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

Articles by B MSubscribe to B M

NEW DELHI-Victory for Rich Farmers and Traders

NEW DELHI Victory for Rich Farmers and Traders B M UTTER helplessness, bordering on fatalism, pervades the government in New Delhi. The failure to respond to the critical situation created by the food riots in Gujarat for nearly three weeks, resulting ultimately in the army having to be called out in Ahmedabad, reflects the state of the government accurately, There has not been even talk of trying to relieve the situation by rushing more food to Gujarat, as was done at the time of the food riots in Maharashtra last year. It is frightening to contemplate what might happen in the next three or four months before the rabi crop. The situation in many other parts of the country among them Bihar and Maharashtra

NEW DELHI-Soviet Aid Where to Draw the Line

January 12, 1974 to record heights, and Maruti despite all that the Flamming Commission might say in its essay becomes a law unto itself.
Consequently, each five-year plan resembles the contours of" a (week tragedy, pre-ordained, pre-packaged. Each of them has been, and will continue to be, a protagonist of a high rate of growth. None of the ruling politicians, however, will lift his little finger to ensure that this is brought about. And the people continue to languish. Fortunately for the politicians, the future is always postponable. Alibis have a way of presenting themselves. Scan through the speeches of the rulers and their obedient hangers-on, the scribes who pass as economists and you may be persuaded that if this country's growth has been retarded it is invariably on account of a number of exogenous factors over which the rulers have never had any control. Haven't you heard of the two

NEW DELHI- Oil Crisis Evading the Basic Issue

NEW DELHI Oil Crisis: Evading the Basic Issue B M THE grimness of the oil crisis is slowly beginning to dawn on the government. The announcement of the further rise in crude prices to take effect from January 1, 1974 should dispel all illusions that the oil crisis facing the country is the outcome of the Arab- Israel war and that office a settlement is reached in the middle-east the situation will ease with regard to the availability of crude oil arid its price. In fact, availability of crude oil has never been very much in doubt and whatever scare had been created on this account has now been quietened by the decision of the Arab oil producers to step up production next month. What remains unaltered is the oil producers' determination to secure a fair price for their natural wealth which had been hitherto drained off by the developed countries at highly depressed prices. How low the price of crude oil had been kept is evident from the fact that, despite the very handsome profits of the international oil companies and the high excise duties on petroleum products, oil has been the preferred source of energy even in a country like India which has large coal reserves and has to import three-fourths of its oil requirements. If at last the oil producers have been able to get more equitable prices from the developed countries, this should be regarded as a wholly welcome development, even if It poses some problems for India and some of the other developing countries who are also consumers of oil.

NEW DELHI- Mock Debate on the Plan

NEW DELHI Mock Debate on the Plan B M THE resignation of B S Minnas, one of the Members of the Planning Commission, was not allowed to cause even a ripple at the meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) called to endorse the draft Fifth Plan. The Chief Ministers were given what virtually amounted to a whip against any mention of the resignation or any reference to the objections that Min has had raised against the draft Plan. Indeed, the brief note submitted by Minhas to the Prime Minister outlining his differences with the draft Plan has not been circulated even to oiher Members of the Commission so fan Minhas, it should be mentioned, has not resigned from the Planning Commission in the conventional sense. He merely wrote a brief letter to the Prime Minister on December 5 in which he asked for permission to avail of the leave due to him so that he could find his way back to academic work since he was not being effective in the Planning Commission. Earlier, at the lime of the full meeting of the Planning Commission in the middle of November when the draft Plan was adopted, the Prime Minister had been given a note by him outlining his doubts and reservations about the draft Plan, The Prime Minister has kept this note entirely to herself and has not showed it even to other Members of the Commission. Minhas had been given to understand then that an opportunity would come his way to explain his position to the Union Cabinet when it considered the draft Plan. This opportunity, however, never came.

NEW DELHI-The Never-Never Plan

NEW DELHI The Never-Never Plan B M THE draft of the Fifth Flan is at last reatly and has been submitted to the Union Cabinet for its consideration. The National Development Council is proposed to he convened early next month to adopt the draft Plan. It is well known that there were basic differences within the Planning Commission on the draft Plan till the very end. It was at the prodding of the Prime Minister that these differences were papered over and it was decided to submit the draft Flan as it was to the Cabinet. The Prime Minister was anxious that the 'Planning Commission adopt the draft Plan in its present form not because its internal consistency could stand close scrutiny or because the government Has prepared to take the political and economic policy decisions which the size and pattern of development envisaged called for. The Prime Minister's calculation is quite different

NEW DELHI-Patch-Work, Not Planning

THE most striking feature of the New Delhi scene these days is the utter confusion that prevails in the government and in its various agencies. It was in such an atmosphere that the meeting arranged by the Prime Minister for the Union Cabinet with the group of six economists headed by V K R V Rao and her meetings with top industrialists, among them J R D Tata and G D Birla, took place. The meetings were construed by many to signal the start of a desperate effort by the government to find solutions to the economic problems facing the country. Leftist sections were agitated that this might mean an open Right-wing tilt in government policy. Right-wing circles were hopeful that .such indeed might be the case. Yet subsequent public speeches of the Prime Minister in West Bengal, Orissa, and UP, as well as the clarifications given by government spokesmen, have shown that the hopes and fears were equally without foundation.


Back to Top