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

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The Drought-Unwanted Men

the vulgarity of a single state government, it would not deserve so much attention. Unfortunately, it has to be seen in wider terms. Given the pattern of distribution of income, the growth industries in the consumption goods sector are those which cater not to the desperate needs of the bottom 40 per cent or even 80 per cent of the population but to the fancies and foibles of the top 10 per cent or less. Statistics of the growth of production of different consumption goods industries will amply confirm this. As the Minister for Foreign Trade informed the Rajya Sabha the other day, production of fine cloth in- creased by 40 per cent in two years, between 1969 and 1971, while, despite the appearance of government compulsion, the output of coarse cloth remained static, if it did not actually decline. The growth in production of man-made fibre textiles has been, of course, even more spectacular. Or take the industrial licences issued to consumption goods industries. Production of man-made fibres, for instance, has been licensed a six-Fold expansion; licences for making liquor have been handed out to all comers, including state industrial: development corporations. Clearly, these actions have a logic which must inevitably prevail over the fine sentiments about curbing the consumption of the rich and expanding that of the poor which the Planning Commission puts into its documents. Thus, if you allow a manifold expansion of the production of synthetic fibres or of liquor, you cannot keep the taxes on these commodities at levels which were appropriate to much lower levels of production and consumption. So pressures mount for cuts in taxes. The liquor manufacturers have had their way

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