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

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The Moneylenders Terms

The Moneylenders' Terms WHETHER the finance minister's budget speech as such has to be cleared with the Fund-Bank minions based in New Delhi is by now a matter of relative unimportance. The specifics of the budget proposals have in any case to be cleared with them. After all, this is one of the mute conditions attached to the Structural Adjustment Programme. On one or two minor issues, with respect to which the Fund or the Bank or both might He particularly insistent and the government of India might, for reasons of domestic politics, feel particularly squeamish, intervention at higher levels would be called for. The budget-eve visit of a principal functionary of the World Bank need not therefore mystify any quarters. Presumably fund-Bank officialdom want full convertibility of the rupee to be announced along with the presentation of the budget. Or they want a cut in public spending beyond what the ministry of finance has provided for in the preliminary schemata of the budget it has drawn up. In the country's present circumstances, the assumption has to be that, what the foreign financial institutions want from the government they will get from it. Should they be sufficiently propitiated, they might even throw in one or two billion dollars of extra loans for the year. The national media would really go to town with the news of this further act of benevolence on the part of international financial agencies.

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