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

Articles by M L DantwalaSubscribe to M L Dantwala

Prices Not Quite a Magic Wand

Prices : Not Quite a Magic Wand M L Dantwala Agricultural Price Policy by A S Kahlon and D S Tyagi; Allied Publishers Private Ltd, 1983; pp 510, Rs 150.

Rural Development- Investment without Organisation

Rural Development Investment without Organisation M L Dantwala "ERRORS, false starts and dead ends in the development story of the last three decades"1 have brought about a fair degree of acceptance among scholars of the view that growth should be judged by the contribution it makes to reduction of poverty, inequality and exploitation. The growing emphasis on rural development can be traced to this delayed awareness reflected in the special programmes for the weaker sections of the rural community and backward areas:

In the Glow of Plenty

M L Dantwala Evolution of Food Policy in India by R N Chopra; Macmillion India THIS book deals mainly with the marketing aspects of food policy, such as procurement, public distribution, storage, buffer stocks and the role of the Food Corporation. There are two brief chapters, one on the Impact of the Green Revolution on Production (4 pages) and another on Food Problem and Foodgrains Price Policies (16 pages). There is also penultimate chapter on Need for Agricultural Development. On the main theme of marketing, however, the discussion is exhaustive in the style of event-by-event cricket commentary.

Block Level Planning Revisited

 6 This is what one eminent economist- central banker in a developing country has to say on high interest rate policies: "It seehis self-evident to say that since capital is scarce, interest rates should be high. But how high is high enough? And if neither wages nor taxes. nor final product prices are supposed to change, can it not be that the encroachment of the 'rate of interest on the rate of proBt may be a retrograde act insofar as entre- oreneurship is even scarcer than investment finance?" [Patel (1966)].

Rural Employment Facts and Issues

Rural Employment: Facts and Issues M L Dantwala Any employment strategy, to he effective, has to be based on a close understanding of the characteristics of various types of unemployments, tracing them to their root causes, particularly the iniquitous social and economic structure and inequitous institutional set-up.

Regional Rural Banks-A Clarification

Regional Rural Banks A Clarification M L Dantwala I HAVE read Bhabatosh Datta's review of the Report of the Review Committee on Regional Rural Banks (September 9) with respect due to as esteemed colleague whose knoowledge and understanding of Indian banking is second to none. I have therefore no hesitation in accepting his criticism that some of "the categorical statements" following the analysis of the working of (only) 12 Regional Rural Banks should have been avoided. But frankly I do not see anything ''wishful" about these statements. The Committee was keenly aware that an evaluation based on the performance of the RRBs which were in operation for periods ranging between six and 20 months is "not adequate for judging the effi- cacy of the system one way or the other". Yet the Committee could not altogether avoid conducting a modest field investigation without inviting another type of criticism. The purpose of the survey was limited primarily to gatting a feel of their working, ascertain the views and the reactions of the personnel engaged in implementing the scheme, problems and frustrations faced by them, the impact they had made on the local population


The concept of health planning has become grossly distorted over successive five year plans; the Draft Five Year Plan, 1978-83, is no exception.


of Kerala Joan P Mencher The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of agrarian relations in the two main rice regions of Kerala, Kuttanad (a low-lying area covering parts of Alleppey, Kottayam and Quilon Districts) and Palghat, in order to examine one, forces interfering with production and, secondly, the elms relations that serve to impede a more equitable distribution of food and other commodities. The paper describes some of the striking contradictions in each area, and offers some tentative predictions for their future development.

Gold Rush

class divisions. Thorner, it seems, incurred the displeasure of his friends when in 1973 instead of the built-in descerned, he discerned some signs of dynamism in Indian agriculture. Though he quoted official statistics of foodgrain produc- tion to support his contention' some-' what unusual for him , once again, the change in the vision was the outcome of his visits to the villages. In , his words "my earlier characterisation of therural scene had to he seriously qualified: there are new forces at work. The most striking of these [noted in his Statesman article] was the distinct emergence of a nationwide class of capitalist producers/' As in 1953, Thorner's 1973 assessment of India's agrarian scene was derived from his village tours, or what he calls his "hit and run raids into the countryside''. Perhaps he relied more on what he saw than on what he read. But his flair was for vignettes, and the sight of gentlemen farmers joining the gold rush was too fascinating for him to ignore. "What attracted them were the smashing profits to be made from direct cultivation

Not by Statistics Alone

or income distribution not impiioved significantly, it is certainly not because of the dearth of statistical data and their analysis, nor one may say, for lack of academic concern. The magnitude of the problem and the policy implications of planning for minimum heeds, with alternative time paths, have been fairlyv well known. But what the models visualised, planners could not fulfil; and what the planners proposed, the politicians undid. It may perhaps lie said that the scholars know more about poverty than about the poor; yet no other group of scholars in India was better -qualified to write on the subject than the contributors to the Volume under review.* It is also no coincidence that most of them were associated, in one capacity or another, with the late Pitambar Pant. Pant was one of those few persons whose passion for data was mingled with a purpose and who could give intellectual content to a sentiment, lie sought and seduced talent. There could not have been, therefore, a better tribute to his memory than a Volume of articles, by his friends and colleagues, on Poverty and Income Distribution. It is in the fitness of things that the first article in the Volume is a pioneering study of the Perspective Planning Division of the Planning Commission entitled "Perspective of Development: 1961-76, Implications of Planning for a Minimum Level of Living'', prepared under Pitamber Pant's guidance in 1962. As one rereads the article on the eve of the terminal year of the time frame of this study, one becomes acutely aware of the dream we lost, maybe because it was a planner's dream. No one would accuse this perspective of being over- ' ambitious; The postulated 7 per cent annual growth during 1966-76 was based on the goal of Rs 20 per month as a national minimum (at 1900-61 prices), to be attained by 1975-76, and a reduction in the concentration ratio of per capita consumption from 0,33 to 0.25. (Even so, in the terminal year, nearly 12 per cent of the population would have remained below the poverty level.) * Poverty and Income Distribution in India (ed) T N Srtolvasan an P K Bardhan, Statistical Publishing Society, Calcutta, 1974.

Inequality of Farm Incomes-A Comment

 Inequality of Farm Incomes A Comment M L Dantwala V M Rao PRANAB BARDHAN's findings on inequality in the distribution of farm business income in agriculture ("Inequality of Farm Incomes: A Study of 1974) raise a number of questions regarding the informativeness of the concentration ratio and its analytical utility in monitoring changes in land and income distributions. The purpose of this comment is to place these questions before Bardhau and other rest-archers in the field of income distribution in the hope that a consideration of these questions might be of some help in improving the usefulness of the concentration ratio as a tool in the analysis of inequality.

Agricultural Taxation Travails of Tax Designers

The level and the distribution of income generated in a sector have to be borne in mind in judging the adequacy of taxation, especially while making inter-sectoral comparison.


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