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

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East Asian Dilemma Is There a Way Out

East Asian Dilemma: Is There a Way Out? Jayati Ghosh Abhijit Sen C P Chandrasekhar The financial crises in east and south-east Asia show no signs of resolution, and the IMF medicine that is being imposed on several of the most badly affected economies may actually intensify their problems. But are there any other options now available to countries that had based their rapid economic growth on high rates of investment combined with a mercantilist export strategy?

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go-India Infrastructure Report

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go India Infrastructure Report Jayati Ghosh Abhijit Sen C P Chandrasekhar The basic strategy proposed in the India Infrastructure Report prepared by the Expert Group on the Commercialisation of Infrastructure Projects appointed by the ministry of finance is for the government to retreat as investor, to provide space for private participation, even while continuing to facilitate and provide numerous financial crutches for the private sector. But even all of these very expensive measures do not guarantee that the private sector would respond positively to invest in areas which are both risky and not-so-profitable.

South-East Asian Economies Miracle or Meltdown

South-East Asian Economies: Miracle or Meltdown? Jayati Ghosh Abhijit Sen C P Chandrasekhar In the past few months several of the more 'successful' of the south-east Asian economies have been plagued by problems of decelerating exports and deteriorating balance of payments positions, slowdowns in output expansion and declines in employment in exporting industries, domestic imbalances requiring stabilisation policies, and the like. The south-east Asian situation is not anywhere near the Mexican case, but the strong dependence on foreign capital does bring out one important similarity that of external vulnerability which also has important policy lessons for other Asian countries.

Using Foodstocks Productively

Using Foodstocks Productively Jayathi Ghosh Abhijit Sen C P Chandrasekhar The previous Congress government made a definite choice, in terms cf utilising the surplus public foodgrain stocks, to use them to pay for more liberalised imports rather than to feed the poor in India. However, the existence of these stocks now provides a tremendous opportunity in terms of a substantial non-inflationary expansion in public works and other infrastructure development and maintenance which can be organised through food-for-work and similar schemes.

The Rupee and Its Malcontents-Exchange Rate Management in India

The Rupee and Its Malcontents Exchange Rate Management in India Jayati Ghosh Abhijit Sen C P Chandrasekhar The sources of the current instability in the currency markets - portfolio capital inflows from foreign institutional investors, exporters withholding their foreign exchange earnings and reckless imports and import hunching by domestic firms are rendered the more potent because of the reduced ability of the government to intervene effectively, it having discarded many of the instruments it could earlier have used to determine the exchange rate of the rupee. Having tied its own hands so effectively, the government's external economic policy has become a prisoner of speculative forces rather than their master.

Privatising Natural Resources

Privatising Natural Resources Jayati Ghosh Abhijit Sen C P Chandresekhar Having joined the globalisation bandwagon, it is not surprising that recent attempts at privatisation in India reflect the quintessential features of the process of using the state to transform natural resources into means for primitive accumulation by domestic and foreign interests.

Life after Enron

Life after Enron Jayati Ghosh Abhijit Sen C P Chandrasekhar The Enron agreement was only one of eight so-called fast track' agreements with multinational companies on terms, essentially dictated by the union ministry of power, which are ruinous for the concerned state governments and for power consumers. However, the danger of focusing only on these specific projects is that attention may be diverted from the more fundamental task of framing a new policy for the power sector. What are the dimensions of the crisis facing the power sector and how can it be resolved? Confusion on these basic issues has led to many reactions to the Enron fiasco which are erroneous and misleading.

Food Exports and Food Requirement

Food Exports and Food Requirement JM The intention of the minister of agriculture, and indeed of the government in general, to focus on increasing crop exports, including exports of foodgrain, involves operating with a disregard for the likely decline in food availability for the poorest and the most vulnerable groups in the population.

Budget 1994-95 Anatomy of Irresponsibility

Back to a 1980s type borrowing for consumption is thus the hallmark of the new 'middle way'; and like that of its predecessor, the life of this episode will only be as long as foreign financiers allow it to continue.

Economy in 1993-94 Another Look

Economy in 1993-94: Another Look JM The government's seeming achievements in the management of the economy in the current fiscal year have occurred in a context which substantially alters their real contribution to the overall health and stability of the economy.

Privatisation Magic Wand or Budgetary Cop-Out

Privatisation: Magic Wand or Budgetary Cop-Out? JM THE annual ritual of pre-budget meetings of the finance minister has many purposes, but these mostly have very little to do with the stated objective of generating ideas about how to approach the forthcoming budget exercise. It does not require a great deal of cynicism to discern this; after all, it would be surprising if, even as late as two months before the presentation of the budget, the finance ministry actually has no idea about the future course of action. Thus these meetings have a slightly different, three-fold. orientation: firstly, to give various pressure groups (industrialists, trade unions, and now, farmers' organisations) a chance to vent their steam and express their own desires; secondly, to imply that this is an 'open' government which is open to suggestion from outsiders, including 'experts' drawn from the field of economics; thirdly (and possibly most significantly) to test the water for some of the government's actual intentions, by giving prominence to certain ideas which conform to the government's vision. These meetings thus assume significance essentially because they provide pointers about what the next year's budget may contain, if the government's own intentions are realised.

Discussing Economic Reforms-Achievements and Future Intent

Discussing Economic Reforms Achievements and Future Intent In complete contrast to the main presumption of the finance ministry's 'discussion paper' on the economic reforms, that stabilisation has been achieved and that the path is now clear for long-run 'structural adjustment', the conclusion must be that the policies so far have at best landed the economy into a precarious steady state where inflation has been moderated at the cost of accepting negligible growth and, even then, continuation of the present situation depends critically on the fickle generosity of the rain gods and the aid donors.


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