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

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BIHAR-Teaching the Santhals a Lesson

is not a very good augury for making a Plan, much less for implementing it. Another area of anxiety for the planners is export performance which is far from adequate to sustain the import liberalisation policy without getting into serious balance of payments difficulties. The growth of exports in volume terms has been only two per cent during the Sixth Plan. The problem can only worsen, if, in addition to liberal imports in the name of securing high tech inputs for upgrading domestic production Capacities, there are imports, as for instance in the case of sugar, for augmenting supplies for current consumption in the name of holding the price line and easing inflationary pressures. The planners have considered it wise that the level of foreign financing of the Seventh Plan should be modest. Even so, it is proposed to be 10 per cent of the Plan outlay which will be higher than that in the Sixth Plan which was seven per cent. However, considering what is euphemistically called deterioration in the climate for foreign aid flows and the rising cost of servicing foreign credit, even the modest level of foreign financing proposed for the Seventh Plan will involve onerous repayment liabilities. In the absence of any visible signs of a breakthrough in exports, the viability of the policy of import liberalisation is bound to remain in question. In this con' text Yojana Bhavan circles are intrigued that the Prime Minister has not so far found suitable Cabinet Ministers to take charge of even such important ministries as Commerce and Industry. They are also worried about the dragging of feet on the question of improving the management structures of public sector enterprises which continue to suffer from bureaucratic and political interference. The fact indeed appears to be that except for a few enthusiasts of liberalising, the Planning Commission as such is not that close to the economic policy preferences of the government. Nor does it enjoy the confidence of the political authority as is necessary for making the Commission's advice effective and its work purposeful. While, therefore, the Seventh Plan will be prepared with all the usual frills and pretensions, the planners themselves seem to be uncertain about the direction of the government's economic policies.

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