[Marxism] Saving India's economy

Jacob Levich jlevich at earthlink.net
Thu May 20 19:27:19 MDT 2004

For a keen analysis of the effect of "liberalization" on the people of
India, as well as the role of Congress and Manmohan Singh, see the current
issue of "Aspects of India's Economy."

An excerpt:

"[W]e have not separated the period of BJP rule from the periods of Congress
or United Front rule. For there has been no break in policy in any respect.
As such none of the major parliamentary parties is in a position to attack
the current economic policies, as all have been party to them either while
in office, or in giving support to the regime in power at one stage or the
other. For example, the entire programme of `structural adjustment',
`liberalisation', and `globalisation' was inaugurated by the Congress regime
in 1991. Repeated hikes in rations prices followed, but the greatest
reduction in food consumption has come about since 1997, after the
introduction of the Targeted Public Distribution System. This system was
introduced by the United Front regime, and continued to be implemented by
the BJP-led NDA regime thereafter. The largest giveaways in income taxes,
and the largest-ever (and most appalling) amnesty scheme, were carried out
by the United Front government. The BJP, which campaigned on the slogan of
swadeshi, or self-reliance, has gone further than any other regime in
subordinating the economy to multinationals, but along a path clearly set in
1991 itself.

Hence our critique of the current state of affairs is aimed at the policies
adopted throughout this period, at the wide range of political parties with
indistinguishable economic policies which share responsibility for this
state of affairs, and at the existing order which promotes such parasitism.

  a.. First, we look at the claim of a dramatic turnaround in GDP growth in
2003-04 to 8.1 per cent.

  b.. Secondly, we look at the actual performance of the industrial sector
and the sorry state of industrial investment.

  c.. Thirdly, we look at where the corporate sector drew its profits from
even as the economy remained depressed.

  d.. Fourthly, we show how, even as productive sectors are starved of
finance, finance is being steered further and further away from promoting
productive activity.

  e.. Fifthly, we show how the present policies, in preparing the ground for
foreign capital, are deepening regional inequalities.

  f.. Sixthly, we show how hunger and poverty (in any meaningful sense of
the term) have deepened to terrible levels since the onset of the new
economic policy. (This has been dealt with at greater length in another
article in this issue.)

  g.. Seventhly, we reveal the vast scale of unemployment and its rapid
growth since the 1990s (this too has been dealt with more elaborately in a
separate article).

  h.. Lastly, we look at the state of Indian agriculture, still the base of
the economy, and now in a profound crisis. "

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