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

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From 50 Years Ago: Phoney Secrecy

Capital View by Romesh Thapar

Reading our press these days, the impression is invariably created that the whole world (with the exception of China and Albania!) is terribly concerned about ensuring India’s economic and political security. President Kennedy’s top ‘take-off’ specialist, W W Rostow, is here, apparently to work out a formula which will give us military muscle and economic health…The Soviet Union has declared its intention to increase its trade with India ten-fold in the next few years. Britain and the Commonwealth countries are already pledged to stand by us during any crisis… Indeed, when the Chinese announce that they will return all India prisoners on April 10, it could be argued that they, too, have joined the wooing!

The reality is very different. Despite the brave face put on by Finance Minister Morarji Desai, it is an open secret that his specialists are working over-time to pull themselves out of concepts like the super profits tax without lowering the reputation of the Ministry... Several vital collaboration agreements have been suspended and many more are likely to be, whether the tax remains or not. As for the small investor, he is unlikely to risk his money in stock markets for some time to come. Anger continues to mount over the price rises, because the only people who seem to be making money are the middlemen and contractors. The virtual suppression of the Mahalanobis Committee’s report is part of the game, for nobody really wants to face the fact that the rich are becoming richer and the poor, poorer.

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