Some Aspects of Agricultural Investment in India: Part I

October 28, 2010

By Debarshi Das, Sanhati

Summary: Our study is divided into two parts. In part one we examine evidence from aggregate macroeconomic data. Part two discusses a field survey we undertook in the summer of 2010 in a few villages in Bihar. The choice of villages or respondents was not based on a proper random sampling procedure. However we have tried to take as representative a sample as possible. In the second part we investigate not only whether capital formation has been taking place, we go beyond. Advantages afforded by primary data collection exercise have been exploited: causes of low/high investment have been probed as far as possible, policy implications have been attempted to be formulated.

The contention is as follows. Rate of capital formation (investment, that is) in agriculture in the aggregate macroeconomic sense has been poor. This perhaps has been prompted by decline in public investment. The hypothesis gets strengthened when primary survey results are analysed. Public investment in irrigation, flood control, electricity could make a difference to the agricultural profitability and could boost up private investment. With dearth of investment and stagnant yield, it is petty peasant agrarian relations which dominate the agrarian scenario. It is a landscape atomised into millions of marginal and small parcels of holdings, which are mostly dependent on family labour. Development of productive forces is hung in a limbo. Evidence of surplus value extraction through absolute ground rent or employment of wage labourers is found. But neither could be called the dominant feature. Nor is there a clear indication that the latter is getting stronger over time.

Consequently, a political implication becomes inescapable. In the literature of Marxist Leninist (M-L) stream of communist parties feudal and semi-feudal exploitation is formulated to be the salient factor thwarting development of production relations. But if the agrarian economy is not characterised by semi-feudal exploitation, what, who then are the impediments on the path of social revolution? Our tentative suggestion is, the local agrarian economy is increasingly less held back by the putative feudal lord and his retainers. Matters of concern for the marginal farmers and the landless are more macroeconomic in character. Although it is the local power hierarchy that national and global influences get mediated through, the former does not constitute the prime determining force. Some examples: minimum support price for the crop, price of diesel, wage rate at the MGNREGA, extension of infrastructure facilities, compensation package for land acquisition, price of fertiliser and seed. As these variables are largely decided by the State and large corporations, the interest of the ‘revolutionary classes’ is appearing to be at odds with the State policies and operation of corporations. Path of social revolution can not therefore bypass a face off with the State, which appears to be increasingly acting at the behest of corporate interests.

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I. Introduction:

In the early seventies a number of scholars were optimistic regarding the development of capitalist production relations in Indian agriculture. Utsa Patnaik for instance wrote,

the post-independence period, particularly from the mid-1950s onwards, marks a definite break with earlier trends. The creation of an expanding domestic market owing to the large investment outlays by the state under the plans combined with a lagging behind of agricultural production, has sharply raised the profitability of agriculture vis-a-vis other avenues of surplus utilisation. For the first time in decades investible funds generated in agriculture are flowing back into the land, and even urban funds are tending to flow in this newly profitable direction. Post-independence land reforms have played a positive role in penalising absenteeism. The dominant landholder is intensifying operations by investing in irrigation, double and triple cropping, and thus stepping up cash outlays considerably. Landlords in many areas find it profitable to turn tenants off the land – in this they are helped by legislation permitting ‘resumption’ – and operate with wage-labour instead. The rich peasant who can generate an investible surplus and has access to credit similarly intensifies operations, employs more wage-labour and moves up the economic scale. (Patnaik,1971)

The context of the above comment was the mode of production debate, which inter alia aimed to settle the nature of Indian agrarian economy. The debate contributed towards conceptualising the mode of production of a backward agrarian economy in general as well. Different people draw varying conclusions from an academic debate. Risking allegations of over-simplification let us propose the following reading – this position appears to be well-argued and consistent with the Marxist theory – a set of necessary and sufficient conditions needs to be fulfilled for a mode of production to be called capitalist:

(a) Prevalence of wage labour based production. This ensures that direct producers have been separated from the means of production, labour power has become a commodity.

(b) Production of commodities is carried out mainly for the market and not for self-consumption: thus precluding self-sufficient production.

(c) Reinvestment of surplus value in production. It guarantees that new technology and fruits of scientific research, embodied in the new investment, are constantly applied in production. Accumulation of capital rolls on in right earnest, forces of production are unrelentingly revolutionised.

