Monday, March 16, 2015

Alienation and Exclusion in the Northeast

Parvin Sultana

Northeast, a region which continues to spin stories of alienation and exclusion, was brought under British Empire only in 1826 under the Treaty of Yandaboo that ended the Anglo-Burmese war. And after independence it became a part of India. The accession of the region continues to be contested as being unjust. Manipuris feel their king was forced to sign the Instrument of Accession under duress as he was not allowed to discuss it with his Royal Advisors. On similar lines the Nagas feel that they were defeated by the British not India as there was no such entity as India before independence. Hence after the British left, the Nagas should have been left free instead of being passed over to India.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Myth of Larger Devolution to States

Sona Mitra

The Union Budget 2015-16 is the first full-fledged budget placed by a government which was elected with a large majority a mere nine months ago. The direction of the Union budget remains fixed at fiscal consolidation with a renewed aggression translating into massive expenditure compression and several concessions announced around tax exemptions, particularly in the realm of direct taxes. The total expenditure of the Union government has declined from Rs.17,94,892 crore in 2014-15BE to Rs.17,77,477crore in 2015-16BE. In nominal terms, the decline in expenditure comes mostly on account of the reduced Plan expenditure of a magnitude of Rs. 1,09,723 crore.  However Plan, Non-plan and overall expenditures as percentage of GDP shows a decline, more so for Plan allocations.