ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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South Asia's Free Trade Agreement: Strategies and Options

The implementation of the South Asian Free Trade Area agreement in 2006 suggests that regional economic integration is being seriously pursued in south Asia. Given the economic asymmetry in south Asia and the predominant position of India in the region, the article proposes India as an anchor economy that can connect south Asia with east Asia to form an Asia-wide free trade arrangement. It suggests a review of the existing agreements like the Bangkok Agreement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation in terms of membership and sectoral coverage as these can act as potent instruments in facilitating the south Asia-east Asia economic integration.

Issues in Canal Infrastructure Development and Canal Irrigation Management

The Gujarat government is experimenting with different approaches to develop canal infrastructure and manage canal irrigation below tertiary (minor) canal in the Sardar Sarovar Project. Though the project is based on the principle of participatory irrigation management, hardly any water users' associations have taken over canal management below the level of the minor canal. This study attempts to understand the dynamics of canal irrigation management at the village service area in the absence of proper infrastructure development and institutional arrangements.

Maternal Deaths in India:An Exploration

The latest estimate of the maternal mortality ratio for India stands at 301 for every 1,00,000 live births. Though there has been a decline, reaching the set goal of 109 by 2015 remains a challenge. Maternal mortality is strongly associated with rural areas and low standards of living. For these women, access to quality healthcare services is difficult. In general, efficient antenatal services would help in identifying high-risk women and providing referrals.

Accountability to Whom?

The institutional set up embedded in the World Bank's Accountability Framework reconfigures and fragments the sites of political negotiation within and across the nation state. Additionally, key development actors' mobility across institutional and geographical sites of political negotiation escapes any form of accountability. Once assessed in specific social contexts, institutional models are thus subject to transgressions and negotiations, opening up spaces for resistance.

Preference Erosion

It is hoped that the World Trade Organisation's Doha round of negotiations will result in significant reductions in tariffs on agricultural and industrial goods and services. However, least developed countries fear that tariff reduction deals amongst developed countries may erode the preference margin they enjoy as far as their exports are concerned. How will this "erosion of preference" affect Bangladesh's exports?

On Bringing Down the Fiscal Deficit

This article argues that undertaking a contractionary policy to cut down various government expenditures with the intention of bringing down the fiscal deficit as a proportion of GDP is fundamentally flawed. And that it is the responsibility of the central government to step up government expenditure.

Growth Acceleration in India

The Indian economy experienced a structural break and acceleration in trend rate of growth during the mid-1980s. The mild reforms of this period played a key role in crossing the 5 per cent benchmark as far as economic growth was concerned . The more comprehensive reforms of the 1990s provided a further boost to growth during the post-1991 reform period. The average annual growth rates during the pre-1991 reform and the post-1991 reform periods are significantly different. Further, the concerns of "fragility" and "unsustainability" of growth during the 1980s are overstated.

What Affects Changes in Cereal Consumption?

This article diagnoses the factors that contribute to changes in cereal consumption at the household level across four expenditure groups, both for rural and urban regions. These factors can be decomposed into own price effect, substitution price effect, income effect and tastes and preferences.

Poverty in Manipur

There is a marked difference in the extent and nature of poverty between the valley and the hills in Manipur. Besides the poor and uneven economic performance of the state and the lackadaisical implementation of poverty alleviation schemes, the failure of land reform measures in the hills is of particular importance in explaining the persistence of poverty.

A Causal Investigation of Aggregate Output Fluctuations in India

This article is an attempt to understand the causal factors behind fluctuations in aggregate output. We find an absence of bidirectional causality between the gross domestic product residual and the gross domestic capital formation residual as well as between the GDP residual and the residual of the combined expenditures of the central and state governments, while the causality between the balance of trade residual and GDP residual is weakly unidirectional.

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