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

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On Not Sticking to One s Last

Arthagnani THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS to the Forty-Ninth Session of the All- India Economic Conference dealt with a topic which, besides being of general interest, was one on which the President could speak with intimate knowledge. The topic was "The Limits of Economic Policy", and the speaker I G Patel, Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India. Economists are interested in the subject not only because as citizens they are consumers of the product but also because as economists, they are its suppliers. The market for the product, as defined by employment in Government agencies, has increased tremendously in recent times. Patel, however, was concerned with the technical limitations of the product and he magnanimously proposed to deal with the subject "not in the best traditions of a trade union gather- ing"(3).1 The main theme of Patel's address was that the response to economic instruments is indeterminate and, therefore, it is not possible to work out all the implications of an economic policy decision. Secondly, in taking economic decisions, an economist needs to be guided by considerations derived from other disciplines (belonging both to the social and the physical sciences). Thirdly, there are various constraints

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