Finance
 
The Chit fund crisis: Should not put all financial intermediaries in the same bracket
Abhijit Banerjee , Maitreesh Ghatak
Posted on: 03 May 2013
Topics:   Finance , Crime

The government has announced a bailout package for the participants of unregulated saving schemes that have been put at risk by the current Chit fund crisis in West Bengal. In this article, Banerjee and Ghatak caution against putting deposit-takers and micro-lenders in the same bracket while considering stricter financial regulation to prevent recurrence of such events.
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Challenges and priorities for financial sector reform in India
K.P. Krishnan , Nirvikar Singh
Posted on: 17 Nov 2014

I4I Editor Nirvikar Singh (Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz) interviews K.P. Krishnan (Former Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance) on the central government’s plans and priorities for financial sector reform, and associated challenges. Dr Krishnan provides his perspective on issues including the regulatory architecture, financial inclusion initiatives, strengthening the banking system, and infrastructure financing.
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The financial inclusion agenda and Aadhaar
MS Sriram
Posted on: 18 Mar 2015

The central government is pushing financial inclusion in a big way. In this article, MS Sriram discusses the role of identity in financial inclusion, and the importance of Aadhaar in this context. He argues that while Aadhaar has facilitated opening of bank accounts by providing a verifiable identity to the poor, it has distracted the financial inclusion agenda by claiming to be a ‘fix-all’ solution.
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14th Finance Commission: A trust-based approach towards local governments
Meera Mehta , Dinesh Mehta
Posted on: 27 Apr 2015

The 14th Finance Commission has been hailed as ‘path-breaking’ for recommending larger fund allocations to state governments and giving them more autonomy in spending these funds. In this article, Meera Mehta and Dinesh Mehta highlight that the Commission has also recognised the need to trust and respect local government bodies, and has allocated much larger funds to them. Will this approach work and will state governments cooperate?
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Reining in gold imports
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 12 Jun 2015
Tags:   imports , RBI

In an attempt to reduce gold imports, the Indian government has proposed three new schemes – gold monetisation, sovereign gold bonds, and domestic production of branded gold coins. In this article, Prof. Gurbachan Singh diagnoses the market failure and government failure involved in large gold imports, and provides a broad perspective on the issue. He examines the potential effectiveness of the schemes, and suggests policy alternatives.
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An economist’s view on the new government’s initiatives
Pranab Bardhan
Posted on: 19 Dec 2014
Topics:   Finance

In this article, Pranab Bardhan, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, provides his perspective on some of the initiatives of the new Indian government at the centre in their first six months in office – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jan Dhan Yojana, ‘Make in India’ campaign, and the proposed changes to MNREGA. In his view, inefficient subsidies must give way to a basic monthly income for all citizens.
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Transforming Indian agriculture: The role of credit policy
Amartya Lahiri , Dilip Mookherjee
Posted on: 14 Dec 2015
Topics:   Finance , Agriculture

Despite various policy attempts at priority sector lending to poor farmers, very little progress has been made on the ground, suggesting problems in the design and implementation of these policies. In this article, Amartya Lahiri and Dilip Mookherjee and explore where the problem really lies and what can be done to address the issues.
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Financial inclusion for the poor: Using RCTs for effective programme design
Ruchira Bhattamishra
Posted on: 06 Jan 2016
Topics:   Finance

While the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana – the Indian government’s flagship financial inclusion scheme - is impressive in its mission, it does not seem to have achieved meaningful results so far. In this article, Ruchira Bhattamishra, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Development Research, Sustainability and Technical Advancement, makes a case for the use of the Randomised Controlled Trial methodology for impact evaluation to gather credible evidence on the effectiveness of pilot financial programmes/particular components of programmes, before the government invests heavily in scaling them up.
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Fiscal deficit and growth slowdown
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 17 Feb 2016

Ahead of the Union Budget, several policymakers and economists in India have advocated increasing public spending to spur economic growth. In this article, Gurbachan Singh argues that even if India is facing a slowdown, a larger fiscal deficit is not the solution – more so now that RBI and the government have adopted inflation targeting. The prospect of a fiscal crisis may be farfetched but India may be incurring costs differently.
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Achieving financial inclusion: Going cashless
Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay
Posted on: 06 Apr 2016
Topics:   Finance

A World Bank survey reveals that while about half of all individuals in India had bank accounts in 2014, only 12% had made a cashless transaction in the past year. In this article, Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay, Professor of Economics and Finance at the Great Lakes Institute of Management, contends that cashless transactions can be encouraged by ensuring that payments – beyond government transfers - are made directly into the bank accounts of recipients.
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