Pricing, Planning & Politics: A Study of Economic Distortions in India 1984, uploaded as pdf 2021
Budgets & Financial Positions of Three of India’s Most Populous States (combined population c.300 million)…Brought to you especially by Dr Subroto Roy… Feel free to use (with acknowledgment)…
Critique of Amartya Sen: A Tragedy of Plagiarism, Fake News, Dissimulation
3 June 2014
Foundations of India’s Political Economy: Towards an Agenda for the 1990s edited by Subroto Roy & William E James, 1986-1992… pdf copy uploaded 2021
Foundations of Pakistan’s Political Economy: Towards an Agenda for the 1990s, edited by William E James & Subroto Roy, 1986-1993… pdf copy uploaded 2021
|Budgets & Financial Positions of Three of India’s Most Populous States (combined population c.300 million)…Brought to you especially by Dr Subroto Roy… Feel free to use (with acknowledgment)…||Government Finance 2003-2004 (C&AG data)|
|EXPENDITURE ACTIVITIES : Rs Bn (Hundred Crore)|
|government & local government||18.19||2.58%||30.33||3.52%||8.68||1.68%|
|police (including vigilance etc)||19.81||2.81%||25.81||2.99%||13.47||2.61%|
|collecting land revenue & taxes||42.25||6.00%||8.41||0.98%||4.32||0.84%|
|government employee pensions||26.36||3.74%||29||3.36%||26.11||5.05%|
|schools, colleges, universities, institutes||93.74||13.31%||62.79||7.28%||45.06||8.72%|
|health, nutrition & family welfare||23.42||3.33%||18.97||2.20%||14.7||2.84%|
|water supply & sanitation||10.22||1.45%||6.04||0.70%||3.53||0.68%|
|roads, bridges, transport etc.||12.96||1.84%||16.13||1.87%||8.29||1.60%|
|irrigation, flood cntrl., environ, ecology||70.79||10.05%||29.98||3.48%||10.78||2.09%|
|agricultural subsidies, rural development||41.3||5.86%||16.07||1.86%||7.97||1.54%|
|capital city development||6.25||0.89%||1.08||0.13%||7.29||1.41%|
|soc security, SC, ST, OBC, lab.welfare||25.4||3.61%||18.36||2.13%||9.87||1.91%|
|arts, archaeology, libraries, museums||0.75||0.11%||0.37||0.04%||0.16||0.03%|
|debt amortization & debt servicing||261.03||37.07%||373.6||43.34%||314.77||60.89%|
|grants from Union of India||22.7||24.82||18.93|
|GOVERNMENT BORROWING REQUIREMENT|
|(total expenditure less total income) =||355.71||420.65||349.93|
|new public debt issued||317.02||385.41||339.48|
|use of Trust Funds etc.||38.68||35.26||10.45|
Now in pdf here https://independentindian.com/2021/11/12/foundations-of-indias-political-economy-towards-an-agenda-for-the-1990s-edited-by-subroto-roy-william-e-james/
Monday, August 15, 2011
From Facebook August 11 2011
Subroto Roy is glad to hear on the telephone from the Registrar of the “Institution of National Importance” where my professorial office was left in-tact on August 23 2003 that he now agrees my “personal belongings” there are not “Institute property” and he is making efforts to trace their location.
Arrow and Hahn, General Competitive Analysis, 1971
Bliss, Capital Theory and the Distribution of Income, 1975
Arrow, Collected Works
Burrows and Hitiris, Macroeconomic theory
Henderson and Quandt, Microeconomics
Takayama, Mathematical economics
Markowitz, Mean Variance analysis
Bernstein, How futures markets work
Akehurst, Modern introduction to international law
Dumont, Homo heirarchicus
AEA Surveys of economic growth, two volumes
Amartya Sen, Collective Choice and Social Welfare
Amartya Sen, On Economic Inequality
Amartya Sen (ed) Growth Economics
Townsend (ed) Price Theory
Clower (ed) Monetary Theory
Lecture notes in statistics
Lecture notes in econometrics
Lecture notes in mathematical economics
IMF working papers, research monographs
About 16 masters level student theses
About 4 undergraduate BTech level theses…
Etc etc, a partial reconstruction from memory…
From Facebook August 10 2011:
Subroto Roy fears that many of his academic books, papers, lecture notes, student theses, mostly invaluable, even his Cambridge gown, may have been stolen, yes stolen, from his professorial office by a conscious deliberate decision of the administrative authorities of a major academic institution in India, deemed an “Institution of National Importance”….
