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that the functions of the supply agencies and the extension service are clearly delineated. The extension service should not be responsible for en- suring the availability of inputs, filling in loan applications, or collecting, debts. These are the jobs of the supply and credit agencies.

NEW DELHI- Scuttling Indian Know-How in Fertilisers

NEW DELHI Scuttling Indian Know-How in Fertilisers THE report of the so-called expert group on the choice of a foreign collaborator for the proposed 1,350 tonnes per day ammonia plants based on Bombay High gas has some curious features which deserve close attention before the government takes a final decision on it. It is understood that the choice of the group has fallen on a fresh entrant to the fertiliser scene in India, a US firm called C II Brown. To other bidders who have done some work in India for setting up fertiliser plants in the past in association with one or other Indian public sector agency have been rejected. According to knowledgeable sources, C II Brown is not among the leaders in the field and its experience in setting up large fertiliser plants, specially in the range of 1,350 tonne per day and above, is nowhere near that of some of the competitors, such as, for instance, Kellogs of USA or Haider Topsoe of Denmark.

NEW DELHI- Wasted Technical Manpower

NEW DELHI Wasted Technical Manpower THE question of upgrading technology and R and D is an important one. It can also become an alibi for extending and enlarging collaboration arrangements for foreign technology transfer. Even as Bharat Electricals is in the final stages of entering into a 15-year deal with Siemens of West Germany and has been questioned in this light, the signing of a comprehensive 15-20 year agreement on economic and technical co-operation with the Soviet Union, at the time of Soviet Prime Minister Kosygin's visit, sanctifies simi arrangements in other areas

NEW DELHI-Political Economy of the Budget

NEW DELHI Political Economy of the Budget B M CHARAN SINGH concluded his budget speech by putting forth a plea for a national consensus behind certain laud. able objectives as he saw them and claimed that his budget was a "small step'' in that direction. But the reaction to his budget

NEW DELHI-R and D Farewell to Self-Reliance

R and D: Farewell to Self-Reliance?
B M THE tension which is binding up on the political front is hardly conducive to worthwhile discussion on other issues of importance. Even so Y B Chavan has taken a significant initiative

NEW DELHI-Rich Farmers Lobby in Full Cry

Rich Farmers' Lobby in Full Cry B M THE prolonged in-fighting in the'ruling party and the near-panic that has spread in the Janata leadership, after the return of Indira Gandhi to Parliament and her bid to reunite the Congress party under her leadership to mount a campaign of destabilisation, have apparently opened new opportunities for vested interests of various hues and kinds to intensify pressures for new concessions and incentives. Among these vested interests, the landed interests by virtue of their numbers and political pull have become most active and articulate. And the Janata party leaders, on their part, are most vulnerable to their pressure.

NEW DELHI-New Pressures within Janata

NEW DELHI New Pressures within Janata B M THE autumn session of Parliament opened this week with a mammoth demonstration of workers outside it. A day earlier, on Sunday, as workers affiliated to all central trade unions irrespective of their political and ideological affiliations met in a convention to register their united and uncompromising opposition to the Industrial Relations Bill introduced in Parliament's last session, the Land Reforms Committee headed by Planning Commission Member, Raj Krishna, held a press conference to release to the public the ommendations of the first of a series of reports that the Committee has decided to submit. The Committee has demanded that all land reform laws must be given constitutional protection by their inclusion in the Ninth Schedule. Earlier still, at Ujjain at a Camp of the ruling party leaders and activists; there was wide and sharp criticism of the Desai government for its "nonperformance" and its failure to carry out the party's socio-economic commitments to the people which had resulted in the erosion of its mass support within a short period of its coming to power. What all these happenings and much else signify are the growing pressures within the ruling coalition on policy issues which are in a marked degree different from the kind of factional dissensions which have planed the party for some time and which were concerned more with sharing of power by different persons and their groups than questions of principles. This is an interesting development, especially so after the recent Chickmagalur by-election. The first reaction in the ruling party to the failure of the Janata Party and its high-powered campaign to cut into the support of the Congress(I) and its star candidate in Indira Gandhi was that the threat posed by Indira Gandhi's comeback bid to the ruling party could be met only by the "unity'' of the party and that, therefore, all efforts must be made to end personal squabbles and close rank. It is significant, however, that these sentiments in favour of "unity" have suddenly begun to lose much of their appeal. On the contrary, there is to be seen a greater earn estness in party circles for examining the record of the government and to take a critical view of the standpoints on socio-economic issues which divide the Janata conglomerate than for seeking unity of the party at any cost and on any basis. It seems that there may now be more forceful articulation of issues of principle within the Janata Party as well among those who are associated with it in semi-official or unofficial capacities.

