ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Biotech and Third World

Biotech and Third World Satish Jha The Gene Hunters: Bio-technology and the Scramble for Seeds by Calcstous Juma; Zed Books, London and Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1989; pp xiv+288, price not stated.

UNCTAD s New Thinking

UNCTAD's New Thinking Satish Jha COMPARED to its glorious beginning in the mid-sixties UNCTAD has not been known lately for being an effective instrument of expressing the 'other' viewpoint. Blamed by the mainstream developmental institutions as soft-headed and by those whose cause it is supposed to espouse as ineffective, it has been facing the worst of both worlds. Twenty-five years old now, it is planning to build a new reputation for itself. Its Trade Development Report, 1989 (TDR-89) is supposed to give us an idea how. But if the latest TDR is any guide, it is evident that it may not be easy to evolve an'UNCTAD way of looking at things as they are or as they should be.

Stabilising International Commodity Prices-Too Little Too Late

Commodity Prices Too Little Too Late?
IT has taken fifteen years to find a seat for the Common Fund for Commodities. This July the first governing body meeting of the Fund at Geneva decided to locate its offices at Amsterdam in Netherlands and appointed Budi Hartantyo of Indonesia (a former Dutch colony) its first chief executive. But considering that the Common Fund is the only concrete symbol of the idea of a new international economic order and should have meant a great deal for the developing countries, its birth was a rather quiet affair. Moreover, the process of giving it the final touches has left a few questions about its functioning and the future.

ENERGY POLICY- Bizarre Logic

for tax-payers would appear to have been conceived on the principle of a continuing voluntary disclosures' scheme which in the past was regarded as a time-bound ad hoc measure. The business tycoons should be fully satisfied by such a dispensation. The government-business relationship had dramatically improved and strengthened in the wake of the economic liberalisation policy and the fiscal measures introduced in last year's budget. There was some strain and friction in the relationship for a brief while when perceptions of the two sides about the implications of and obligations under the new economic and fiscal policy differed somewhat. The problems would appear to have been now sorted out and the business- government relationship is moving in the desired direction under the policy of market- oriented economic liberalisation. Those who ruefully noted after the presentation of the budget this year a fall in share prices and 'complete demoralisation' in the stock markets which had been earlier booming were, it now turns out, unduly alarmed by the populist gestures of the government. They have now every reason to rejoice and took forward to high profits and good business.

SEVENTH PLAN-Moonshine on Employment

SEVENTH PLAN Moonshine on Employment Satish Jha THINGS could have looked up for India's poor. A new political leadership promising to offer a 'government that works better' and the time to write a new Five-Year Plan offered an opportunity to make a fresh move to help the poor. Morale of the planners seemed high. Just one word from the Prime Minister and they could turn a Five-Year Plan into a long-run fifteen-year plan in a matter of weeks, But on the vital issues that are supposed to concern a planned economy the Seventh Plan document is no less ambiguous than the half-a-dozen similar exercises preceding it. In fact, in its strategy as in its stated intent the Plan is little short of a scandal.

POWER-Captive Growth without Planning

formed in January 1982; it submitted a charter of demands which included formulation of a scientific and pro- people health policy; arrangements for x-ray. EGG and pathological and biochemical examinations all the 24 hours of the day; supply of essential life- savins drugs and equipment to hospitals and health centres; 43 hours of work in a week, jobs for all willing doctors, increase of stipends to different categories of junior doctors, etc. The ABJDF also stressed the deplor- able conditions obtaining in hospitals and health centres. The HSA also submitted a charter of demands in 1980.

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