Sully Augustine Outrageous!
Subroto Roy Indeed. I have managed eight years without them and now there is a High Court order for them to be returned to me, but the Registrar of the place tells me on the phone he thinks it became “Institute property”…
Frank Cowell !
Subroto Roy Battling corruption in academia is a painful and exhausting business.
Subroto Roy fears that his precious priceless 1977 copy of the 1971 edition of Arrow and Hahn has been stolen, yes stolen, by a major academic institution in India, deemed an “Institution of National Importance”….
From Facebook, April 11, 2011
I came to quote Keynes’s statement in Chapter 9 “Mathematical Economics and Reality” of my 1989 book *Philosophy of Economics*...
From Subroto Roy & WE James’s Introduction 1989-1990 to Foundations of India’s Political Economy: Towards an Agenda for the 1990s edited by them, published by Sage 1992, received by Rajiv Gandhi on September 1990 in manuscript form.
“Finally, no discussion of the subcontinent’s political economy can ignore the fact of the monumental poverty of external goods on the part of a vast population, in contrast with a fairly large class of people with adequate livelihoods, in turn contrasting with small islands of indolence and conspicuous consumption. Benjamin Disraeli said of Victorian England that it consisted of two nations. The Indian subcontinent today consists in many respects of two nations living side by side, the real division being much less longitudinal on religious or communal lines (as intended by Muslim separatists at the time of Partition and Hindu imperialists today) as it is latitudinal on class lines between “bhadralok” and “janata”, middle class and working classes, bourgeoisie and masses, “nomenclatura” and proletariat. The sheer numbers can justify speaking of whole nations, the janata in India alone consisting of something like seven hundred million people, the bhadralok of one hundred and fifty million. The Indian bhadralok on their own constitute one of the largest nations on earth.
The bhadralok are not to be distinguished from the janata by any self-styled civility, nor is there any inevitable conflict which will lead to the victory of one and decimation of the other, nor is it that one derives its income from productive effort or enterprise and the other does not. A more effective criterion by which to distinguish the two nations of India may have to do not with work but with leisure, as well as with the kind of capital that comes to be inherited over time. The janata are the unleisured nation of India, people who mostly due to the meagreness of their initial resources come to possess little or no leisure in the course of their lifetimes. They are scattered and illiterate, without connections in high places, often too involved with the hardships of daily life to care for much else. They eat and sleep to maintain the minimum energy needed to survive, reproduce and send their children to school or work, travelling through life day by day and week by week. They may have some short time devoted to religion or entertainment, but life is too often too hard, not so much without happiness or culture as without much time for either. Expectations of what life has to offer may be unambitious and yet successful.
Inequality from an economic point of view may consist of the fact that the poor do not inherit any leisure from the past. They do not inherit the savings of their parents and ancestors because most did not have parents and ancestors who had any savings to leave behind. Capital and the income it generates, and the consumption which such income makes possible, are among the most subtle notions of political economy. As a rough approximation, if we distinguish between human capital, physical and financial capital, and social and political capital, it may be said that the inheritance of economic inequality in India may consist of the inheritance of economic inequality in India may consist of the inheritance by the janata of no form of capital except their own stock of human capital. There is little or no inheritance from parents of savings or any other form of capital. Hence the janata are also the “garib lok”, the masses are also the poor folk.
