Surjit S Bhalla

Articles By Surjit S Bhalla

151 Articles

Modi’s sanitation, pro-women and pro-poor: If open-defecation free works, under-mortality rates should have fallen

One of the signature reforms of PM Modi, announced from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15, 2014, was the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan programme.

Opinion News

The question of whether demonetisation failed or succeeded is not a spiritual or a moral question

Is it too much to expect that, in this data-dependent world, one should discuss hard evidence rather than soft opinions?

Opinion News

GDP Report -Misreading the truth

The level of GDP in the new base year (2011-12) was lower by about 2% than the previous estimate for 2011-12 based on the old (2004-05) data.

GDP, economy, GDP growth, inflation, economic data News

The Piketty myth & Indian reality

Crony capitalism notwithstanding, there is NO evidence that India has experienced an above average increase in income inequality

Indian inequality, capitalism, Billionaire Raj, NCAER,  inequality in India, crony capitalism in India News

Absence of true fiscal fundamentals

At a minimum, the consolidated Centre-plus-state deficit for FY18 would be about 0.5% of GDP less than now assumed by the rating agencies, and other experts.

Opinion News

Jobs growth and voting with your feet

2018 is the year for which the maximum number of claims of jobless growth have been made—it may well be the year of maximum employment gains in the last 15 years

Opinion News

Job gains vs fake analysis: Let’s debate facts, and causes

Let us debate facts, and causes. Leave fake analysis to the trolls. Let Twitter, and newspaper discussion, rise above the unintelligent discourse that passes for analysis

Opinion News

India’s middle income now raise the poverty line

When the findings of NSSO-CE 2017-18 are released, they will (likely) mark an important departure of India from an absolute poverty obsessed “poor” country, towards a middle-class, middle-income economy.

poverty line, india poverty line,  absolute poverty, poverty statistics,  per capita consumption, Inequality News

The elite should pay for their education

One mistake has fed into another to yield madness at every corner. The children of the poorest of the poor, the ones most discriminated against on the basis of caste or religion, did not receive basic quality education, so th

India News

India’s inflation not yet viral

Pronouncing the rebirth, or even a significant acceleration in Indian inflation, maybe a trifle premature

MPC members, RBI, inflation forecasts, Viral Acharya, demonetisation, Monetary Policy, PFCE News

Assembly elections 2018: Will Karnataka toll for the Congress?

High stakes for the Congress: If the Congress wins in Karnataka, it can rightfully claim that the 2014 national election, and UP 2017, were two troughs from where it is manfully bouncing back.

assembly elections 2018, karnataka polls 2018, congress, bjp News

Robust job creation in India: Not fake news

The best macro-economic performance ever in India was obtained in 2014-18; Modi’s challenge remains the reining in of the enemies within

At the time of the national elections in May 2014, India’s macro-economy was in shambles. News

No proof required! Education as wealth: Who is on 1st?

the World Bank is guilty of the “not so scholarly” traditions of Western scholars to ignore scholarship from elsewhere, even when it is right under their nose

Credit Suisse, oxfam, education as wealth, The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018, world bank, wealth inequality, TNWN, Raghuram Raja News

Goebbels and fake news: Spot the difference

National elections are scheduled for May 2019, and may happen sooner. I have often said, to anyone willing to listen, that fake news was “invented” in India long before making its way to the shores of that other great dem

Fakenews, Fake news India, Post card news, Postcard news founder arrested, Mahesh Vikram Hegde, Bengaluru news, News

Why a constructive debate has opened up with regard to the imposition of LTCG tax

A constructive debate has opened up with regard to the imposition of the long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax ( In my article “The Little Revenue LTCG tax”, I reached the following two conclusions.

LTCG tax, Finance Bill, capital gains, Cost Inflation Index, Rajya Sabha, news on LTCG tax News

The little revenue LTCG tax: No proof required

The LTCG formulation is not only flawed in design, but also likely to yield very little tax revenue. At the same time, it manifestly increases the discretionary power of the taxman and this has its own set of governance probl

Opinion News

Modi govt has helped transform the fiscal landscape, making tax revenue a non-problem

Budget 2018: Budget 2019 can best be described as one made possible by an ongoing revolution in tax collection. This revolution is beginning to make possible another revolution in income transfers to the bottom third of the p

Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget on Feb 1 News

Smart policies for redistribution: India can, and must, reform its welfare system for a transforming India

If the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) report is to be believed, 60% of the Indian population was poor, according to the World Bank poverty line of PPP $3.2 per person per day.

redistribution, redistribution policies, india welfare system, poverty line, india transformation News

Piketty inequality in India fails smell tests

The implied savings estimates for India, derived from Piketty estimates of income distribution, do not conform to any known model of savings behaviour

inequality in India, New Wealth of Nations, Piketty result, World Inequality Report, NCAER, NSS consumption survey, IRS, india, middle class in India News

No proof required: A direct outcome of demonetisation is a sharp increase in FY18 in tax buoyancy

A direct outcome of DeMo is a sharp increase in FY18 in tax buoyancy. Given this “unexpected” result, will the knee-jerk critics of demo please stand down?

demonetisation, tax buoyancy, GDP, GDP growth, GDP growth rate, Modi government, GST collections News

As 2018 dawns, Surjit Bhalla says world is on course for good growth, low inflation, lower taxation

The IMF forecast is for AE inflation rates to stay “constant” at around 1.6% in 2018, before inching towards 2% in 2022.

, Surjit Bhalla says world is on course for good growth, News

Gujarat election result: Were high and accelerating real interest rates responsible for this political verdict?

Were high, and accelerating, real interest rates responsible for the political result in Gujarat? No way to know for sure, but...

Apple, iPhones,  Apple Inc, apple phones, iOs News

Gujarat elections 2017: Opinion polls suggest this may not be a Rahul Gandhi moment, says Surjit Bhalla

Make no mistake about it. The Gujarat election result is important, and particularly so for the Congress.

rahul gandhi, congress, bjp, Election Commission, Gujarat assembly elections, gujarat elections News

RBI, MPC imposed big cost on economy, says Surjit Bhalla

The first year of operation of the MPC has imposed considerable costs on the economy with very few benefits. What explains MPC’s decisions?

RBI, MPC, GDP growth, Indian economy, Rajan patel, ministry of finance, Raghuram Rajan, Mumbai, HRA inflation, oil inflation News

Demonetisation anniversary: Note ban well accepted now as a political success; it may well be an economic triumph too, says Surjit Bhalla

Today is the first anniversary of an unprecedented and bold political and economic experiment—demonetisation (DM).

Opinion News

Modi’s toilet push is key to improving nutrition in India; here’s how

An ill-informed remedy can only aggravate a patient’s illness, not make her get well.

Hunger Index, Hunger Index for India, IFPRI, poverty, India, RBI News

On Indian economy, Surjit Bhalla says, debate evidence, not manufacture conclusions

In what will go down (sadly) as the most perfect anticipation, I had said that (Data vs. gossip: Who should win, hereafter DvG,, FE). “My plea… – let us debate evidence, and debate how to interpret the fac

Indian economy, economy News