Economic policies are essentially rooted in the politics of
the country. We must ask ourselves: How, in a political democracy, have we come to adopt policies which are not in the interests of the common people? How is it that the focus of the government is primarily on policies which subserve
the interests of the Big Business and of (predatory) foreign capital? And how the coalition partners take all this? Arun Ghosh elaborates.
NINETEENTH CENTURY economists all spoke of and wrote about 'political economy'; they never treated economics as a science, but as a study of human economic behaviour in regard to the organisation of production (and distribution of the social product) under different social formations. The error in modern neoclassical economics - in attempting to delineate economic relationships in precise mathematical formulae - has now been demonstrated very closely by none other than the Government of India, but some of the directions in which economic policy-making is moving. These need some elaboration.
Take a minor indication of how policy is evolved and who directs policy-making. The official Indian team to the WTO Ministerial meeting at Seattle, under the Commerce Minister, Mr. Murasoli Maran, as the leader of the delegation which was made up of: (a) officials of the Government, (b) a few chosen members of Parliament (representing different parties), and (c) two representatives each of the CII, the Assocham and the FICCI. No other private organisation/expert body/individual expert on trade matters was included. Not even former Indian Ambassadors to the GATT (who have intimate knowledge not only of trade issues but also of the nuances of the Uruguay Round negotiations).
One can understand an official …