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Centre-State Financial Relations

touches a low. That apart, the freeze was applied on all brokers' limits and banks stopped accepting bills of exchange covering transactions in shares and Government securities which are usually retired in three weeks. Consequently the BSE authorities suspended settlement in cash shares this week.

RBI Sets the Record Straight

Behind Zakir Hussain's Choice A Correspondent from New Delhi writes: IT IS TYPICAL of the Congress that the antagonisms within the High Command continue, oblivious of their consequences for the future of the party. Forewarning of the further disintegration of the Congress can be seen in the entire drama of selecting the party's candidates for the Presidentship and the Vice-Presidentship. The two principal antagonists were the Prime Minister and the Congress President. Each has been trying to outwit the other at a time when the Opposition parties have posed a mortal threat to the Congress. Neither Kamaraj nor Indira Gandhi seems to have given any thought to the criteria which should govern the choice. While Indira Gandhi advocated the candidature of Zakir Hus- sain for the President's post, Kamaraj was doubtful about the wisdom of disturbing the status quo. The continuance of Radhakrishnan, he thought, would compel the Opposition parties to fall in line with the Congress. To counter the Congress President, Indira Gandhi sought to establish links with a section of the Opposition with whose support she hoped to confront Kamaraj and the Congress Parliamentary Board with a fait accompli. The Opposition out-manoeuvred both Kamaraj and the Prime Minister by setting up their own candidates, chosen jointly by all the parties including those whom Indira Gandhi was banking on for support to Zakir Hussain, Even while the Congress Parliamentary Board was seized of the issue a new turn was given to the controversy by Indira Gandhi in concert with the Opposition, much to Kamaraj's discomfiture. Feelers for an Indira-Opposition detente were put out and it was made to appear that a sort of consensus with Zakir Hussain as President and Subba Rao as Vice-President was on the anvil. Badhakrishnain then chose to bow out of the picture. It was at this stage that Kamaraj decided to reverse his role. The Congress Parliamentary Board was again activated, and this time all the members stood foursquare for Zakir Hussain and the party's nominee for Vice-Presidentship, V V Giri, with the implicit rejection of the idea of compromise talks with the Opposition. Kamaraj now led the fight for Zakir Hussain against the combined Opposition. His purpose clearly was to put the responsibility for the outcome of the elections squarely on Indira Gandhi. If Zakir Hussain won, the High Command would share the honours and claim credit for having given battle to the Opposition and won a victory over their combined forces. If instead he lost

Rhodesia Still Unscathed

 the States and the Central Government, is the need to devise an institutional mechanism which can normalise Centre-State financial transactions. Any such device has to reduce to the minimum the importance of the political element in Centre- State financial relations. The Centre should devise more rational and apolitical criteria to allocate Central assistance among the States. Once this objective is fulfilled, the State Governments, whatever the ideology they profess, would be less suspicious of the Centre. Further, they would have greater autonomy, particularly in deciding their planning programmes.

Shrill Noises Instead of Arguments

 the States and the Central Government, is the need to devise an institutional mechanism which can normalise Centre-State financial transactions. Any such device has to reduce to the minimum the importance of the political element in Centre- State financial relations. The Centre should devise more rational and apolitical criteria to allocate Central assistance among the States. Once this objective is fulfilled, the State Governments, whatever the ideology they profess, would be less suspicious of the Centre. Further, they would have greater autonomy, particularly in deciding their planning programmes.

Sugar Prices The Long View

touches a low. That apart, the freeze was applied on all brokers' limits and banks stopped accepting bills of exchange covering transactions in shares and Government securities which are usually retired in three weeks. Consequently the BSE authorities suspended settlement in cash shares this week.

Production Perking Up

The blight on industrial production appears to have been lifted in the last quarter of 1966 during which the growth rate was more or less put on par with the annual rate of growth in 1965. The year 1966 as,a whole, however, ended with a dismal performance; the growth rate was only 2.5 per cent against 5.4 per cent in 1965.

Why Three Languages

The so-called three-language formula, which determines what languages shall be compulsorily taught to children in schools, was thought up by the Central Advisory Board of Education way back in 1956.

Employment: In the Penumbra

The Labour Ministry's survey of the growth of employment over the Third Plan period underscores not so much — as press reports have made out — that employment has grown at a slow rate, but that employment is an objective in which economic policy has neither been, nor has sought to be, very successful.

And So to the Squeeze

The reserve bank has enforced a credit squeeze in the sixth month of the busy season, which technically closes at the end of this month but is likely to extend into May.

Goa Elections

There were many outside Goa who wrote off Dayanand Bandodkar and his Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party as a political force after the January Opinion Poll which went against the party's main objective of merger of Goa with Maharashtra. Within Goa itself, Jack Sequeria and his United Goans Party gave the impression of sharing this feeling in last week's elections to the 30-member Goa Assembly.

Last Days of Konkan Shipping

The Konkan shipping service, which accounts for nearly two thirds of the entire coastal passenger traffic in India, is in a bad way again. Last month saw the exit from the scene of Bombay Steam Navigation Company (BSN) which, established in 1845, was perhaps the first scheduled passenger shipping service in the country. The closure of BSN leaves only Chowgule Steamship in the field. So once again, after a respite of just two years, a single company will have a monopoly of Konkan coastal shipping. It was only two years ago that the Chowgules had started passenger services along the coast thus ending the over a hundred year old monopoly of BSN.

A Bad Slip

This week's communal disturbances in Calcutta, in which eleven persons were killed and a hundred injured, have understandably caused much anxiety, and not in Calcutta or Bengal alone. The matter has been raised in Parliament and in the Punjab Assembly. When incidents like these occur anywhere, involving a minority community, the natural reaction of the community concerned is to suspect the impartiality of the local administration, and the police particularly.

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