NEW DELHI-New Thinking in Steel

NEW DELHI New Thinking in Steel B M WHEN the Steel Minister, Biju Patnaik, on his return from a tour of Soviet Union, some of the Eastern European countries and West Germany, told the Consultative Committee of MPs attached to his Ministry that a shore-based steel plant was proposed to be set up at Mangalore, George Fernandes, campaigning against Indira Gandhi in the Chikmagalur constituency, must have been elated. When George Fernandes had committed the government to the setting up of a steel plant at Mangalore, had nothing with him to go by ex- pet the general proposition canvassed for long by the Steel Minister in favour of export-oriented, coastal-based steel plants as the basis on which the Indian steel industry might in future be expanded in the face of sluggish domestic demand. Domestic demand, it was argued, was not likely to touch anything like the fancy targets of 75 to 100 million tonnes at the end of the century which were projected during the early heady days of India's development planning.

NEW DELHI-Problems of Aid Absorption

NEW DELHI Problems of Aid Absorption B M THE visit of World Bank President, Robert McNamara, to India ostensibly to attend a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation, became, an occasion for an informal but wide-ranging review with the Government of India of development policies and perspectives and the rota of international financial institutions, among them the World Bank and its affiliates, as well as of foreign private capital. This is believed to be the starting point of moreintensive studies and discussions between concerned officials both sides. Special importance, ac- cording to some quarters, is attached to the activities of the International Finance Corporation in this context. The IFC is an important limb of the World Bank structure. Unlike IDA which extends official aid on concessional terms to the developingcountries, the IFC is the agency for mobilising international finance on commercial terms for investment in these countries. It appears that the IFC which had had a rather limited role to play in India for some time is now being geared to step up its operations in this country.

NEW DELHI-Managing the Managers

NEW DELHI Managing the Managers B M THE bosses in the Energy Ministry had made up their mind several months ago against giving an extention to Lt- General K S Garewal as Chairman and Managing Director or Coal India. But the angry reaction of the General when he at last had to relinquish charge of his office on September 16 showed that he had entertained different ideas. This could be either because lines of communication between him and the Ministry had been down for long or because he was deliberately misled about the Ministry's intentions. Also, and probably for the same reasons, no advance action was taken to find a suitable replacement for this big public sector undertaking in a vital area of economic activity. This makes nonsense of the claims of Planning Commission Member Rajadhyaksha, who heads the Selection Board for top appointments to public sector undertakings, that he has streamlined the process of selection and appointment of heads of public enterprises and freed it of outside pressures, including those emanating from the executive ministries.

NEW DELHI-Indo-US Business Council-Public Postures and Private Purposes

NEW DELHI Indo-US Business Council Public Postures and Private Purposes B M THE performance of the US team led by Orville L Freeman at the session of the lndo-US Joint Business Council last week has received wide notice and evoked strong reaction in certain quarters. The blunt manner adopted by Freeman in stating the position of US capital if it is to invest in India, in contrast to the suave and sometimes even cringing style of his Indian counterparts in the Council, is a well-rehearsed posture. Those who have denounced the conduct of Freeman in voicing public criticism of Industry' Minister, George Fernandes, for blowing hot and cold over big business houses and foreign capital and have demanded even the disbandment of the Joint Council for that reason, would seem to be exercised over what in the view of those concerned with the business of the Council was so much trivia by comparison with the real issues at stake. Interestingly enough, some of the critics as well as admirers of George Fernandes think that Freeman has not harmed but actually enhanced the political image of the Industry Minister by his criticism and further reinforced Fernandes' pragmatic credentials.

NEW DELHI-Political System Losing Credibility

from macro balance in the form of the national accounts matrix where each row and column in the matrix refers to income and expenditure transactions of the sector in question. The Draft Plan statements on macro-economic estimates serves a useful though limited purpose However, an examination of the Annexures reveals some fundamental flaws. Thus, for example, according to the Annexures, for the private sector, gdp at factor cost is equivalent to gdp at market prices. According to "System of National Accounts", indirect taxes are defined as ''taxes assessed on producers in respect of the production, sale, purdhase or use of goods and services, which they charge to the expenses of production. Also, included are import duties and the operating surplus, reduced by the normal margin of profits of business units of fiscal and similar monopolies of government" (p 234). Similarly, subsidies are defined as "all grants on current account made by government to private industries and public corporations and grants made by the public authorities to government enterprises in compensation for losses when these losses are clearly the consequence of the policy of the government to maintain prices at a level below costs of production" (p 237). It is therefore untenable that all indirect taxes and subsidies are collected from/ granted to public sector. Also private final consumption expenditure and investment (public and private) are measured at market prices, i e, inclusive of net indirect taxes. Estimates of gdp both for public and private sectors essentially has therefore to include the corresponding components of indirect taxes paid and subsidies received. An examination of NAS (January 1978) suggests that it is possible to obtain the corresponding estimates for public and private sectors separately.


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