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T N SrinivasanSubscribe to T N Srinivasan

Bad Advice A Comment

Bad Advice: A Comment T N Srinivasan IN a rather pompc article, Kaushik Basu (EPW, March 7-14, 1992) uses a paragraph from my comments (Srinivasan, 1989) on a paper of his (Basu, 1989) to illustrate "in a short space several fallacies". These fallacies and confusions arise, in Basu's view, from my "inability to grasp fully the meaning of 'endogenous government'". He helpfully suggests that "A useful reference for avoiding errors (such as mine) is Bhagwati (1988)" ! am very pleased indeed to have provided such a valuable pedagogical tool. But I would also venture to suggest that most readers of my comment (Srinivasan, 1989) in its entirety would agree that, perhaps, I am a little less confused and prone to fallacious reasoning than Basu would give me credit for, from his Olympian heights of logical clarity and scholarship.

Privatisation and Deregulation

Privatisation and Deregulation T N Srinivasan ASHOK RUDRA's questioning (December 21, 1991) of the policy conclusions reached in my recent writings (August 3-10 and September 14, 1991) calls for a response. Before 1 turn to it, let me thank him for his kind remarks about me and assure him that his critical remarks will in no way affect our long personal and professional relations stretching back to the year 1954 when young Rudra joined the faculty of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Calcutta and taught time-scries analysis to students, including me, in ISPs two-year professional training course in statistics. Let me take this oppor tunity to respond also to the comments of my friend and former ISI colleague, Deb Kumar Bose (February 22, 1992) and to A C Minocha (October 26, 1991). There is much with which 1 agree in the comments of my friend and former ISI colleague K S Parikh (February 29, 1992). It should be clear from what follows where we disagree, Rudra disputes that economic analysis has much to say on what activities should be in the public sector. I am surprised at his asser tion. At a purely analytical level, neoclassical welfare economics (either in its Pigouvian or the Arrow-Debreu version) makes a case for public intervention, either on the grounds that a competitive equilibrium can fail to be a Pareto Optimum under certain situations collectively described as 'market failures', or because the distributional outcome of a laissez-faire competitive equilibrium, although Pareto Optimal, is deemed socially unsatisfactory. Textbook examples of market failures include: externalities of various kinds that are not internalised by any private decision maker, the existence of 'public' goods, i e, goods that have the characteristics such as non-rivalry in use (e g, one person's use of a park does not reduce its availability for use by another person, at least until the number of users is not large enough to create congestion) and non-excludability of some users from others (e g, radio broadcasts), and of significant scale economies in the production of particular goods or services, the presence of which precludes a com petitive market structure. Also if certain markets do not exist (e g, markets for insurance against various risks or for various assets), the competitive equilibrium based on markets that do exist need not be a Pareto Optimum. Thus if the market structure is not complete in the sense of Arrow-Debreu, there is scope for government intervention.

Reform of Industrial and Trade Policies

Reform of Industrial and Trade Policies T N Srinivasan India's development strategy and the regulatory framework with respect to industry and foreign trade chosen to implement it haw failed. Tinkering with the system here and there, but leaving its structure largely intact, will not do.

Indian Development Strategy-An Exchange of Views

Indian Development Strategy An Exchange of Views T N Srinivasan We have to face up to the fact that our development strategy and the whole bureaucratic planning and control system that implemented it have failed. The failure is systemic.

Indian Development Strategy- Some Comments

Indian Development Strategy Some Comments Jagdish Bhagwati T N Srinivasan SUKHAMOY CHAKRAVARTY'S Fifth G L Mehta Lecture (EPW, May 19-26) discuss ing India's development strategy for the 1980s it characterised by his customary erudition and lucidity of style. But its analysis of our past economic performance, and of our future pro- spects and the strategy for maximally improving them, raising several key questions. We can think of no better tribute to Sukhamoy Chakravarty's intellectual efforts than to address these questions and to indicate our agreements and disagreements with him. We hope that this will prompt a debate on the vital issues of Indian economic policy at this critical point in our history.

Trends in Agriculture in India, 1949-501977-78

There has been a decline in the rate of growth of cross sown area, in particular under non-food crops, in the decade starting from 1967-68 compared to the fifteen years ending in 1964*65, but the output (and yield per unit of area) of food crops and all crops grew more or less uniformly over the entire period 1949.50 to 1977-78 with no evidence of either acceleration or deceleration since 1967-68.

Constraints on Growth and Policy Options-Further Comment

Constraints on Growth and Policy Options Further Comment T N Srinivasan I AM very pleased that my comments on his earlier articles have provoked Vaidyanathan to write a detailed reply.1 If the series of articles including the February 1977) starts a, serious discussion on the policy options before the Indian economy at the present time, they would have served their purpose. This note sets out the points of agreement and disagreement between us.