Note that subscribing to the above analytical formulation is independent of resting a firm faith on the future of capitalism in Indian agriculture. Sceptics who suggested that agrarian relations in parts of India were semi-feudal, characterised by share-cropping, usury, interlinked markets etc. [1], included someone like Ranajit Sau who would argue in favour of the aforesaid theoretical position.

In order to appreciate Patnaik’s optimism it would be pertinent to remind ourselves of the surge that was taking place in Indian agriculture during the period of 1960s. Temples of modern India had started delivering the blessings. The State was promoting research and dissemination of fruits of research, thus improving yield of crops. Although green revolution was finding it detractors from those early days [2], the role of the State in crowding in private investment was not much in doubt. Neither could the effects of land reform, however half-hearted, be denied. Owing to large public spending and population growth, terms of trade started to tilt in favour of agricultural sector from mid 1950s. After mid 1960s the tendency got exacerbated. With condition (a) getting increasingly satisfied right from the colonial times [3], and (b), (c) being amply assisted by the Nehruvian State, observers apparently had reasons to be hopeful that stagnation in agrarian economy is on the way out [4].

How far have the subsequent decades done justice to the hope? Has the State investment been successful in sweeping away fetters on productive forces? Before we begin our examination it is important to be clear as to what not to look for. First, Patnaik did not claim Indian agriculture had already been transformed into a capitalist mode: she saw the capitalist mode in the ascendency. Secondly, that rising investment would be incapable of absorbing the surplus labour of rural economy was not in doubt either [5].

Identifying the nature of the agrarian economy is not easy, as spatially and temporally there might be considerable variations in the putative trend toward capitalism. To simplify our task we shall concentrate on the third condition, namely rate of capital formation in agriculture, for there is less dispute over the fulfilment of the first two conditions [6]. Notice, while the third condition demands reinvestment of surplus, the requirement makes sense if one has the entire economic system as the point of reference. Here the agriculture sector, which is only a part of the entire economy, is our subject. Essentially the feature one is looking for is development of productive forces in expanded reproduction scheme. Therefore if productive forces are strengthened through investment of surplus value from sectors outside agriculture, third condition will nevertheless be satisfied.

Our study is divided into two parts. In part one we examine evidence from aggregate macroeconomic data. Part two discusses a field survey we undertook in the summer of 2010 in a few villages in Bihar. The choice of villages or respondents was not based on a proper random sampling procedure. However we have tried to take as representative a sample as possible. In the second part we investigate not only whether capital formation has been taking place, we go beyond. Advantages afforded by primary data collection exercise have been exploited: causes of low/high investment have been probed as far as possible, policy implications have been attempted to be formulated.

The contention is as follows. Rate of capital formation (investment, that is) in agriculture in the aggregate macroeconomic sense has been poor. This perhaps has been prompted by decline in public investment. The hypothesis gets strengthened when primary survey results are analysed. Public investment in irrigation, flood control, electricity could make a difference to the agricultural profitability and could boost up private investment. With dearth of investment and stagnant yield, it is petty peasant agrarian relations which dominate the agrarian scenario. It is a landscape atomised into millions of marginal and small parcels of holdings, which are mostly dependent on family labour. Development of productive forces is hung in a limbo. Evidence of surplus value extraction through absolute ground rent or employment of wage labourers is found. But neither could be called the dominant feature. Nor is there a clear indication that the latter is getting stronger over time.

Consequently, a political implication becomes inescapable. In the literature of Marxist Leninist (M-L) stream of communist parties feudal and semi-feudal exploitation is formulated to be the salient factor thwarting development of production relations [7]. But if the agrarian economy is not characterised by semi-feudal exploitation, what, who then are the impediments on the path of social revolution? Our tentative suggestion is, the local agrarian economy is increasingly less held back by the putative feudal lord and his retainers. Matters of concern for the marginal farmers and the landless are more macroeconomic in character. Although it is the local power hierarchy that national and global influences get mediated through, the former does not constitute the prime determining force. Some examples: minimum support price for the crop, price of diesel, wage rate at the MGNREGA, extension of infrastructure facilities, compensation package for land acquisition, price of fertiliser and seed. As these variables are largely decided by the State and large corporations, the interest of the ‘revolutionary classes’ is appearing to be at odds with the State policies and operation of corporations. Path of social revolution can not therefore bypass a face off with the State, which appears to be increasingly acting at the behest of corporate interests [8].

