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

Articles by B P R VithalSubscribe to B P R Vithal

Twelfth Finance Commission

Considerations of making the recommendations of the Twelfth Finance Commission more effective require the new commission to (1) remove the artificial restrictions imposed on the finance commissions' scope of operations; (2) keep in view overall macroeconomic stability; (3) streamline management of government debt; (4) provide for appropriate incentives for inducing fiscal responsibility; (5) take a broader and integrated view of tax assignments; and (6) provide operational guidelines for the state level finance commissions.

Muslims of Hyderabad

When the state of Hyderabad was trifurcated, the Muslims of the Marathwada region joined the Bombay state, where they counted for little. The Muslims of the Karnataka region had to contend with the sophisticated Muslims elite of Bangalore. On the other hand, the Muslims of Hyderabad remained in Hyderabad, the seat of their previous rule and culture. They however remained concentrated in the Old City in a ghetto environment and complex. Their strength in the capital city, and marginal significance elsewhere in the state, made them convenient pawns in the games politicians played. As a result a Muslim leadership arose whose concern was that they alone should be able to move this pawn. Meanwhile, a Cyberabad, based on English, was being developed for modern young persons. Young Muslim boys and girls of the Old City were eager to have English education so that they could get good jobs. The wheel had come full circle. The Muslims of the Old City had to choose once again between pride in their history and hopes for their future.

Federal Financial Relations

The division of total revenue expenditure into plan and non-plan and the division of functions and responsibilities between the Planning Commission and the Finance Commission have become important issues in federal financial relations. These can be discussed under four broad heads: (i) the constitutional aspects and how the various commissions have looked at them; (ii) the practical aspect; (iii) the impact of the dichotomy between the two institutions on fiscal discipline among the states; and (iv) the institutional aspects.

Role of Articles 275 and 282 in Federal Fiscal Transfers

press to take up this issue to inform the public back home what is happening to their taxpayers' money. By refusing to give this right to information obviously millions of dollars of World Bank, UN, bilateral money is going down the drain. There is a virtual cottage industry in place whose sole job is to falsify bills and vouchers and muster rolls so that cement for schools and dispensaries (shown complete on paper but incomplete for everyone to see) goes into building houses for politicians and engineers. Till the MKSS raised the issue there was no danger. Now with the central government coming on to the scene as a concerned partner there is a real possibility that all centrally-sponsored scheme funds will be made more transparent and accountable and an order allowing for photocopies is imminent. A letter from the secretary to the government of India looking after panchayati raj has been sent to all chief secretaries pressing the need for such a step. It was an urgent strong letter falling short of an order and the chief secretary of Rajasthan knowing his aversion to openness and transparency will ignore it. It is no longer a rational issue for him. His public statements on various occasions on the MKSS and the right to information has been sad and tragic coming from an officer who is known in the state for supporting the underdog and encouraging the spirit of volunteerism. "Do you think the state is wearing bangles?'' Knowing him for so many years the tragedy is he himself did not think of this issue earlier or else he would have gone far beyond the order demanded by the MKSS on his own. Now that someone else has stolen the thunder he refuses to believe and accept that the MKSS is not wanting to embarrass the government by going to the press. That the MKSS believes that every citizen should have this right to be informed and they would exercise and explore all possible avenues available in a democracy to achieve this aim is way beyond his comprehension.

Debt Servicing and Budgetary Structure

B P R Vithal This note attempts to show how we had a budgetary structure and practice which recognised the need to provide for amortisation of loans and how this was progressively dismantled. This has resulted in the issue of amortisation of debt being removed, first, from the accounts and, subsequently, from all prudent planning of public finance. Consequently the onus of dealing with the problem of public debt has progressively shifted from the borrower to the lender.

Roots of Hindu Fundamentalism

Roots of Hindu Fundamentalism It is futile to compare religions in terms of the performance of their followers. However, it is useful to look at the basic premises of different religions and try to understand their implications for the social coexistence of different religions.

Perestroika and the Developing World-Report on a Conference in Moscow

The Soviet Union's approach now seems to be that while it would honour the free choice of every country and would do its utmost to bring about an international order where such a free choice could be exercised, its own view would be that in the present stage of the development of capitalist forces, the developing countries would be well advised to attempt to bring about 'democratic' or 'civilised' capitalism rather than try to by pass that stage altogether. In doing this they should evolve, internally, a kind of popular front approach in alliance with different class forces within the society and, externally, accept the international division of labour.

The Second Revolution

B P R Vithal Gorbachev Economic Reform and Eastern Europe by Ramnath Narayanswamy; Himalaya Publishing House, Bombay, 1988; pp 220, Rs 150.
TEN of the twelve chapters in this book are papers which were earlier published in the 1985 and 1988. These give a brief but excellent survey of the progress of the reform movement (perestroika) in the east European countries and in the Soviet Union and in China. It is not the author's fault, but a testimony to the speed with which these reforms are taking place, that a survey done in the period 85-88 is already out of date in some respects. Nevertheless the articles collected here continue to be historically relevant, thus making the book still useful for reference. Although the author emphasises in one of the articles in the book that it is "not a question of 'hostility' or Sympathy' for these systems since this is to confuse ideological persuasion with sound academic judgment" (p 92; all page references, unless otherwise stated, are to the book under review) he does show a, perhaps unconscious, bias in his lack of sympathy for certain historical imperatives.

Terms of Reference of Ninth Finance Commission

about partly because new medical care institutions had been set up nearer and partly because the number of doctors, nurses, etc, in the pre-existing institutions had been increased. The improvement of educational facilities had come through the establishment of new institutions (mainly primary and high schools) being set up nearer than before. Improvements in roads and transport facilities had occurred mainly through increases in the number of buses plying. Construction of new roads, improvements of preexisting roads and of nearest railway facilities had also contributed in good many cases. Recreational and cultural facilities had expanded markedly through increase in the number of radios

Terms of Reference of Ninth Finance Commission-Some Preliminary Comments

The terms of reference of the just-appointed Ninth Finance Commission are different from those of all previous commissions in several significant aspects. In the wording of the terms of reference what were guidelines to the previous commissions have been made directions to the Ninth Commission by the use of the phrase 'the Commission shall'. This is a curtailment of the discretion of the Finance Commission which goes against the provisions and spirit of Article 280 of the constitution.


Back to Top