Books on globalization

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Thu Mar 15 09:47:42 MST 2001


Louis Proyect:
> Let's say you're a farmer. That's  not a stretch: According to the  new
> book Views From the South:  The Effects of Globalization and  the WTO on
> Third World Countries,  three-quarters of humanity earns  its living from
> agriculture. You're  South Asian; that's not unlikely,  either. One-fifth
> of the world's  population lives on the  subcontinent. Once upon a time
you
> grew the foods you and your neighbors actually ate, diverse cereal grains,
> which kept stomachs comfortably full even if they left your village poor
in
> cash. Now you have been globalized-pressured to raise commodities for sale
> abroad. Integrating the nation into the "global marketplace" was not your
> choice-not even your prime minister's choice. It was, simply, an
imperative
> if India was to receive the International Monetary Fund and World Bank
> loans it needs to survive.

I do not know what is the source for these claims. However, I will make few
comments:

1. India's policy on agriculture is largely determined by rich farmers'
lobby in India.
This is a powerful lobby and no Indian bourgeois regime can survive for long
without
defending this lobby. It is not the WTO (even less IMF and World Bank)
that determines Indian policy on agriculture. To say that India survives on
IMF/WB loans is nonsense.

2. India's proposals for review of Agreement on Agriculture under the WTO
include the demand to include Food Security and Livehood Box. This would
enable WTO members to impose quantitative and tariff barriers on imports. In
the meanwhile the Government has hiked import duties on agriculture. The
current rates are between 150-180%, with further commitment
to raise duties if required.

3. India is not a major importer of agricultural products. India is not a
major exporter of agricultural products. WTO conditions will apply to all
members, including Chinese and Vietnamese agriculture. India's total exports
are less than ten percent of India's GDP. India's agricultural exports are
just a fraction of India's GDP from agriculture. The same is true of India's
imports. It is not difficult to compare India's dependence on the world
market with that of self styled Marxist-Leninist regimes in the world.

Ulhas










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