II. The Aggregate Picture:

First three decades:

The contrast of the pre-independence period with the post-independence
period is stark. Shukla (1968) calculated the ratio of private investment to agricultural
income for both these periods as presented in table 1.

deb1.jpg

Table: 1: Net Private Investment as a ratio of Agricultural Income

Rise in investment from private sources had perhaps been prompted by the stimulus given by public investment. For, during the first fifteen years after the economic planning started public investment consistently claimed a majority share of the aggregate investment. The break up between the two components is presented in table 2 (Shukla, 1968).

deb2.jpg

Table 2: Comparison between public and private investment in first three five year plans (figures are at current prices)

Commentators have debated over the positive effects public investments exert over private investments in agriculture. Baidyanathan (1997) identifies four areas in which the State has salient role to play in farming: (a) irrigation; (b) soil and moisture conservation of rain-fed agriculture; (c) the development and spread of bio-chemical inputs; in particular, fertilizers; (d) State policy which affects agrarian institutions and prices. Notice that a considerable extent of these can be taken care of by State investment. It is also noteworthy that many large dams and irrigation projects funded by the government were taking shape during this period [9], as well as a number of agricultural research universities.

The changes from 1980s:

Things began to change after 1970s. High growth of public investment took a nosedive. From a high 12.2% annual growth (1975-76 to 1982-83), it dipped to negative regions after the early eighties and stayed there. As could be predicted from the positive association between public and private investment, the latter suffered initially, falling from 3.91% per year (1975-76 to 1982-83) to – 2.05% (1982-83 to 1984-85). There was recovery in private investment afterwards, but it could not make up for the negative growth of public investment. Consequently the overall investment growth from early eighties to mid nineties has been substantially lower and erratic than the preceding period [9]. This is summarised in table 3.

debtable3.jpg

Table 3: Annual Percent Change in Capital Formation in Indian Agriculture (at 1980-81 prices) (Source: CSO data and other sources, quoted in Purohit and Reddy, 1999)

The change in public investment, and consequently total investment becomes clearer once we examine the growth of gross fixed capital formation in agriculture and compare it with the aggregate economy figures. This is given in table 4 (Purohit and Reddy, 1999).

Decline in public investment has been an pan-economy phenomenon. Annual growth rate of gross capital formation in public sector (GCFPUB) for the entire economy fell from 6.49% (1972-83) to 2.54% (1980-94). However it is the agricultural sector which suffered the most as the rate of public investment in agriculture declined from a positive 7.34% to a negative 4.22% during the same periods [11]. Growth of overall investment rate suffered. Its rate fell from 6.12% to 5.63% in the entire economy along with, needless to say, agricultural investment (5.48% to 1.86%). The table however shows a rise in agricultural output growth in the period 1980-1994, on which much later. After the mid nineties, the growth of output has remained
much the same. In the 11 year period 1993-94 to 2004-05 the output rose by a factor of 1.3458 (calculated from Economic Survey 2009-10). If 3.13% linear growth had been maintained it would have risen by 1.3443.

deb4.jpg

Table 4: Linear growth rates of various macroeconomic indicators per annum (at 1980-81 prices) (Source: CSO data and other sources, quoted in Purohit and Reddy, 1999)

Figure 1 is a graphic description of table 4. Panel A represents the entire economy, panel B the agricultural sector. The yellow lines are falling sharply in each figure. In panel B this has been partially made up by positive growth in private investment (green line), but overall decline in investment could not be averted as shown by the plunging red line.

deb5a.jpgdeb5b.jpg

Panel A: Entire Economy                         Panel B: Agricultural Sector

Figure 1: Linear growth rates of key macroeconomic indicators (at 1980-81 prices)

During the initial decades of planning public investment had formed the major part of aggregate investment. With its decline in absolute terms, the composition of public and private investment reversed. We provide the data for some select years in the panel A of table 6.

deb6a.jpgdeb6b.jpg

Panel A (at 1980-81 prices)                         Panel B (at 2004-05 prices)

(Purohit and Reddy, 1999) (Economic Survey 2009-10)

Table 6: Share of public investment in aggregate agricultural investment

After mid-1990s:

The trend of low public investment continued after the mid nineties (panel B, table 6). In recent years (2004-05 to 2008-09) there are signs that agricultural investment and public investment in agricultural sector are picking up (Economic Survey 2009-10). But this is too short a period to arrive at a judgement.

