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Calcutta Diary

 A TALE of two years. Crop-wise, 1967 was a thoroughly bad year, but the rate of price increase was only half of what it has been in the current year. In 1967, the production of foodgrains in the country was at least 80 million tonnes lower, but procurement was more than twice what it will be this year. In 1967, 14 million tonnes of foodgrains were supplied through the public distribution system, but in 1974, it will be a surprise if even 6 million tonnes get distributed. In 1967, traders and big farmers were still somewhat in awe of the government, but now in 1974, they control it and ordain its policies.

Calcutta Diary

 Calcutta Diary SOMETIMES one docs not feel like writing about a fact, because by the very act of writing one confirms that fact. Daniel Thorner said a quiet goodbye, a couple of weeks ago, in Paris

Calcutta Diary

Calcutta Diary A M THIS is an inexorable process; the shortage of paper claims victims in the remotest quarters. The little magazines are in danger of extinction: the ones with pretensions of monthly appearance have converted themselves into quarterlies; the quarterlies have turned into biannuals; the biannuals have ceased to be so, they have become so much chancy statistic. And all of them have thinned down.

Calcutta Diary

A M NEVER say die. The Economic Policy Committee of the Union Cabinet hesitated when presented with a demand that vanaspati prices be raised by something like 20 per cent at one go. So what. Within a bare two days, the Political Affairs Committee took charge of the matter, and allowed the asked- for price increase. Thereby, an important point was rubbed in, a point which pedantic professors of economics often miss out: Economic policy has no suzerainty of its own, it is a derivative of political Affairs.

Calcutta Diary

 Rs 35.76 lakhs last year. The company claims that its results would have been considerably better but for substantial loss of production at the paper mill because of a power cut of 40 per cent imposed for about 2

Calcutta Diary

Calcutta Diary A M THIS could have been predicted. Now thut the saints have come marchin' in, and private enterprise has worked its way back into the Government of India, where else to look for guidance and light than Brazil

Calcutta Diary

Calcutta Diary A M MEET Kamal Bose, son of late Surendra Nath Bose of 11 Surya Kumar Chatterjec Street, Calcutta; occupation: social service worker at Chittaranjan Cancer Hospital, 37 Syamaprasad Moo- kerjee Road, Calcutta; drawing a sum of Rs 34-3 and 55 paise only per month as salary and allowances; a citizen of India, head of household consisting of himself, his wile, and a child of two years.

Calcutta Diary

One of the major problems with regard to expansion of capacity in the paper industry is the absence of production facilities on the paper machine side. Lack of design facilities is largely to blame for this, but surprisingly no effective steps have been taken to strengthen our design capabilities.

Calcutta Diary

 Calcutta Diary A M MAY DAY is a paid holiday in Calcutta

Calcutta Diary

 Calcutta Diary A M WHAT might have been and what has been point to one end, which is always present. So many passages, which we did not take, lead towards doors we never opened. Elementary lessons in economics were never learned, a hundred opportunities were allowed to waste. In those relatively tranquil years, spanning between 1968 and 1971, voices, here and there, even inside government, had implored, pleaded, almost whined, in order to reach the ears of the political leadership: voices that tried to tell the authorities that if you burn the candle at both ends, once the season of carnivals is over, it will be death. Ironically, other echoes have now begun to inhabit the garden: Of all people, it is the Prime Minister who is talking of the folly of burning the candle at both ends; but alas, she has got the context all wrong.

Calcutta Diary

 Calcutta Diary A M THE old order changeth, yielding place to old. Bank chairmen, nearly the whole lot of them, are now part of the nationalised sector. Has it made the minutest difference to their style, of functioning? In their annual statements, these chairmen now-a-days have to add one or two mandatory paragraphs on what they are doing, or propose to do, for the 'hitherto neglected sectors. Come hither, ye hitherto-neglected sectors, be at attention, we are, for the next twenty-two seconds, going to talk about you; nationalisation has made it necessary that we devote, additionally, two hundred eighty to three hundred five words in our annual statements extolling your several virtues. For the rest, 'responsible' banking demands that hank chairmen must continue to meet their obligations to the organised industrial sector, ensure that packing credits for exports are dealt with expeditiously, be solicitous of the whims and foibles of those of their clients whose deposits exceed, say, Rs 10 crores, look into the matter of obtaining a healths return from their investment portfolio, see to it that the pet projects of key politicians in the different states are properly taken care of. make absolutely certain that those who subsidise ministers are a turn themselves duly subsidised. After all this, where does one find the time or resources for ushering in a credit revolution in the country? Yon scan the annual statements which are splashed, at fat cost, across the newspaper columns: even the format of the statements remains unchanged from days of yore, with the inevitable, slightly blur- red, supremely complaisant-looking picture of the chairman and managing director at top, left

Calcutta Diary

April, 13, 1974 CONSIDER that much maligned category, labour in West Bengal, Mothers in comfortable bourgeois households all over the country must be still narrating to their young offspring hair-raising stories about the indescribably evil deeds perpetrated by the industrial working class in this state during 1967- 71. Life then, the children would be told, was nasty, brutish, and short; civilisation had come to an end in this corner of the earth; the travails that the state is currently undergoing are the result of the brutalities indulged in by labour in those years

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