By contrast the bhadralok are also the leisured nation of the subcontinent, with the time and inclination to praise or decry the state of the culture or the economy or the prime minister, to visit or return from the outside world (“baahar”) to the subcontinent or vice versa, to take a walk in the morning or a nap in the afternoon, to express compassion for or embarrassment about the existence of the janata (especially in relation to the foreigner since the bhadralok have to explain both their privileged position relative to the janata and their often underprivileged position relative to the foreigner with whom they desire to consort), to study the janata or lead them in revolution or take measurements of them, and to read, write, edit or publish books such as this one. The bhadralok are the “respectable people” of the subcontinent, with names, family histories and reputations, literate and often highly educated, bilingual at least, with an inheritance of or illusions about acknowledged places in society. They inherit from their parents and save for their children physical and financial capital, invest in their human capital, and bestow to them as much social and political capital as they can. The mercantile and industrial bhadralok own and transfer to their children relatively more physical and financial capital, while the managerial, administrative and professional bhadralok may transfer relatively more social and political capital. At the apex of both groups is an elite amounting to a few million people, united perhaps by their membership or attempted membership of the post-British social clubs and centres of intellectualism, or foreign universities and the lower middle classes of Britain and North America.
What may be expected in the long run is mobility between the two nations and in both directions. Through indolence or bad luck, families can fall by a half or a third of a social class each generation, or move in the opposite direction through chance or cunning or enterprise and effort. It is an essential feature of mass economic development that there will be net mobility upwards in the long run, and an attendant breakdown of social barriers and the gradual assimilation of classes and castes into one another. Contrary to an assumption of the working classes being united in their despair and contempt for the middle class, and motivated in their desire to bloodily dispose of them, it may be more accurate to say that what unleisured people want most (after employment, food, shelter and clothing) is what they value most at the margin, namely, leisure. What the working classes desire most may be something like the kind of life as the bourgeoisie. Let aside there being a potential or open conflict arising from the janata against the bhadralok, the truth of the matter could be there is a desire of the janata to have at least some leisure like the bhadralok.
If this is an accurate assumption, the main source of conflict between the two nations of India or the subcontinent could be different from what is often supposed by many people. Instead of being revolutionary in nature and deriving from below, the source may be reactionary in nature and amount to resistance from the top. Like all cartels, the bhadralok may want to preserve their numbers and not look with favour at the prospect of large-scale mass economic development, entailing as this will greater competition on all fronts, the erosion of privilege, the breakdown of social barriers and the assimilation of classes into one another.
The Jacobin/Bolshevik/Maoist method of reducing inequalities was to expropriate physical and financial capital, and decimate social and political capital and all that stands in the way of such destruction. The upheaval and chaos of such blood-letting leaves a new order which is, or seems, for a moment, more egalitarian than the regime it replaces. But it also leaves a society without knowledge of its past, alternately enervated by its present and terrified of its future. Recovery from such a state of near social death has been long and hard and painful, where it has happened at all. Despite the wishes of a few, India does not seem likely to experience such social death on a national scale, although the temporary effects of terrorism and civil chaos in pockets of the country would seem to be similar.
A more far-sighted method would be by the creation of capital for the janata to increase their sources of income and consumption and thereby reduce the inequality of wealth and political power. It would mean investment in the only form of capital that the janata have: their own human capital. It would mean fundamentally a change of focus away from the theoretical and grandiose in the drawing-rooms and corridors of New Delhi (and Washington), and towards the simple and commonsensical: stopping the wastage of the tax-resources; making the currency sound at home and abroad; redirecting public investment towards public goods such as civil justice, roads, fresh water and sanitation; and fostering a civilized rural life, built around village schools with blackboards and chalk, with playgrounds and libraries and hot meals, with all-weather buildings and all-weather roads to their doors.
