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

LiberalisationSubscribe to Liberalisation

‘Surgical Strikes’ on Policies of Liberalisation

A response to Amit Bhaduri’s article titled “Danger Zones of High Economic Growth” (EPW, 22 October 2016). Important questions of policy and economic understanding are raised.

Stock Market in a Liberalised Economy

Considerable debate rages about the impact of deregulation on the efficiency of the market. Free market advocates all too often tend to undermine the unruly behaviour of stock markets in the post liberalisation scenario. On the other hand, opponents believe that stock market reforms may lead to over-speculation, financial crisis and even a misallocation of resources at the cost of real sector growth and stability, as has been seen in the case of India. However, there is now an increasing recognition in LDCs that given the competition for foreign funding and limited availability of domestic finance, the equity market can play a beneficial role in providing capital to the productive sector as well as facilitate the process of privatisation.

IMF's Autocritique of Neo-liberalism?

In a recent article published in Finance and Development, an International Monetary Fund magazine, three economists have critically evaluated the policies the IMF promotes. They acknowledge evidence that suggests that economic growth under neo-liberalism is difficult to sustain, that it leads to an increase in inequality, and that continuing inequality is harmful for sustainable (or continuing) growth.

Trade Liberalisation and Income Convergence

This paper analyses the effect of liberalisation on per capita income convergence between countries. The 1980s and 1990s saw many developing countries open up their economies. Some of these economies continued to lag behind; however, most of them saw rapid growth post liberalisation. To identify the effect of trade on convergence rates, a single difference approach is followed, comparing convergence patterns pre- and post-liberalisation. The convergence measure is estimated between a set of developing countries and their most active trading partners. The results do not reflect any significant change in the rates of convergence for the developing countries pre- and post-liberalisation.

Trade in Services: Policy Issues

Globalisation of Services: India’s Opportunities and Constraints by Rupa Chanda; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2002; npp 276, Rs 595.

India's Competition Policy: An Assessment

Even as it is confronted with the likelihood of negotiations on competition policy after the Cancun Ministerial of the WTO, India is in transition between its Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act and the new Competition Act. This paper undertakes a detailed analysis of various aspects of this situation. It first reviews a series of recent judgments of the Supreme Court that have set aside orders of the MRTP Commission, depriving it of extra-territorial jurisdiction and the power to restrict imports, and curbing its tendency to adjudicate 'fair' prices. Section II examines the Competition Act, especially several amendments that were introduced as it was being passed, including one that explicitly arms the Competition Commission with the authority to impose import restrictions, and several others that will be self-defeating or difficult to implement. While these two sections employ standard economic theory and comparisons with contemporary international practice, Section III adopts a more historical approach, examining the political economy of competition policy in various countries, and its limited scope for serving distributional objectives in the Indian context. Section IV argues that the case for a WTO agreement on competition policy is greatly overstated, and that India should ally with other developing countries to block such an agreement. On a more positive note, while amendments to the Competition Act are implied by the analysis of Section II, the two succeeding sections develop criteria for exemptions from its provisions.

Urbanisation and Urban Governance

This paper attempts to assess the changes in workforce structure and the system of governance associated with macroeconomic reforms and their impact on the rate and pattern of urbanisation in India. The analysis of development dynamics in the 1990s shows that there has been an all-round decline in the growth of employment. Income growth and incidence of poverty have been extremely uneven across states. Thus a slowing down in the rate of urbanisation and concentrations of demographic growth in developed states seem to be the logical outcome. The process of urbanisation has also become exclusionary in nature, as only a few large cities with a strong economic base are able to raise resources for development, leaving out small and medium towns.

Public Sector Textile Mills

A review of the productivity performance of the National Textile Corporation in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry presents a disturbing picture of poor capacity utilisation, outdated technology and machinery, poor maintenance and excess humanpower. The situation calls for drastic restructuring to improve the economic viability of the Corporation

Jagdish Bhagwati and India's Trade Strategy Today

Going It Alone: The Case for Relaxed Reciprocity in Freeing Trade by Jagdish Bhagwati; MIT Press, 2002; pp 592 (Hardcover), $ 60.


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