% of GDP, one of the largest in the world

India has pole position in another dimension of its response. It has announced several economic reforms as a part of the 10.5% stimulus package.

No proof required: Cut tax rates, increase tax revenue

Contrary to forecast expectations, the corporate tax cut of September 2019 have led to an increase in tax revenues, and given a boost to economic growth

RBI, RBI rate cut, Nirmala Sitharaman, GDP growth, corporate tax cut, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, NREGA, Tax Policy, RBI data

Flawed findings show NSO needs reforms

Sometimes, a proud nation has to recognise that its statistical institution is failing the most basic of credibility “smell” tests; and is in dire need of reform.

consumption, consumption survey

Corporate tax cut: The making of history

We believe that there is a strong possibility of a final corporate tax cut with the adoption of the direct tax code (DTC).

Arun Jaitley: A politician savant

We will all miss Arun Jaitley very much—for his non-partisan friendship, his intellect & his immense contributions to policy making. Above all, he was a brilliant ideas man

Arun Jaitley,BJP,Modi-Jaitley-Shah, GST, nirmla sitharaman, bankruptcy code, GST council, GST law, GST revenue, GDP

No economy has sustained GDP growth with a real policy rate above 1.75%

Is India as different as claimed by “experts”? My own experience, and interpretation, is that India is very different because the experts (perhaps including those at the Central Bank) look at monetary policy very differen

economy, indian economy, 5 trillion economyGDP growth, Indian GDP growth, KPMG report,

Borrow in foreign currency, profit from market imperfections

Sooner India engages in foreign currency borrowing, the quicker it can profit from this market imperfection, shows cross-country evidence for the last twenty years.

Survey data or economic environment can’t be interpreted the same way as halcyon days

In this article, I would like to point to some of the perils of poor data quality and often erroneous interpretation.

data analysis, GDP growth, data collection, NSSO data, Central Statistics Office, NSSO employment surveys, socio economic, data policy 

Budget 2019: Nirmala Sitharaman shows how future budgets should be

Budget 2019 India: Excise taxes went up for those the FMs wanted to punish, and down for those they wanted to encourage.

Budget 2019-20, Union Budget 2019 India

Arvind Subramanian’s method suggests Germany overestimates GDP the most

Arvind Subramanian’s method of estimating GDP suggests that Germany overestimates the most; brazil underestimates GDP the most—India only a mild outlier.

Reinterpreting GDP growth: Is it possible that no one knew about over-estimation?

GDP revisions undergo revisions, around the world, of 10-50 basis points, but a revision of 250 bp, annually, is unheard of

The second point relates to GDP revisions involved with the base-year change from 2004-5 to 2011-12.

What explains Earthquake Modi?

There is no going back; and the people believe Modi and trust Modi to deliver. That is why this election was about the delivery, and promise, of the Modi government.

Lok Sabha election 2019: Is this the beginning of the end of Congress dynastic rule?

By the strangest of coincidences, the election forecast (for BJP and Congress alone) contained in my book Citizen Raj (and reproduced here), the exit polls seemed to centre around 270-280 seats for the BJP and around 50-60 se

2019 election, lok sabha elections, exit poll, exit poll 2019, india, india elections, general elections, opinion news

Will 2019 election be another black swan event for Modi?

Opinions vary, but not the reality. 2014 election was contested around the economy—2019 election is being fought along similar lines. Will the result be similar?

A Rashomon election: How ideology blinds people from seeing plain facts

NSSO should be again made a leader in the provision and quality of statistics, as it was under the chairmanship of the late PC Mahalanobis in the 1950s and1960s.

Is India’s unemployment really at a 45-year high? Here’s what data reveals

Indian institutions are operating with the same mindset and technology and outlook that the pioneers did 70 years ago. But the world, and technology, has moved on. Not us, though.

Flawed Nyay programme is political hara-kiri by Congress

The Congress will succeed in political hara kiri—it would upset, and alienate, almost half the population, from the 21st to 65th percentile.

Congress confused over NYAY; scheme cutoff nothing but updated Tendulkar formula

Congress consulted extensively with economists to define minimum income for NYAY—-all it did, really, was to update the tendulkar poverty line to today’s prices

Congress, Congress NYAY, NYAY scheme, PAP, Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, congress scheme for poor, UPA government, 

Fact vs fiction — ASI data sheds light on job growth

On March 15, 2018, 108 economists and scientists released a letter titled, Economic Statistics in Shambles, published in the prestigious Economic and Political Weekly, that accused the Modi government of suppressing data. It

Fact vs fiction — ASI data sheds light on job growth

Bad loser? Why Congress bickers about economic data

There is a change in the use of economic data since the 2014 election. Unlike before, misuse of economic data appears to be politically motivated.

Lok Sabha polls 2019: Congress ‘natural enemy’ of regional parties, alliance math is a road to nowhere

If the national partner is small and you are big (at a state level), it is a zero-sum game—the smaller party will lose.

The Mahagathbandhan constituents see that as a real danger with the Congress. (File photo)
Income Tax Calculator, Budget 2019, How to Calculate Income Tax


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