One moot question is what is bad with private investment? If decline in the growth of public investment is made up by private investment, and for the sake of comparison let us assume that same rate of growth of overall investment is maintained, is that detrimental for the growth of productive forces? To our mind one crucial difference between private and public investment in this regard is as follows. Unlike private investment public investment in many cases has ‘scale-neutral’ impact: size of landholding of the farmer is immaterial as far as reaping benefits from investment is concerned. For instance investment expenditure in building canals, which falls under public investment, benefits everyone in the command area: irrespective of whether the farmer is a marginal farmer or a large one (the water tax is usually fixed at nominal levels). Rising share of private investment implies that only those who have the wherewithal to spend are cornering the benefits of rising productivity. Since the degree of inequality among farmers is high, only a small portion of the farmers would see high productivity.

To have an idea of the long run pattern of (i) public investment in comparison to aggregate agricultural investment and (ii) agricultural investment in comparison to aggregate investment we have calculated two parameters from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) data (the data range is 1980-81 to 2007-08, they are at current prices). One, the percentage of public GCF (gross capital formation) in agriculture & allied sector to the total GCF in agriculture & allied sector. Movement of this parameter is represented by the red line in figure 2. The long run decline of the line is broken by some signs of life after 2004. However the data for the last two years are provisional estimates. The blue line represents the percentage of GCF in agriculture & allied sector to total GCF. This also has seen a long run decline albeit of lower degree.

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Figure 2: Public investment in agricultural sector, agricultural investment and total investment

Manifestations of Low Investment:

In agriculture capitalist development, many a time, results in rising size of landholding. Commenting of Kautsky’s classic The Agrarian Question Lenin (1899), agrees on the disadvantages of small scale production: “[s]mall-scale production permits of the employment of machinery within narrower limits; the small proprietor finds credit more difficult to obtain and more expensive”. From small to large scale change in quantity translates into qualitative change, productivity enhances therefore profitability of investment rises. Centralisation of land can therefore be a sign that capitalism is progressing in agriculture.

“[I]n industry, capital grows as a result of accumulation, as a result of the conversion of surplus-value into capital; centralisation, i.e., the amalgamation of several small units of capital into a large unit, plays a lesser role. In agriculture, the situation is different. The whole of the land is occupied (in civilised countries), and it is possible to enlarge the area of a farm only by centralising several lots; this must be done in such a way as to form one continuous area.” [emphasis in the original]

In India land centralisation does not appear to be a dominant feature. National Sample Survey Organisation data quoted in Basole and Basu (2009), show from 1961-62 to 2003 average operated size of landholdings has declined from 2.63 to 1.06 hectares. It is the marginal and small landholding categories which are getting more numerous. Their combined share of the total number of farmer households has gone up (from 75% to 91%), as well as their share of the total land area (20% to 43%). This tendency has been observed in states like Punjab and Haryana as well. Tendency of the small scale family farms to proliferate and the limits they poses to capitalist development is not a novel phenomenon, it has been commented upon extensively by Lenin and Kautsky. We note however that besides low investment, rising population pressure on land [12] might be a reason for fragmentation of holdings.

Investment can lead to capital deepening as well, as a consequence of which same land plot gets more productive through greater application of capital although its size remains the same. A result of capital deepening would be rise in crop yield (more public investment could also be a factor behind higher yield). In this regard mid-1990s assumes importance. In figure 3 we have represented yield per hectare of foodgrains (rice, wheat etc.), coarse cereals (jowar, bajra etc.), sugarcane (a commercial crop). We have used the CSO data. Yield of foodgrains is defined as kg/hectare, but units differ across crops.

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Figure 3: Trend of yield of various crops

Yields have experienced a wavering but sustained increase from late 1970s to early 1990s. After mid 1990s they have become less stable. The trend growth rate seems have fallen as well. Slower growth of yield along with decline in area under foodgrains[13] has resulted in less growth of foodgrains output. In the decade of 1990s, annual foodgrains growth rate (1.66%) was below the population growth rate (1.9%) (Patnaik, 2003).

