ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Consequences of the 1987 Monsoon Failure-A Preliminary Assessment

Consequences of the 1987 Monsoon Failure A Preliminary Assessment Arun Kumar Roughly 40 per cent of the population or around 300 million people have been directly affected by the drought. Families of landless and marginal farmers may be taken to constitute 50 per cent of this affected population and they are unlikely to find work till November when the next rabi operation can be expected to start. With a major loss of incomes in the economy, other sectors, like industry will also face deficiency of demand and production all round is likely to decline. Budgetary resources of government are likely to face a severe strain and the balance of payments is likely to turn further adverse with the need to import a wide range of essential items.

Strife in Higher Education-Needed a National Incomes Policy

fashionable these days to speak of India as 'a nation-in-the making'. One might add that if you leave it to the ruling classes, India may well be on its way to be 'a nation-in-the-unmaking') This third path is today the correct theoretical position for the pursuit and advancement of the alternative revolutionary people's politics in Punjab and in India as a whole. As such it is also the only effective counter to the Sikh extremists' ideological-political practice

State and Market Going Round in Circles

State and Market: The Politics of the Public and the Private edited by Jan-Erik Lane, Sage, California, 1985; pp x +304.
THE book under review consists of 11 papers including a long introduction to the subject of the book, i e, the demarcation bet ween the area of operation of the state of public policy and that of the free market in a capitalist economy. Some of these papers were presented at a workshop in Freiburg, sponsored by the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). Demarcation involves understanding the interrelationships and possible choices between the two sectors. The question is not one of having the state against not having it. It is really one of the extent and the form of explicit intervention by the state in a capitalist economy. These are seen to be important since the expansion of state activities in the economic sphere limits the space available to capitalists both through competition and through inefficiencies. This is increasingly seen as bad for society.

Budget 1987-88 Continuing Crisis of Growth and Growing Surplus

and Growing Surplus Arun Kumar The 'Economic Survey, 1986-87' and the Union Budget for 1987-88 claim that the growth of the industrial sector has accelerated. The real growth, however, has been in the services sector which today has become the lead sector. It is in (his sector that the under-reporting of income is also substantial and therefore the growth rate officially given is less than the actual.

Software Policy Where Are We Headed

Arun Kumar Software is an advanced techonology product and of strategic importance to the country. To develop it widely would require massive investments in spite of it being a labour-intensive industry. Due to the nature of the product, investment in this field is very risky. Further, the low labour costs in India are unlikely to provide any cost advantages to Indian software on account of the small size of the home market and the large marketing costs in the international market. As such, government protection is crucial for the survival of this industry in India.

1906-87 Budget Signs of Growth Pains without Growth

without Growth Arun Kumar The Budget for 1986-87 presented by the government as pro-growth and pro-poor is neither. Within a modified model of 'conflict', as applicable to the Indian context, any pro-poor policy must accelerate the growth of national income as a pre-requisite. The earlier policy of growth through an accelerated programme of public investments has been replaced in the recent past by dependence on increase in private investments. However, caught in the contradictions of conflict over taxation and expenditure policies to influence shares in national income, the new strategy has lost its thrust in the Budget for 1986-87. Yet the old policy has not been revived. The contradictions it had run into, which prevented the necessary resource mobilisation effort from being made, have not been resolved. The growth impulses in the economy thus face uncertain prospects and the 'conflict' over shares in national income is likely to sharpen further to the detriment of the lot of the unorganised poor THE Central budget for 1986-87 has come towards the end of a year of major changes in economic policies. The central budget for 1985-86 had ushered in major changes in regard to direct taxes, and announced substantial alterations in the industrial policies (like, delicensing of 25 industries and changes in MRTP). These were followed up by the provision of broadbanding of similar products for licensing purposes, further changes in MRTP, policy initiatives in textiles, sugar and electronics industries, announcement of the Long Term Fiscal Policy (LTFP), etc. Important reports, like the Chakravarti Committee Report and the Report on the Black Economy were received and action initiated. In sum, the contours of a new economic policy were becoming clear. In contrast, the central budget for 1986-87 appeals to be a damp squib.

Sizing Up the Black Economy-Some Issues Raised by the NIPFP Methodology

Some Issues Raised by the NIPFP Methodology Arun Kumar The method used by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy in its report "Aspects of the Black Economy in India" to obtain the size of the black economy, while representing a major new effort, promises far more than it delivers and a reliable and accurate method of estimating the size of the black economy still remains elusive.

Union Budget, 1985-86-Haves Have while Have-Nots Nought

Haves Have while Have-Nots Nought Arun Kumar The important ingredients of the 1985-80 Budget are (a) major cuts in direct taxes, (b) increases in indirect taxes, (e) the largest planned budgetary gap in addition to the biggest market borrowing plan, (d) an attempt to improve the climate for business in India, and, most significantly, (e) a paltry increase in the Plan size, in spite of 1985-86 being the first year of the Seventh Plan.

The Chequered Economy in Black and White

The Chequered Economy in Black and White Arun Kumar The Black Economy in India: Problems and Policies by Kamal Nayan Kabra; Chanakya Publications, Delhi; pp x + 189, Rs 80.

PUNJAB- Wages of Past Sins

country over the developments in the Valley, Far from raising the issue of denial of civil liberties to the people, detentions without trial and expressing legitimate Kashmiri aspirations, the media are full of the Congress(I) outcry against threats to national interest in Kashmir and accusations of Farooq's complicity with anti-national forces. He is being accused of being soft towards them because more of them have not been detained and of being soft towards detenus because they are not being treated more harshly.

BONDED LABOUR-Freedom without Rehabilitation

ing a distorted version of the facts, not borne out by the record", The court chose not to express any opinion on the fate of Paul and Daniel, as it has directed the matter to criminal prosecution. Nevertheless it said that "they have not met with a tragic end in an encounter as is usually claimed and the only possible inference that can be drawn is that both must have met an unnatural death". Though the court granted the prayers of the petitioners with regard to the compensation and criminal prosecution, it did not grant the prayer to prosecute the Defence Ministry for BONDED LABOUR perjury and distortion of facts. The court rejected the final plea of the Attorney General for further adjournment for it only means "to shut the eyes to the reality and to pursue a mirage" For Thungkhuila Daniel and Vangamla Paul, perhaps, there never was a mirage. Yet the historic judgement of the Supreme Court would have served its purpose if it makes democratic public opinion more sensitive to life and death in the disturbed areas of North- Eastern India.

An Election-Year Budget

Arun Kumar The credit for the generally muted reaction to the 1984-85 Budget must go to the finesse of the budget drafting exercise which becomes obvious the moment one takes a careful look at the Budget's key provisions. Cuts in personal taxation have been granted with a view no pleasing the middle class. However, the real benefits of these high visibility measures would be enjoyed by the rich. Excise duty cuts on certain items have been suggested on the grounds that this would help to stabilise or even bring down prices, but the more important reason appears to be to give a boost to the sagging demand for the products of selected industries. Similarly, the Finance Bill appears to contain a number of measures to check evasion and avoidance of taxes. However, all these measures taken together will hardly touch the proverbial tip of the iceberg.


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