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Constraints on Growth and Policy Options

A. Vaidyanathan
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 12, No. 38 (Sep. 17, 1977), pp. 1643-1650
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4365934
Page Count: 8
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Constraints on Growth and Policy Options
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Abstract

It is the contention of this paper that (a) The possibilities of accelerating overall growth, even to the degree visualised in the long-term projections given in the revised Fifth Plan, are doubtful essentially because of the severe constraint on the possibility of stepping up the growth of agriculture and export. (b) The constraints on agriculture are in part technological and in large part institutional; while in the case of exports the ramification of a significantly more outward-oriented growth may involve changes in many fundamental tenets, including political, of current development policy. (c) To continue committing investment programmes (both the level and the composition) without regard to the above constraints, exposes the economy to risks of inflation and wasteful use of limited investible resources. (d) With a modest growth, it is inevitable that redistributive measures should play a much bigger role in efforts to improve the conditions of the poor, the more so because with slow growth the possibility of the poor getting jobs and maintaining the real wage level is greatly reduced. (e) A larger anti-poverty programme, consisting essentially of employment generating growth, infrastructural and productive agricultural projects concentrated in the poor areas, is possible provided that the fiscal instrument is effectively used to contain the consumption of the rich. There is also much scope for increasing the impact of such programmes by greater care in selecting areas and in the planning and implementation of the projects. (f) Both with anti-poverty and agricultural programmes, the development of viable and responsible local institutions is critical to success.

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