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

Nirmal Kumar ChandraSubscribe to Nirmal Kumar Chandra

Inclusive Growth in Neoliberal India: A Facade?

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's commitment to inclusiveness is a facade that attracts the aam admi, but obscures the ugly reality - India is on track to become another oligarchy like post-Soviet Russia. The super-rich now have an important voice in the formulation of government policies. The government has failed to fulfil the common minimum programme agenda on inclusiveness. Its claim to have raised substantially the aggregate tax-gross domestic product ratio does not stand the test of scrutiny. The credit needs of small borrowers from agriculture and small-scale industry remain unfulfilled. The move to extend social audit to plug the loopholes in the rural employment guarantee programme has been scuttled, while measures for social security for the unorganised workforce financed by the budget promise to open up new markets for businesses in insurance and healthcare.

China and India: Convergence in Economic Growth and Social Tensions?

Do the economic policies or the "business model" adopted by China and India necessarily aggravate inequalities in income and wealth distribution, and thus exacerbate social contradictions? While not providing a definitive answer, the article examines the rising concentration of income and wealth, the trends in poverty, employment and unemployment, the nature and extent of social unrest, and how the rich are getting richer, aided by fiscal sops, and outlines a feasible alternative centred on development with equity.

Tata Motors in Singur: A Step towards Industrialisation or Pauperisation?

The Singur "model" of industrialisation as represented by the now abandoned Tata Motors project in West Bengal has a number of regressive features. The Left Front government in West Bengal, in competition with other states for the location of Tata Motors' Nano automobile complex, fell overboard in offering subsidies to the company. Further, the government did not scrutinise the quantum of land demanded by the company, blundered by offering highly fertile land in Singur, and compounded its mistake by invoking the Land Acquisition Act, thereby compelling landowners to surrender their land at a low price. Its compensation formula was biased in favour of non-cultivating absentee landowners, and grossly unfair to the actual cultivators, bargadars and agricultural labourers, giving rise to concerted opposition from peasants and their supporters.

India's Foreign Exchange Reserves: A Shield of Comfort or an Albatross?

Though the market value of volatile foreign capital deployed in the country is uncertain, the current magnitude is likely to exceed India's foreign exchange reserves by a significant margin. Even if the authorities follow conservative fiscal and monetary policies, the country can still face a balance of payments crisis. Moreover, the foreign exchange drain, highly volatile and mainly on account of profit-taking by foreign institutional investors, is currently very high in relation to India's gross domestic product, prompting a comparison with the tribute extracted by the British during the latter part of the colonial era.

Relevance of Soviet Economic Model for Non-socialist Countries

The Soviet impact on non-socialist countries between 1947 and 1991 was felt at three different levels. First, the US altered its own policies towards its allies radically to foster their economic development and make them less susceptible to Soviet influence. Second, countries in western Europe and east Asia borrowed some key economic ideas and instruments from USSR to hasten their economic growth. Third, direct economic aid was offered by the Soviets to non-aligned countries keen on industrialisation. This article examines the contemporary relevance of the Soviet model for non-socialist countries.

The Peasant Question from Marx to Lenin

What is a class? Do peasants constitute a single class? What is the peasant question from the Marxists' revolutionary perspective? These issues are raised in this paper, based on the writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin, above all. The empirical part, mainly on the Russian agrarian scene from the 1890s to 1930, explores if the peasants constituted a cohesive social force free from internal contradictions. There is also a brief discussion on the post-Soviet situation.

McKinsey's Plan for Russia

Well researched and penetrating though it is, the report on Russia prepared by McKinsey, the renowned consultants, is no more than a wish-list of foreign investors in Russia, actual and potential. Far from unlocking the forces of growth, the report's recommendations would lead to further underdevelopment and the enormous talents of the Russian people would be effectively bottled up for long years.

D R Gadgil on Political Economy of Planning

This essay deals, selectively, with the political economy aspects of D R Gadgil's ideas on planning. The focus is on how Gadgil looked at some of the issues that continue to engage us today, namely, the roles of the state, the domestic private sector and foreign capital against a background of severe socio-economic inequalities and unemployment.

In Search of an Economic Supermodel

The new euphoria emanating from Washington was inconceivable before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Apart from being the world's only superpower, the US is by far the richest country and has the lowest unemployment rate. What else does one need for an economic supermodel?

Marx, Colonialism and the Market

Nirmal Kumar Chandra DESPlTE the collapse of the USSR, Marxism remains to this day the only ideology that galvanises countless men and women cutting across the boundaries of nation, race, religion, caste, and even social class or stratum, All other ideologies operate within a narrower space. In popularity, religious fundamenta- lism may outshine Marxism in many parts of the world; hut by its very nature it lacks a universal appeal. And contemporary liberalism, the only rival to Marxism on an international scale, neither has nor needs a mass following.

Legacy of Deng Xiaoping

Nirmal Kumar Chandra Having lived through the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, Deng abhorred 'turmoil' and was a great believer in 'stability'. The Tiananmen Square incidents convinced him that he had made a wrong choice in pinning his hope on the liberals. He decided to put his weight behind the Zemin-Peng team and did not budge even when his own progeny came under a cloud. Yet there is a big question mark over Deng's legacy: Is Deng's doctrine of 'one country, two systems' tenable in the long run?

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