Constraints on Growth and Policy Options-A Comment

November 26, 1977 Constraints on Growth and Policy Options T N Srinivasan IN two recent articles in this weekly, Vaidyanathan has put forth the propositions that (i) a step-up in the growth rate of agriculture much above 3 per cent per annum is infeasible, (ii) a step-up in the growth of manufactured exports (non-agriculture based), while not infeasible, is not desirable because of the changes that attempts to export more would involve in. many fundamental tenets, including political, of current development policy, (iii) given the first two propositions, attempt to push the aggregate growth beyond 4 per cent per annum would be inflationary and wasteful and finally, (iv) with a growth of 4 per cent per annum, a large anti-poverty programme consisting mostly of rural works would be needed to improve the lot of the poor and its success would depend on the development of "viable and responsible" local constitutions.1 Since Vaidya- nathan's contribution is in part a reply to an earlier article I co-authored, I should be permitted a brief rejoinder.3 It is a bit ironic, that Vaidyanathan, who in his distinguished career with the Perspective Planning Division of the Planning Commission 'was associated in the middle 1960s in the work that led to target growth rates of real national income of the order of 7 per cent per annum (with agriculture growing at 4-1/2 per cent) over the fifteen-year period starting in 1960-61 should now argue for a much more modest growth rate and some of us, who felt that the earlier targets were unrealistic, should now be arguing for a step-up in growth. But in fact, Vaidyanathan's . conversion to "realism'' from "wild optimism'' is a decade and a half too late during which the economy has left him behind I The events have shown that he was dead wrong then and I dare say he is dead wrong now.

Economic Performance since the Third Plan and Its Implications for Policy

and Its Implications for Policy T N Srinivasan N S S Narayana The publication of the slim volume of the final Fifth Five-Year Plan nearly three years after the beginning of the Fifth Plan Period provides an opportunity to review the performance of the economy since Independence. In many ways the period since 1965-66, the last year of the Third Five-Year Plan, marks a watershed.

Crap-Sharing in Agriculture-A Reply

of their conditions. On the other hand, the newly emerged owner-cultivators, too, are highly organised and politicised, unlike the traditional landlords. The crystallisation of these oppositional forces inevitably gives birth to the formation of interest groups and associations championing their causes. But these broad categories are not internally homogeneous, given the elongated agrarian hierarchy and the elaborate divi- sion of labour in agriculture. This situation led to the proliferation of various agrarian associations, each of which bargained for the betterment of the category it represented. Thus, an indirect but important consequence of 'movement militancy' was the wider participation of the people in the implementation processes relating to agrarian legislations.

Recognition to Teachers, At Last

GIAN AGRO INDUSTRIES is setting up a plant near Ganaur in Haryana, for the manufacture of 900 tonnes of guar gum powder, 937 tonnes of guar, split, 4,200 tonnes of un-dehusked chuni and 1,125 tonnes of dehusked chuni. The raw material, guar seed, is available in abundance in Haryana and the neighbouring states of Punjab and Rajasthan, which together account for about 80 per cent of the country's production. The project is estimated to cost about Rs 35 lakhs and is intended to be financed by share capital of Rs 19 lakhs and a term loan of Rs 16 lakhs from Haryana Financial Corporation. The company expects to commence trial production by the end of 1974 and pay a maiden dividend of 10 per cent for

Pitambar Pant An Appreciation

Pitambar Pant : An Appreciation PITAMBAR PANT passed away on February 26, 1973 after a prolonged illness borne with rare courage and dignity. It was an untimely end to a career of extraordinary dedication and much achievement. He was unquestionably one of the outstanding figures on Indian Planning. As head of the Perspective Planning Division, which he organised and which he led with such distinction for over 15 years, he played a key role in shaping India's plans during the Sixties. But perhaps his more lasting contribution was to establish in government a tradition of empirical analysis in planning and policy formulation. One hopes that this tradition, .still all too weak, will be nurtured as carefully by his successors. Both in and out of government, the sweep of Pitambar" s mind, the depth of his understanding of development problems, his transparent commitment and sincerity won him the admiration of his colleagues, friends and even opponents. Even after leaving the Commission in 1970, and despite failing health, his interest never flagged and almost to the end he was full of questions, ideas and plans for further work, Pitambar's public career dates back to 1942, when, soon after graduating with a Masters degree in physics, he was drawn into the Quit India Movement. Arrest and imprisonment followed shortly. While in prison he came into close contact with Nehru, Kripalani and other national leaders. He also functioned as Nehru's M

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