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

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From 50 Years Ago: One Per Cent for Aid?

Editorial from Volume XII, December 17, 1960.

In the past fortnight, two resolutions of con-siderable importance to underdeveloped countries have been passed by the Economic Committee of the UN General Assembly…it has been suggested that the UN set up a ‘Capital development fund’ for facilitating a more effective direction of international economic assistance… The United States, Britain, Ja-pan and South Africa have declined to sup-port the idea of a UN Capital development fund as also to accept a target for providing aid to developing countries…the ostensible reason for their opposition is that such a fund is unnecessary now that the resources of the World Bank have been enlarged and the IDA has been established. …The fact is that the outlook of these agencies is essentially that of the capitalist countries of the West. All the criteria on the basis of which decisions are taken contain a hard core of dogma – on the ‘proper’ role of the public sector, on the concepts of ‘credit-worthiness’, ‘stability’ and so forth… …Few will deny that salvation for underde-veloped countries lies in the rapid development of a complex of industries… it is for the devel-oping country to decide in which sector control of that industry should lie. To deny capital or technical assistance to a country merely be-cause…steel plants will be in the nationalised sector is surely not a completely objective stand for an international institution to take. It is the doctrine that Governments are incapable of managing industries efficiently that lies at the root of this. And one ought not to fight shy of saying so sometimes – even if it hurts.

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