Conversations With Indian Economists by V.N. Balasubramanyam

By V.N. Balasubramanyam

This booklet on India's monetary rules and function is predicated on conversations with India's respected economists. It covers a few debatable matters in relation to agriculture, industrialization, schooling, and fiscal regulations. all of the economists speak with candor approximately previous coverage blunders and the long run customers for the financial system.

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The obvious villain of the piece here is the multinational enterprise. The case against the multinationals has been rehearsed so often that it does not bear repetition here. The view that foreign direct investment is not a cure-all for the development problem though is noteworthy. The critics are right in arguing that in the absence of competition, multinationals are unlikely to bestow the various bene®ts on society expected of them. The tariff-jumping variety of foreign direct investment as opposed to investments undertaken in a competitive environment is unlikely to yield the hoped for social bene®ts.

Lakdawala and Dantwala as members. R. Gadgil was the ViceChairman. K. V. K. N. Raj. The panel was to discuss the Mahalanobis draft. Nehru wanted the economists to approve the model. When I received the papers, it was clear to me that the model would not promote consumption or employment, and it would land us in what we now call the Licence-Permit Raj. The model would place the economy in the groove of a tunnel, whose implications would be revealed only through the passage of time. It was clear to me that a communistic organisational form would be gradually imposed on the economy by the emerging necessity of circumstances as implied in the model.

I identi®ed three components ± the Malthusian subsistence wage, wages required to sustain work and an incentive component. Ricardo did not take into account the latter two components. These three components of the wage had to be separated. In the Ricardian scheme, there would be no disguised unemployment or work-sharing. This is because in the schema of the classicals, organisational structures would remove the perpetuation of excess population; there would be workhouses, for instance. Under Indian conditions, organisational structures would deteriorate to absorb surplus labour, with the result the system would not grow and it would eat up potential savings.

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