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

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Macroeconomic Management

This paper examines Bangladesh's macroeconomic performance in the light of market-oriented liberalising policy reforms. By looking at the trends in fiscal, external and investment-savings balances, it analyses how, despite falling inflows of foreign aid, Bangladesh achieved macroeconomic stabilisation and an acceleration of economic growth in the 1990s. The paper concludes that for consolidating the transition from stabilisation to growth, improvements are needed in many areas such as revenue mobilisation, the efficiency of the financial system and the overall investment environment.

Trade, Food Aid and Food Security

This paper argues that trade liberalisation, which permitted the import of rice and wheat by the private sector, has enhanced national food security in Bangladesh. In particular, it highlights the positive contribution of rice imports from India in recent years of major production shortfalls. The paper also makes a case for a flexible rice trade policy to protect farmers from the potential disincentive effects of continued food aid and low-cost commercial imports.

Rice Economy of Bangladesh

Bangladesh has achieved remarkable success in attaining near self-sufficiency in the production of rice. This paper traces the transformation of the rice economy of Bangladesh over the past two decades. It examines the factors behind the growth in rice production and the role of market-oriented policy reforms, particularly in respect of the liberalisation and privatisation of agricultural input markets. The paper argues in favour of strengthening the role of the private sector in input markets while emphasising larger allocations of public resources for agricultural research and water resource development.

Rural Non-Farm Economy

The contribution of non-farm activities to generation of employment and growth of rural incomes in the early stages of development is well recognised in the development literature. For Bangladesh, available official statistics do not allow an analysis of the structure and growth of rural non-farm economy, as the data is not available separately for rural and urban areas. This paper uses data available from two national level sample surveys of rural household to analyse the change in the structure of the rural non-farm economy and its contribution to the growth and distribution of rural incomes in Bangladesh during the 1990s.

Impact of Trade Liberalisation

This paper examines the impact of trade liberalisation in particular, and of economic deregulation in general, on economic growth and employment generation. The rapid growth of ready-made garment industry - and, to a lesser extent, that of export-oriented shrimp production - are discussed as evidence of direct beneficial impact of increased trade openness. Besides, trade liberalisation also indirectly contributed to stimulating other parts of the economy, thus contributing to pro-poor growth.

Indo-Bangladesh Economic Relations

The paper looks at the various aspects of Indo-Bangladesh trade relations, including cross-border illegal trade, the comparative trade regimes in the two countries, investment cooperation and the implications of the proposed Free Trade Agreement. It particularly explores the prospects and ways of increasing Bangladesh's exports to India, thus addressing the existing trade imbalance. The paper concludes that mutually beneficial agreements are facilitated if the various aspects of economic cooperation are seen in a comprehensive framework and if there is willingness in both countries to compromise and take a long view.

Grameen Bank, Microcredit and Millennium Development Goals

This paper traces the evolution of the ideas and practice of microcredit as pioneered by the Grameen Bank. Over the years, microcredit programmes in Bangladesh have grown, providing a wide range of services to meet the economic and social needs of its citizens, mostly poor women. It comes up with suggestions regarding the emerging issues of financial self-reliance and institutional sustainability of microcredit programmes.

Health and Population

This paper reviews Bangladesh's achievements in health and population, and examines the role of government policy-making in bringing about this significant social change. Emerging challenges in the sector are highlighted and the strategies for state provision of health and family planning services in view of these challenges and the pro-poor development agenda are discussed. The paper concludes that reducing socio-economic inequalities in health outcomes and improving aggregate health indicators further will be extremely difficult in the future without significant transformation in quality of care and management of service provision.

Tribal Resistance in the Chhechhari Valley-A Field Report

A Field Report Nita Mishra For the last 40 years, the army has used vast areas in the Chhechhari Valley (also known as Netrahat) for various military exercises. The recent proposal of the 23 Artillery Brigade to acquire for a period of 10 years large tracts of land for afield firing and artillery practice range has prompted organised resistance of the tribals in the region against the inevitable displacement While their movement rests on a strong case, the discriminatory policy of the government may yet overcome people's resistance.

Public Policy Responses to Development-Induced Population Displacements

Population Displacements Michael M Cernea The forced displacement of populations caused by many infrastructural development programmes epitomises one category of disruptive changes that may occur as by-products of economic growth. Now should adverse consequences of development programmes be treated? What are the actual response patterns that can be distinguished, encouraged or rejected? This article addresses the roles and actual responses of mainly, though not exclusively two of the key social actors that participate in this process, namely, social scientists and governments. Population displacement calls for structured public policy responses as well as for continuous attention from social scientists.

Mental Health Consequences

of Displacement and Resettlement Byron J Good A broadly defined mental health perspective, one that incorporates an understanding of social and behavioural problems along with mental illnesses, as well as quite specific models of prevention, and of mental health services can have important implications for the development of resettlement and relocation policies.

Vasava Identity in Transition-Some Theoretical Issues

Some Theoretical Issues Roxanne Hakim Resettlement to the Vasavas, a community of largely subsistence farmers in Gujarat, involves a physical move from the hills to the plains which restructures the way the community views itself as well as the way it is viewed by others. Resettlement demands the restructuring of production and consumption patterns, which the 'dungri' (hill people) Vasavas view as the essence of their distinction from the 'deshis' (plains people). Thus while they do not perceive a threat to their identity, as they see it, from the adoption of deshi dress or religion, they are concerned about the restructuring of production and consumption patterns which resettlement will involve.

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