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

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CURRENCY CRISIS-Pavlovian Response

February 17, 1973 Ultimately, it is not a question of one's faith but of commonsense. There can, alas be no emancipation of agriculture within a tenurial system where the share-croppers and the landless labourers are under the total social domination of the jotedars and the big landlords. This, one would have thought, would by now be recognised as basic to the economic realities in West Bengal. Overriding the honesty of intentions is the determining factor of the chosen modality. The State Planning Board have hopes that the CADP programme would resusciate the co-operative movement in the state. It would, one dares to wager, do precisely the opposite. The movement has flopped here, as it has flopped in the other eastern states, for one straightforward reason; the money-lenders and the landlords infiltrated themselves into the credit societies and .syphoned away funds for their own private purposes; the supposed instrument for protecting the weak from the depredations of the strong became just another weapon in the hands of the latter to mow down the former. The CADP could be a bigger version of the same sad story. Since there is no prior stress on land reforms, hierarchical relations in the countryside would remain unaltered, and the local representatives of the government would surender the effec- IN less than eight months the Reserve Bank has suspended forward exchange transactions for the second time, throwing the export trade of the country into disarray. During the last currency crisis in June-July 1972, it took the Reserve Bank nearly six days to come forward with its spot rates for buying and selling sterling which were only fractionally different from the earlier ones. Once again it has taken the government and the Reserve Bank almost as much time to announce that the Reserve Bank would continue its spot transactions at the prevailing rates which were until then declared provisional and subject to adjustment. More than a week has already passed since the Reserve Bank suspended its forward ex- tive political administration of the CADP programme to the entrenched rural oligarchy. It is the latter who would decide on the deployment of bank credit; they would distribute the fertilisers; they would select the marketing agents; they would take charge of the irrigation and drainage projects; they too, to the hilarity of evrybody, would be assigned the responsibility for implementing the land reform legislation. This would be integer programming with a vengeance: all the exploiters of rural society would be harnessed together and would receive special dispensations from the state for theif pleasures. At least, till recently, there could have been the possibility of different government agencies responsible for organising the supply of inputs for agriculture now and then working at cross purposes; sometimes one or two from amongst them might even offer a gesture in favour of the landless labourers and the small farmers. Under the new scheme being hawked around, arrangements for the wholesale exploitation of these categories would indeed be fool-proof. The individual apparatus would be dovetailed into one another, and the unfortunate ones in society would be squeezed to liquidation under a total scheme -

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