India today resembles a kind of gigantic closed city with high walls and few gates. Within the walls are concurrently represented many different ages in the history of man, from pre-historic and early Aryan, to medieval and Moghul, to Dickensian and American, the members of each age having some common and some individual sets of life-expectations, yet all being due to enter the next century together. Outside is the rest of human civilization, as well as the free circulation of gold and foreign exchange. Nearabouts the gates of the city, and with ability to travel in and out, are the few million of the elite. If the walls of the city are to be knocked down or at least if the gates opened and kept wide open, it will have to be the elite who do this or consent to have it done.
If it is done properly, after adequate preparation of the economic and political expectations of citizens, there may be many positive results, not only for the economy but also for the culture and civilization of the subcontinent as a whole. The free flow of ideas and opportunities across national borders; the freedom to travel in the world; the free movement of goods and capital; the freedom to save one’s tangible wealth, small as this may be, in whatever form or currency one considers best — these are fundamentally important freedoms which have been denied to most of the people of the subcontinent thus far and yet are taken for granted elsewhere in the world. There seems little reason to doubt that if such freedoms come to be gradually exercised by the janata there would be a permanent trend of increase in mass income and consumption.
Yet there are genuine questions of sovereignty which have to be anticipated as well. The consequences of a true opening are not fully or easily foreseeable. The prompt arrival of new East India Companies may be expected. Will there be enough competition between them? Or will the elite come to be further subverted, taking the first Indian Republic with it? After the long experience of foreign rule and nationalism and independent democracy, is the Indian polity mature enough to survive and gain from such an opening, or will it collapse once again as it did in the eighteenth century? The spectres of Plassey and Avadh must haunt every Indian nationalist, even as the hopes of a free economy and a progressive culture and an open civilization, beckon from the future. Is it a silent and implicit fear of this sort which constitutes the only possible rational barrier to greater freedom? Has the continued poverty been, in effect, the cost of nationalism? These are hard questions to which answers may not be found easily. It is hoped by the editors that the present volume may engage the citizens and friends of India to reflect upon them….”
From Facebook 7 Sep 2010:
Rajiv Gandhi received this book in manuscript form in hand from me on Sep 18 1990, and it contributed to the origins of India’s 1991 economic reform as has been described elsewhere. I am delighted to hear his son Rahul has in the last few days also been referring to India as “Two Nations”, rich and poor. Dr Manmohan Singh received the book itself in hand from me at the Indian Ambassador’s Residence in Washington in Sepember 1993; I am glad to see he too has yesterday mentioned the same “Two Nations” theory that I had applied from Disraeli’s book about Victorian England.
Subroto Roy reads that Dr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry of the Manmohan Singh Government, has “expressed great confidence in the fiscal health of the economy” and says to Kaushik:
Apropos your reported predictions, I have had to say at Facebook:
Subroto Roy is appalled the GoI’s Chief Economic Adviser has declared (as the PM and the PM’s Chief Acolyte had declared in earlier months) that prices are trending downwards stochastically but amused that at least a stochastic (“fluctuating”) trend got mentioned.
Governor Subbarao has been set a small challenge the other day to release asap for public scrutiny the comprehensive macroeconomic model he says he believes the RBI has — which may be hard if no such model may exist at the RBI. Nor does your Ministry or anyone else in New Delhi have such a model. So what is the Government’s precise scientific basis for predicting a slowing of inflation? Nothing at all?
The Government needs to begin to try to understand that inflation does not slow down in circumstances where real public debt per capita and money supply have been growing exponentially for decades — to the contrary, inflation tends to rise to dangerous heights! Debauching of fiat money would hardly have been allowed if the rupee was a hard currency because we would have seen an honest exchange-rate crashing through the floor with this kind of inflationary finance the Government has given us over the decades. There is, sad to say, zero chance of the rupee becoming a hard currency that all one billion Indians may feel confident about so long as such inflationary finance continues unabated.
Subroto Roy thinks the core of the *Bhagavad Gita* is captured in Grigori Perelman’s statement declining the Fields Medal after proving Poincaré’s conjecture: “[The prize] was completely irrelevant for me. Everybody understood that if the proof is correct then no other recognition is needed.”
