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Hanoi Diary

January 11, 1975 Served in Chinese style. With warm relationships fully established, more intimate questions started coming. How many children have you? Boys, girls? Are your parents living? By the time we were through with all this I could hardly believe I was in the capital city of communist North Vietnam. There was only a picture of Ho Chi Minh hanging on the wall, benevolently smiling at us, to remind us where we were.

Hanoi Diary

December 28, 1074 WHILE in Bangkok earlier this year I came to know that it was not difficult to go from there to Hanoi if one could somehow get a visa. It was only a night's journey by train to Nong- khai, a border town in the north-east of Thailand, Crossing the Mekong River by ferry was no problem, and on the other side was Vien- tianne in Laos from where there was a bi-weekly Aeroflot service to Hanoi.

The Politics and Economics of Intermediate Regimes

of "Intermediate Regimes" IN a paper published in 1964, Kalecki used the term "intermediate regimes" to describe governments in which the lower-middle class and the rich peasantry could be identified as performing the role of the ruling class.1 In the past, he observed, whenever social up- heavels brought their representatives to power they had invariably served the interests of big business often allied with the remnants of the feudal system. However, certain conditions had emerged recently in many underdeveloped countries which made it possible for them to play a different role. The specific conditions he cited were: the numerical dominance of the lower middle class at the time of achievement of the political independence of these countries, the extensive involvement of governments in economic activity, and the availability to; them of credits from socialist countries. Given these conditions, the state could, in his view, perform the role of 'dynamic entrepreneurs', undertake the basic investment necessary for economic development, and promote "a pattern of amalgamation of the interests of the lower middle class with state capitalism.

Approach to the Fifth Plan First Impressions

"THE Approach to the Fifth Plan" is an important document both for what it explicitly states and what it does not. For the first time the Planning Commission has presented an estimate of the direct and indirect foreign exchange re- quirements attributable to selective changes in the consumption pattern of the upper strata of Indian society; and attention has been focused on it as a major consideration governing the choice between the alternative patterns of growth that might be considered in the preparation of the Plan. Viewed against the background of the earlier policy formulations relating to planning in India this represents a significant contribution.

Planning from Below with Reference to District Development and State Planning-A Note

District Development and State Planning A Note K N Raj The decentralisation of governmental functions and responsibilities associated with zilla parishads, panchayat samitis and village panchayats has at best meant only partial association of local representatives with administration at these levels in certain fields and not the setting up of a machinery for plan- ning from below.

India s Sacred Cattle-Theories and Empirical Findings

There can be no dispute about the need for introducing better techniques of cattle-stock adjustment than are now available to farmers and for bringing into the solution of this problem the same kind of scientific temper and organisational zeal as have recently been displayed in regard to family planning.

Plan or No Plan

Are the questions raised by the Planning Commission in its Approach to the Fourth Plan indeed the basic policy issues that call for attention ? Rather than ask for a vote on the basis of one or two numbers related to growth rates, it would have been better to state the policy alternatives in terms of the constraints on growth and on the diffusion of Plan benefits in the short and long run.

The Fourth Plan and Future Economic Policy

K N Raj The investment programme envisaged in the Draft Outline of the Fourth Plan involves not only a doubling of the rate of growth of commodity production but also, possibly, a doubling of the marginal rate of saving in at least some years of the Plan period. The marginal rate of saving required would be even higher if the projected rate of growth of national income is not realised.

Regional Variations in Foodgrain Prices

The all-India index numbers of the wholesale prices of food- grain are constructed on the basis of prices reported from a large number of markets spread over the country. The index numbers represent a simple average of these prices, the implicit weightage given to the prices prevailing in 'surplus' and 'deficit' areas depending therefore on the geographical distribution of the reporting markets. Since the absolute price levels for (more or less) comparable qualities of grain, as well as their movements over time, have displayed very considerable regional differences, the all-India index numbers conceal almost as much as they reveal about the behaviour of food- grain prices in the country.

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