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

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KERALA-Preparing for the Inevitable

is that the so-called policy of liberalisation has nothing to show for itself. It is becoming difficult even in political terms to live with it. This is testified to by the reversion to radical rhetoric Within the liberalisation frame, however, such rhetoric is bound to be a pathetic, counter-productive effort. It may, therefore, appear logical, considering the increasing fiscal imbalance and mounting demands of development and defence, that the government would soon be forced to take 'unpopular' decisions, including new taxes, increases in administered prices and cuts in subsidies. Such measures may, however, raise all manner of new problems, economic, administrative and political. It will be interesting to watch the process of adjustments in economic policies and political alignments. Another phase in financial management may have opened with the recent meeting of the full Planning Commission. What may follow could well be a series of gambles in economic policy and political management. There is no evidence yet to show that development planning based on a meaningful policy frame is proposed to be revived and popular mass sanctions mobilised for the purpose, though the Planning Commission may feel gratified that it could attract some attention from the political leadership after being on ice for a long time. But it is also doubtful that a wishy-washy paper on financial imbalances written by Raja Chelliah will do the trick and safeguard the Seventh Plan. The fact to be reckoned with is that Chelliah, himself a strong votary of the so-called economic liberalisation policy, has played his part, together with L K Jha in bringing about the present financial imbalances. The Planning Commission has to take a more forthright stand than it dared to at the recent meeting of the full Planning Commission if it is to play a meaningful role as an expert advisory authority.

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