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

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Congress(I)- Cynical Cynicism

Cynical Cynicism TAKING some liberty with the English language, one could aptly characterise the economic resolution presented to the AICC(I) meeting in New Delhi as an excise in cynical cynicism. This was a thoroughly revised version of the original draft prepared by the Union Minister of Finance, Viswanath Pratap Singh. Singh's draft had not only made no mention of any commitment to socialism and the public sector, but even had sought to justify the omission 'theoretically'. He had held that "in the process of continued development, the policy instruments relevant to one stage cannot be treated as permanently sacrosanct. Nor are they ends in themselves.'' That this, again, was not a fit of absent-mindedness, but the articulation of a fully thought-out strategy is borne out by the operative blueprint of the Union government for the immediate present, viz, the Central Budget for 1985- 86, and various other policy pronouncements and decisions made by the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister in the subsequent weeks. Furthermore, the political implications of this policy reorientation was not unclear to the Finance Minister when he had formulated his budget proposals. He had clearly noted in his budget speech the contradictions that crept in between the measures for raising investible resources and the sur vival of parliamentary democracy in a country with a large proportion of the population below the poverty line. He had even underscored the need for political wisdom on the part of the country's leadership in this situation. In practice, however, V P Singh chose to ignore the imperatives suggested by himself: he heaped burdens on the poor while giving bonuses to the rich.

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