It may seem a little puzzling that during the 1980s although agricultural investment growth, especially that of the public nature, fell, agricultural yield went on rising before it slowed down somewhat from the mid 1990s. Output also rose at a faster rate in the 1980s than in the 1970s (recall table 4). This calls for an explanation. Investment expenditure undertaken in a year contributes to creation of capital. Capital, when it is ready for use, helps in the production of output. Investment expenditure’s impact on output therefore may not be immediate. It may take years of sustained expenditure to construct an irrigation canal network. When it is ready only then it would help in raising yield of crops. Thus, effect of a curtailment in investment would start to tell on yield and output after a lag. Impact of decline of public investment in the 1980s probably affected agricultural performance after such a time lag.

There was recovery of investment in agriculture after 1980s. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) moved up from 1.58% per annum to 1.68% per annum from 1980s to 1990s (calculated from the Report of the Committee on Capital Formation in Agriculture, 2003). But the recovery was not substantial, therefore it did not lead to a stable growth of yield as it is clear from figure 4. The abovementioned report also informs us that not only investment in the agricultural and allied sectors fell, investments for agricultural sector took a severe hit in the last two decades of the last century[14]. This also might have contributed to a lagged impact on yield.

We conclude this section with the following observations. With the inauguration of economic planning capital formation in agricultural sector started to improve. This was stimulated by large spending by the State. However public investment spending began to decline in absolute terms from 1980s which in turn affected growth of private and total investment. Rising population pressure on land combined with flagging investment resulted in the fragmentation of landholdings. Agricultural yield started to get affected from early nineties. Output growth has also stagnated in the last two decades.

To be concluded.

Endnotes:

1. For an exposition see Bhaduri (1973), Chandra (1974).

2. Ashok Rudra, A Majid, B D Talib (1969a, 1969b, 1970) for instance questioned the existence of capitalist farmers in the very cradle of green revolution.

3. Patnaik (1972a) cites evidence of rising percentage of agricultural labourers in South, Central and West India in early twentieth century.

4. Thorner’s (1980) effusive assessment written in 1967 is worth noting:“Before the 1960’s there used to be in the plains of India only a few pockets of genuinely capitalistic agriculture – parts of the Punjab and Western UP, Central Gujarat, Coimhatore, and Coastal Andhra. Now for the first time there has come into being in all parts of the countryside in India, a layer, thick in some regions, thinner in others, of agricultural capitalists…. These capitalistic farmers seem to be the most rapidly growing group in rural India; they may already be the most powerful element. The implications of this are far-reaching, not only in the economic field, but for the structure of society and the future shape of politics.”

5. “The short-run increase [in labour employemnt] can at best reduce marginally the existing overt unemployment among labourers, before being subordinated to the labour-displacing tendency which will accentuate the already acute problems of underemployment … The present capitalist development not only holds out no hope for the latter ; it is predicated upon their further displacement.” (Patnaik, 1972b)

6. Why is capital formation so vital for capitalism? Maniac and somewhat helpless role of the capitalist in this regard had been famously described in Capital I:

“[T]he development of capitalist production makes it constantly necessary to keep increasing the amount of the capital laid out in a given industrial undertaking, and competition makes the immanent laws of capitalist production to be felt by each individual capitalist, as external coercive laws. It compels him to keep constantly extending his capital, in order to preserve it, but extend it he cannot, except by means of progressive accumulation…Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the prophets!”

7. “Out of these two basic contradictions, the second contradiction that is, contradiction between feudalism and broad masses is the principal contradiction at present. During the process of resolving this contradiction through the armed agrarian revolution, which is the
axis of the new democratic revolution, that is, protracted people’s war, the resolution of other contradictions will be facilitated.” (Party Programme of the CPI (Maoist))

8. We concur on this point with Partha Chatterjee (2008), “there is a distinct ascendancy in the relative power of the corporate capitalist class as compared to the landed elites. The political means by which this recent dominance has been achieved needs to be investigated more carefully, because it was not achieved through the mechanism of electoral mobilisation”.

9. Bhakra-Nangal (1963), Damodar Valley Corporation dams (1953, 1955, 1957, 1959), Hirakud (1957), Nagarjuna Sagar (foundation stone laid in 1955) for instance.

10. This goes to show that the ‘economic reforms’ has its origin not in the early nineties – its seeds were sown much earlier. See Dani Rodrick and Arvind Subramanian (2004).
.