Subroto Roy finds from Gopa’s data that wage inflation among unskilled agricultural workers in rural India has been at about 6.35% per annum over the last 7 years or so.
From Facebook today
Independent India’s Finance Ministers have never in 62 years referred to economic theory or the history of economic thought until Mr Mukherjee delivered the 4th Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture in Colombo yesterday, making the following academic claim:
“As students of economics would understand, economic theory is an evolutionary process and undergoes change with every major crisis. The classical theory gave way to Keynesian economics after the Great Depression of 1930s. Thereafter, there were post-Keynesian and monetarist approaches to economic problems during 1960s to 90s. The present crisis, which has also been called Great Recession, would be another watershed in the evolution of economics and is expected to bring about radical retooling of the theory. The crisis has, in the first place, conclusively established that the pursuit of individual goals do not necessarily lead to public good. Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ cannot guarantee allocation of resources efficiently.”
I might rather count this as intellectual progress to the extent that it at least allows the Government of India’s economists the possibility of moving away from politically-induced dissimulation and instead begin to connect with where I was 25 years ago in my May 1984 monograph published by London’s Institute of Economic Affairs (leave aside my 1976-82 doctoral thesis under Professor Frank Hahn at Cambridge “On liberty and economic growth: preface to a philosophy for India”). As for the Finance Minister saying “The Indian economy has shown remarkable resilience to the crisis because the financial system had no exposure to the toxic assets”, I am afraid he has left unsaid that this is because (a) the rupee is not a hard currency; and (b) India’s banks hold plenty of domestic assets that are “toxic”.
In June 1989 a project at an American university involving Pakistani and other scholars, including one Indian, led to the book Foundations of Pakistan’s Political Economy: Towards an Agenda for the 1990s published in Karachi, New Delhi and elsewhere. The book reached Nawaz Sharif and the Islamabad elite, and General Musharraf’s current proposal on J&K, endorsed warmly by the US State Department last week, derives from the last paragraph of its editorial introduction: “Kashmir… must be demilitarised and unified by both countries sooner or later, and it must be done without force. There has been enough needless bloodshed on the subcontinent… Modern Pakistanis and Indians are free peoples who can voluntarily agree in their own interests to alter the terms set hurriedly by Attlee or Mountbatten in the Indian Independence Act 1947. Nobody but we ourselves keeps us prisoners of superficial definitions of who we are or might be. The subcontinent could evolve its political identity over a period of time on the pattern of Western Europe, with open borders and (common) tariffs to the outside world, with the free movement of people, capital, ideas and culture. Large armed forces could be reduced and transformed in a manner that would enhance the security of each nation. The real and peaceful economic revolution of the masses of the subcontinent would then be able to begin.”
The editors as economists decried the waste of resources involved in the Pakistan-India confrontation, saying it had “greatly impoverished the general budgets of both Pakistan and India. If it has benefited important sections of the political and military elites of both countries, it has done so only at the expense of the general welfare of the masses.”
Such words may have been bold in the early 1990s but today, a decade and a half later, they seem incomplete and rather naïve even to their author, who was myself, the only Indian in that project. Most significantly, the position in international law in the context of historical facts had been wholly neglected. So had been the manifest nature of the contemporary Pakistani state.
Jammu & Kashmir became an entity in international law when the Treaty of Amritsar was signed between Gulab Singh and the British on March 16 1846. British India itself became an entity in international law much later, possibly as late as June 1919 when it signed the Treaty of Versailles. As for Pakistan, it had no existence in world history or international law until August 14 1947, when the British created it as a new entity out of certain demarcated areas of British India and gave it the status of a Dominion. British India dissolved itself on August 15 1947 and the Dominion of India became its successor-state in international law on that date. As BR Ambedkar pointed out at the time, the new India automatically inherited British India’s suzerainty over any and all remaining “princely” states of so-called “Indian India”. In case of J&K in particular, there never was any question of it being recognised as an independent entity in global international law.
