Reimagining DFIs in the Times of COVID-19 and Beyond

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 44 | January 28, 2021

It is widely anticipated that a new development finance institution would be announced by India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, as part of her budget proposals to be presented on February 1, 2021. The Union Budget 2021 offers the central government an extraordinary opportunity to address India’s economic and financial challenges amidst the economic slump triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The upcoming budget has the potential to lay down a roadmap for a people-centered recovery by providing immediate relief measures to those who have lost livelihoods and stimulating the economy by…

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Corporate-owned Banks: An Idea Whose Time Has Not Yet Come

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 43 | November 30, 2020

On November 20, the Reserve Bank of India released the Report the Internal Working Group (IWG) that reviewed the existing licensing and regulatory guidelines relating to ownership, control, and corporate structure of private sector banks in India. The working group’s most significant but contentious recommendation is to allow large corporate and industrial houses to promote and run banks in India. “Large corporate/industrial houses may be permitted to promote banks only after necessary amendments to the Banking Regulations Act, 1949”, states the report.

Since the nationalization of 14 large…

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India and South Africa’s Proposal for a Waiver on Global IPR Laws: What it Means? Why it is Imperative?

By Biswajit Dhar and KM Gopakumar | Briefing Paper # 42 | November 4, 2020

Access to medicines at prices that the patients can afford has been a recurrent concern for the global community ever since the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) was adopted as one of the covered agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO). The TRIPS Agreement is a charter for strengthening intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection and enforcement and over the past 25 years, there are instances galore where holders of intellectual property (IP) have exercised their rights to extract exorbitant rents from the users…

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Covid-19 Pushes the Indian Economy into a Tailspin. Is There a Way Out?

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 41 | September 19, 2020

India has become the world’s new hotspot of the Covid-19 pandemic as infection cases have surged in recent weeks. On September 7, India overtook Brazil with 4.2 million confirmed cases to become the country with the second-largest number of confirmed cases in the world. On September 16, the total number of confirmed cases surged past five million (Figure 1). If the current trend continues, India may soon become the world’s worst-hit country surpassing the US.

With more than 84,000 people succumbing to Covid-19 infection so far, India’s death toll has…

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Reconsidering the Idea of Pigou Wealth Tax in the Time of Covid-19

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 40 | July 30, 2020

Arthur Cecil Pigou (1877-1959), a British economist, is well known for his contributions to welfare economics. One of the most prolific writers of his time, Pigou wrote over a dozen books and more than 100 articles and pamphlets dealing with both theoretical and practical aspects of welfare economics. His writings cover a wide range of human welfare issues from unemployment to housing to taxation.

Some of his most famous books include Wealth and Welfare (1912), The Economics of Welfare (1920), A Capital Levy and a Levy on War Wealth (1920),…

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