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Wishful Thinking on Debt

AN achievement of the three years of stabilisation and structural adjustment which has been repeatedly emphasised by government spokesmen is the improvement in the country's external sector transactions which, in turn, is claimed to have made for a consolidation of the external debt position. It is true that the growth of external debt in 1993-94 at $ 644 million, as reported in the RBI's Annual Report for 1993-94, was probably the lowest for a year of normal economic activity since the beginning of the Second Plan. Even in the crisis year of 1991-92 there was a net addition of $ 1.5 billion to the stock of external debt; in 1990-91 the increase had been of the order of $ 7.944 billion and in 1992-93 it was $4,716 billion.

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