Project Leader: Dr. Parthasarathi Shome
Commencement: February 2011
Completion: January 2012
Funded by: Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India
Recognizing the need for strong research support, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) requested ICRIER to: (i) contribute research inputs for India’s deliberations on G20 issues; (ii) assist the Indian co-chair of the G20 Working Group on Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth; (iii) develop a comprehensive macroeconometric model for Indian growth forecasts; and (iv) assist in capacity building at DEA. The broad objectives of the research programme were to keep abreast of global thinking on these issues, update and contextualize them from the Indian standpoint, crystallize the issues to be raised by India through a series of research papers, Policy Issues and Options Papers (PIOPs), Position Notes (PNs) and Quick Response Notes (QRNs).
In order to develop a vision for India’s G20 deliberations, ICRIER commissioned 14 globally renowned economists to prepare specialist research papers that could influence thinking with respect to government policy. These covered a wide range of issues including indicative guidelines to assess: (i) persistently large imbalances; (ii) international burden sharing; (iii) infrastructure investment in India and developing countries; (iv) structural impediments to India’s growth; (v) impact of financial sector regulatory reforms on developing countries and India; (vi) relevance of Tobin Tax and policy options for a financial sector tax; (vii) regulation of commodity markets; (viii) food security; (ix) reforming international financial institutions (IFIs); (x) risks of having only one national currency in the international monetary system (IMS); and (xi) strategic regional positions that India might take. Issues relating to fuel subsidy, and challenges in energy and climate change were also addressed.
In a separate stream of work, PIOPs and QRNs were prepared by senior researchers at ICRIER. The aim of PIOPs was to highlight the emerging issues of concern related to G20 themes and suggest available policy options. The QRNs were mainly rapid responses to emerging policy needs. The PIOPs and QRNs were prepared in consultation with DEA experts, other line ministries and regulators. As PIOPs deal with issues of current importance, they were updated periodically in line with the timelines of G20 negotiations and discussions of DEA. In addition to these deliverables, a monthly bulletin was prepared that monitored trends in the global economy and in the trade and financial sectors with special reference to G20 countries. The bulletins were circulated by DEA to other G20 countries.
As part of the project, ICRIER has prepared a public website as well as an intranet site. The website has introductory information about the G20 process and the Indian G20 Secretariat, G20 news, communiqu’s and statements issued at G20 meetings and summits, and speeches by Indian leaders at G20 events. The outputs of the project, particularly the finalized specialist research papers, are being disseminated. The intranet site would serve as a central document repository for all government and ICRIER personnel working on G20 issues.
This DEA-ICRIER research collaboration, the first of its kind in India, has contributed immensely to India’s G20 deliberations and enhanced human capital at DEA as was envisaged in the programme.