11. There had been occasional dips of public investment in manufacturing and services sectors as well, but not in the nature of a sustained contraction as seen in agriculture.

12. From 1971 to 2001 total area under major crops rose at the compound annual rate of 0.12% whereas the population dependent on agriculture rose at 1.6%.

13. Area under foodgrains fell from 127 million hectares (1980-81) to 123 (2008-09) (Economic Survey, 2009-10).

14. What is the difference between investment in and for agriculture? Railway, electricity, storage, banking and insurance, pesticide all these industries serve agricultural sector by higher or lesser degree. Investmnets which are devoted towards agricultural sector but
undertaken in these sectors would be included in the for category, in the in.

References:

Basole A and D Basu (2009): “Relations of Production and Modes of Surplus Extraction in India: An Aggregate Study” http://sanhati.com/non-excerpted/1506/

Bhaduri, A (1973): “A Study in Agriculture Backwardness under Semi-Feudalism”, Economic Journal, 83.

Chandra, N (1974): “Farm Efficiency under Semi-Feudalism in East India: A Critique of Marginalist Theories and some Marxist Formulations,” Economic and Political Weekly, 9, 32 – 34.

Chatterjee, P (2008): “Democracy and Economic Transformation in India,” Economic & Political Weekly, 43, 16.
Economic Survey 2009-10 (2010), Government of India, Ministry of Finance, February, 2010.

Lenin, V I (1899): “Capitalism in Agriculture,” http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1899/agriculture/index.htm

Marx, K (1867): Capital I, http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch24.htm

Patnaik, U (1971): “Capitalist Development in Agriculture: A Note,” reprinted in Utsa Patnaik, Agrarian Relations and Accumulation: The ‘Mode of Production’ Debate in India, (ed.), Bombay: Sameeksha Trust and Oxford University Press, 1990.

Patanik, U (1972a): “Development of Capitalism in Agriculture: I”, Social Scientist,1, 2.

Patnaik, U (1972b): “Development of Capitalism in Agriculture: II”, Social Scientist, 1, 3.

Patnaik, U (2003): “Food Stocks and Hunger: The Causes of Agrarian Distress,” Social Scientist, 31, 7/8.

Purohit, B and V R Reddy (1999): “Capital Formation in Indian Agriculture : Issues and Concerns,” Occasional Paper 8, NABARD, 1999.

Report of the Committee on Capital Formation in Agriculture (2003): agricoop.nic.in/Capital%20Formation/FinalReport.doc

Rodrik, D and A Subramanian (2004): “The economy’s last two decades,” The Hindu, May 15, New Delhi. (http://www.hindu.com/2004/05/15/stories/2004051501961200.htm)

Rudra, A, A Majid and B D Talib (1969a, 1969b, 1970): “Big Farmers of Punjab” reprinted in Utsa Patnaik, Agrarian Relations and Accumulation: The ‘Mode of Production’ Debate in India, (ed.), Bombay: Sameeksha Trust and Oxford University Press, 1990.

Shukla, T (1968):“Investment in Agriculture,” Economic and Political Weekly, 3, 45.

Thorner, D (1980): The Shaping of Modern India, New Delhi, Allied.

3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Some Aspects of Agricultural Investment in India: Part I”

  1. ALLEN THOMAS Says:
    November 20th, 2010 at 10:30 am

    But Sir, I think all of the agricultural problem is because of improper documentation and survey analysis

  2. ALLEN THOMAS Says:
    November 20th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    1.By the above what I mean to say is that funds being allocated to the sector are at random WITHOUT ANY SCIENTIFIC STUDIES BEING DONE.
    2. CIVIL SERVANTS ALSO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MOST OF THE PROBLEMS FIRST OF ALL BEACAUSE OF THEIR HIGH HANDEDNESS AND ALSO THAT THEY ARE BEING TOLD TO IMPLEMENT THE ORDERS OF THE CENTRAL GOVT.
    3. A tsudy of chinese agriculutral sector shows that
    the govt trained the local people to take their own decisions that is some sort of loacl govt. I think if there is a greater transperancy at the loacl govt level with the panchyats being given full autonomy they the situation might improve.

  3. Debarshi Says:
    November 30th, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Thanks for your comments. More transparency, closer examination of local needs, resources are welcome. But with the existing political, economic hierarchies, institutions intact it is doubtful if these measures will take us very far.

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