Category: Public Policy

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Larger incomes to tax or larger taxes on incomes?

Budget 2020 cares for people’s economic aspirations, says Axis Bank’s Akhilesh Tilotia

HippoBrain conversation

In 2015, I was summoned to the North Block from the office of the then Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha. For somebody who worked in a bank, my first thought was that some hell had broken loose somewhere; I may have written something that was a slip-up or something. We ended up having a one-hour long conversation and that was it. Nothing … Read More HippoBrain conversation

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Getting the vaccine to a billion plus people

India can learn a lot from its experience in managing cash – getting a billion people what they need can be planned effectively. A vaccine for Covid-19 is expected to come sometime over the next few months – hopefully in this year. Once a vaccine is available, getting it to India’s billion plus people is a logistical challenge with many moral and ethical questions … Read More Getting the vaccine to a billion plus people

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Making the frontier sector work

Many of the networks of value could start to become ‘utilities’ as they become more embedded in everyday lives. In the previous article, we introduced the idea of the D-sector. The three traditional sectors have a well-defined, or largely settled, understanding of the many elements that build them: (1) what resources are required, (2) employment and its regulations, (3) the path to skills, (4) … Read More Making the frontier sector work

Landmark Reforms in Indian Agriculture

Notes from a Live Webinar co-hosted by Axis Bank and agribazaar The panel was represented by senior government officials, investors, developmental agencies, agri-industrialists and a banker. The reforms undertaken by the Government were outlined and explained by the four Secretaries to the Government of India. These reforms have been variously called the “watershed moment”, “1991 moment”, and the “unshackling” of Indian agriculture, especially since … Read More Landmark Reforms in Indian Agriculture

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Building “digital cocoons” for the population

Covid-19 highlights the importance of and urgent need to build ‘digital cocoons’ for the whole population. The Covid-19 series of lock-downs have brought very different experiences for varied segments of society: the contrast cannot be starker than the social media posts of fancy meals at home compared to the long walks back to hometowns. What explains the difference? Those who have been able to … Read More Building “digital cocoons” for the population

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The Ladder of Development and Progress

Development and Progress go hand-in-hand; getting on and remaining on the ladders key to economic growth for individuals and nations. As India changed and economically progressed, it brought hope. There was indeed a pathway out of the poverty that the slow growth of the many decades had foisted upon the society. There was now a way to get out of ration queues to become … Read More The Ladder of Development and Progress

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Larger incomes to tax or larger taxes on incomes?

Budget 2020 cares for people’s economic aspirations, says Axis Bank’s Akhilesh Tilotia. India’s response to its dilemma will determine whether budgets of the next decade will have larger incomes to tax or larger taxes on incomes. This Budget Speech of the finance minister was one of the longest in recent history. Her previous Budget speech in July last year was around 11,000 words. This … Read More Larger incomes to tax or larger taxes on incomes?

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State finances: Finding the monies

As the Centre and States try to find GST compensation cess monies, it is time to look beyond the present, to see how the future could unfold for State finances. The financial relationship between states and the Centre has been in news recently. The Fifteenth Finance Commission submitted its report to the president; there have been some delays in payment of the GST compensation … Read More State finances: Finding the monies

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Fiscal architecture for a US$5 trillion economy

The evolution of India’s tax-to-GDP ratio will require significant political and social consensus—a strategic modelling and planning of tax POLICIES is required. India’s tax-to-GDP ratio at the government level has hovered around 18-19% of GDP over the last few years (between FY17 and FY20E). Coupled with disinvestments, dividends, and other receipts, the central government mops up another 5-6% of GDP, taking the total revenues … Read More Fiscal architecture for a US$5 trillion economy

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Guiding markets from crisis to calm

This requires confidence, coordination and capital; resolution can’t be imposed using policy actions. When commemorating anniversaries, we tend to reserve our special attention for round-number, decadal years. Last year, around this time, the world—and India—remembered and recounted its lessons from the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) that reverberated across the globe in September 2008. Since it is the nature of history to repeat, but not … Read More Guiding markets from crisis to calm

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A flight plan for tech regulation

The onus falls on business to continue to engender society’s and regulators’ trust in the usefulness of technology. New technologies bring with them challenges of regulation. The key challenges facing regulators in the context of drones are privacy, safety and security. Drones have captured headlines this week. The spectacular drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities knocked out ~5% of daily oil supply. The … Read More A flight plan for tech regulation