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

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Soviet Economic Reform-Uneasy Struggle between Efficiency and Equity

Soviet Economic Reform Uneasy Struggle between Efficiency and Equity Samuel Paul MIKHAIL GORBACHEV'S 'radical economic reform' has spawned a wide ranging debate about the future of communism. Some western observers see the vindication of the capitalist path in Gorbachev's swing towards the market system. Conservative Marxists consider his initiative a betrayal of the revolution. Economists and political scientists alike have assessed the nature and risks of the new reform and speculated on the prospects for communism should his bold initiative fail. Some believe that if the Soviet Union does not soon embrace radical change, it is condemned to being indefinitely a second rate power with a third rate economy.1 A number of learned books have appeared in recent months on the new Soviet economic reform.2 Among these, Reforming the Soviet Economy (A Hewett (ed), Brookings Institution, Washington DC, 1988) stands out both for its incisive analysis of the issues and the historical perspective and balance it provides on the Soviet predicament. He offers an analytical framework within which economic reforms can be assessed and begins with a perceptive account of the strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet economy. There is a detailed analysis of the reforms of the post-Stalin era (by Krushchev, Kosygin and Brezhnev) which set the stage for the current reform. Gorbachev's reform and broad strategy are discussed against this historical backdrop. Hewett concludes the book with an assessment of the prospects of the reform and its likely impact and implications for the Soviet Union and the rest of the world.

Privatisation A Review of International Experience

Experience Samuel Paul Privatisation has emerged as a major public policy issue in the eighties. Privatisation of public enterprises in the UK and public services in the US is the latest trend. Bilateral and multilateral aid agencies are recommending privatisation of the public sector to developing countries. Indeed, in some cases international lending agencies have made privatisation a condition for their project and adjustment lending to several developing countries. This paper reviews the progress and examines the experience of privatisation in the US and UK as a backdrop against which to assess the experience of the LDCs. Reasons are given for the differential performance between the UK and US on the one hand and LDCs on the other Some of the lessons and emerging issues associated with privatisation are discussed.

Privatisation and the Public Sector-Relevance and Limits

Relevance and Limits Samuel Paul The need for an increased rote for the private or nongovernmental sector in the economy has figured prominently in recent debates in economic and political circles in India. The issues involved, according to the author, are such that an ideological or emotional rather than an analytical approach tends to dominate the arguments. Given this background and the growing interest in privatisation, this paper seeks to examine the subject in a global perspective with a view to understanding its relevance, instruments and limits.

Mid-Term Appraisal of the Sixth Plan Why Poverty Alleviation Lags Behind

Mid-Term Appraisal of the Sixth Plan Why Poverty Alleviation Lags Behind Samuel Paul The analysis of the Mid-Term Appraisal presented in this paper lends support to the view that the poverty alleviation programmes of the Sixth Plan have on the whole performed poorly.

Regulation of Transnational Corporation-National and Global Interventions

National and Global Interventions Samuel Paul This paper examines recent trends in the policies of less developed countries (LDCs) towards transnational corporations (TNCs) and the international concerns in regard to the operation of TNCs round the world. Among the major issues analysed by the author are recent developments in foreign private investment, major international interventions to influence the behaviour of NTCs and the new responses of TNCs to the changing policies and controls of host governments. These issues should be of interest to policy-makers and entrepreneurs in India which is no longer just a host country to TNCs but is emerging us a home country for a growing number of TNCs of Indian origin. Towards the end of the paper, likely trends in the policies of LDC governments towards TNCs and their implications are highlighted.

Institutional Factors in Development

Institutional Factors in Development Samuel Paul PAKISTAN'S industrial development experience was analysed a great deal by Pakistani and foreign economists in the late sixties and early seventies. Rashid Amjad provides an interesting and perceptive analysis of this phenomenon in the book under review. For scholars and policy makers in India. Amjad's work will be an eye-opener. We see here a classical case of how institutional factors play a decisive role in determining the rate and pattern of industrial development. Notwithstanding the lip service paid to the market mechanism in the sixties, it turns out that the alliance and interplay between government, the monopoly houses and financial institutions were critical to the outcomes on the industrial front in Pakistan. An analysis of this experience is one from which other developing countries and their governments will have much to learn.

Development Programmes for the Poor-Do Strategies Make a Difference

Development Programmes for the Poor Do Strategies Make a Difference? Samuel Paul Ashok Subramanian Special programmes for the 'weaker sections' of the population have found an important place in the Five-Year Plans since the Seventies. The increased plan allocations for these programmes were a response to the growing criticism that benefits of economic progress were not reaching the poor. The major promise of these programmes is that benefits will flow to the weaker sections because of the specificity of the target groups and of the activities chosen.

Beyond Investment-Some Lessons from Development Programmes

In studies of development programmes, three factors have been identified as critical to success : political support or commitment, resources and leadership. It is argued in this paper that while these factors are important preconditions for successful performance, they do not ensure the success of a development programme.

Industrialisation Goals without Policies

Industrialisation: Goals without Policies Samuel Paul World Industry since 1960 : Progress and Prospects, UNIDO; United Nations, 1979; pp 422. THE Lima Declaration and Plan of Action on Industrial Development and Co-operation had set the target for the share of industrial output of developing countries to be at least 25 per cent by the year 2000. The Third General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) being held in New Delhi this month will review the progress made by the developing countries in achieving the long-term goals set by the Lima Declaration. The document under review was prepared by the UNIDO secretariat as a basis for discussion by the conference of this issue and also to analyse the basic trends in production, trade, employment, technology, and finance relating to the industrial sector. For obvious reasons, UN reports generally confine themselves to surveys, analyses and projections and shy away from proposing policy choices and recommendations for action. This document upholds the UN tradition admirably.

Transnational Corporations and Developing Countries-Some Issues in Industrial Policy

Many efforts are presently being made at the international level to strengthen the capability of underdeveloped countries in dealing with transnational corporations which are a global source of technology, capital and management.

Economics of Public Services

Economics of Public Services Samuel Paul The Economics of Public Services (ed) M S Feldstein and Robert P Inman; Proceedings of a Conference by the International Economic Association at Turin, Italy; Macmillan, London, 1977; pp 529,

Growth and Utilisation of Industrial Capacity

Growth and Utilisation of Industrial Capacity Samuel Paul There are a number of important questions relating to industrial capacity and its utilisation which have not been adequately investigated or answered.

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