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

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Japan-Groping for Recognition

November 10, 1973 It is inevitable that any major policy decision would give rise to some problems. Faced with these problems, the government's typical reaction is not to tackle them, but to water down the policy measure. One recalls in this context the gold control order. In regard to petrol, it is already being suggested that instead of raising the price as steeply as it has done, the government should ration supplies since that would regulate consumption while providing petrol for essential uses at a reasonable price. The same logic has been used in the past to justify the elaborate price and distribution controls on cars. What is implied in all this is quite simply that the government has a social responsibility to protect the living standards of the elite. On the other hand, when the question of imposing controls on the price and distribution of some essential item of mass consumption comes up, real and imaginary administrative difficulties are made the excuse for evading action. The scuttling of the scheme for take-over of wholesale trade in food- grains is a good example of this approach.

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