The new Pakistan, by entering a Standstill Agreement with J&K as of August 15 1947, did locally recognise J&K’s sovereignty over its decision whether to join Pakistan or India. But this Pakistani recognition lasted only until the attack on J&K that commenced from Pakistani territory as of October 22 1947, an attack in which Pakistani forces were complicit (something which, in different and mutating senses, has continued ever since). The Dominion of India had indicated it might have consented if J&K’s Ruler had decided to accede to Pakistan in the weeks following the dissolution of British India. But no such thing happened: what did happen was the descent of J&K into a condition of legal anarchy.
Beginning with the Pakistani attack on J&K as of October 22 upto and including the Rape of Baramulla and the British-led Pakistani coup détat in Gilgit on one side, and the arrival of Indian forces as well as mobilization by Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad of J&K’s civilians to repel the Pakistani invaders on the other side, the State of Jammu & Kashmir became an ownerless entity in international law. In Roman Law, from which all modern international and municipal law ultimately derives, the ownership of an ownerless entity is open to be determined by “military decision”. The January 1949 Ceasefire Line that came to be renamed the Line of Control after the 1971 Bangladesh War, demarcates the respective territories that the then-Dominions and later Republics of India and Pakistan acquired by “military decision” of the erstwhile State of J&K which had come to cease to exist.
What the Republic of India means by saying today that boundaries cannot be redrawn nor any populations forcibly transferred is quite simply that the division of erstwhile J&K territory is permanent, and that sovereignty over it is indivisible. It is only sheer ignorance on the part of General Musharraf’s Indian interviewer the other day which caused it to be said that Pakistan was willing to “give up” its claim on erstwhile J&K State territory which India has held: Pakistan has never had nor even made such a claim in international law. What Pakistan has claimed is that India has been an occupier and that there are many people inhabiting the Indian area who may not wish to be Indian nationals and who are being compelled against their will to remain so ~ forgetting to add that precisely the same could be said likewise of the Pakistani-held area.
Accordingly, the lawful solution proposed in these pages a year ago to resolve that matter, serious as it is, has been that the Republic of India invite every person covered under Article 370, citizen-by- citizen, under a condition of full information, to privately and without fear decide, if he/she has not done so already, between possible Indian, Iranian, Afghan or Pakistani nationalities ~ granting rights and obligations of permanent residents to any of those persons who may choose for whatever private reason not to remain Indian nationals. If Pakistan acted likewise, the problem of J&K would indeed come to be resolved. The Americans, as self- appointed mediators, have said they wish “the people of the region to have a voice” in a solution: there can be no better expression of such voice than allowing individuals to privately choose their own nationalities and their rights and responsibilities accordingly. The issue of territorial sovereignty is logically distinct from that of the choice of nationality by individual inhabitants.
Equally significant though in assessing whether General Musharraf’s proposal is an anachronism, is Pakistan’s history since 1947: through Ayub’s 1965 attack, the civil war and secession of Bangladesh, the Afghan war and growth of the ISI, the Kargil incursion, the 1999 coup détat, and, once or twice removed, the 9/11 attacks against America. It is not a history that allows any confidence to arise in Indians that we are not dealing with a country misgoverned by a tiny arrogant exploitative military elite who remain hell-bent on aggression against us. Like the USA and USSR twenty years ago, what we need to negotiate about, and negotiate hard about, is an overall mutual military drawdown and de-escalation appropriate to lack of aggressive intent on both sides. Is General Musharraf willing to discuss that? It would involve reciprocal verifiable assessment of one another’s reasonable military requirements on the assumption that each was not a threatening enemy of the other. That was how the USA-USSR drawdown and de-escalation occurred successfully. If General Musharraf is unwilling to enter such a discussion, there is hardly anything to talk about with him. We should wait for democracy to return.