Incidence of crime in India has been mounting at a fast pace, especially during the last decade. Moreover, crime on body seems to be increasing in comparison to crime on property. Economics and Sociology literature on crime attributes labour market as a transmitting institution for crime. This paper is an attempt to understand the issue of crime in India as a socio-economic problem with particular reference to the Indian labour market. I argue that the poor labour market conditions in the Indian economy that has been developing in the recent past may be a prime factor in explaining the spate of rise in crime rates recently. Panel data analysis of Indian states during the period 2001-2008 show that unemployment and wage inequality are key variables that explains the crime rate in India, especially crime on body. Education similarly seems to reduce property crime rate. Crime seems to be deterred by an efficient judicial delivery.
David O’Connor and Monica Kjöllerström (eds.), Industrial Development for the 21st Century, Orient Longman, Hyderabad, Zed Books and United Nations, 2008, xi+430pp. ISBN-13: 9781848130265; ISBN: 1848130260
As elsewhere in Asia and the world in South Asia too, BFTAs have proliferated at a pace faster than the regional /multilateral trading arrangements. While the slow pace of multilateral trade negotiations under the WTO Doha Round is a factor, the RTAs in South Asia too have not been found to have progressed much. While the relative ease of negotiating under bilateral arrangements and benefiting from first mover advantage in each other’s markets has no doubt been an important element in formation of BFTAs, this has been further underscored no less by political and strategic factors. An attempt has been made in this paper to examine South Asian Bilateral Trade Agreements in terms of scope, coverage, status and their impact on bilateral trade. The study shows how preferential tariff liberalisation is losing its relevance in the context of tariff reforms in concession-offering countries. The tariff rates on a number of consumer goods and raw materials have been brought down on a multilateral basis, not only as a part of a country’s tariff reforms, but, also to meet the challenge of hike in global commodity prices. This is eroding the benefits from preferential margin being received by concession-receiving countries. These factors point to the need for promoting trade liberalisation in products in which South Asian countries have real comparative advantage. However, such an approach would require that the CSs demonstrate political will to open up, more substantially, their bilateral trade by drastically reducing their sensitive lists following India’s initiative in this regard for LDCs. This calls for enhanced trade facilitation for the flow of not only goods, but also services and investment.
Sucha Singh Gill, Sukhwinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh Brar; Globalization and Indian State – Education, Health and Agricultural Extension Services in Punjab Aakar Books, New Delhi, 2010, 135 pp. ISBN: 978-93-5002-034-0
In the backdrop of the growing agricultural and food trade across Asia, this paper argues that the installed food safety and associated infrastructure could be seen as only necessary conditions whereas the sufficient conditions would be to make an enabling policy environment which would reduce the overall transaction costs of trade. Imports also assume equal importance and the arrival of duty-free raw materials for further processing and value addition enables more employment generation, higher income for stakeholders, and forward movement in the value chain. As tariffs do not account for a substantial influence on the course of trade and prices of many farm commodities, the attention has to turn towards the enabling policy regime specific to commodities and thereby the development of infrastructure which would encourage value addition and re-exports. Trade facilitation and infrastructure are often taken in the general sense at the policy level and only partly address the specific issues related to the reduction of risks and transaction costs in the context of agricultural trade, i.e. the invisible infrastructure such as easy documentation, customs procedures, regulatory regimes and mutual recognition. Different commodities have different requirements in terms of costs, time and reliability of logistics and trade facilitating policies are to be formulated taking into consideration a wider set of factors and indicators in the context of agricultural trade.
JEL Codes: F13, F14, F18, Q17, Q18.
Global agriculture is passing through a distinct phase of transformation as caused by a plethora of endogenous and exogenous factors. A majority of the Asian countries are already caught up in a serious development dilemma, where the sustainable future of agriculture is at stake due to various internal structural contradictions and externally imposed trade or market integration policies. Despite the fact that Asian region has emerged as the ‘power centre’ in the highly market integrated and dynamic global context, there are several contradictions in the organization of agriculture across countries in the region. This paper provides a critical review of the agrarian transformation taking place in the Asian region with particular reference to five countries, viz, Bangladesh, India, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. It mainly deals with the critical aspects of the agrarian transformation in these countries in the past few decades and the challenges facing their sustainable agriculture. The paper also tries to develop future perspectives and provide critical inputs and useful insights for identifying potential research areas needing rigorous empirical investigations in the specific regional/country contexts.
This paper is an attempt to review limited Asian experience on role of micro finance in agriculture. It details peculiar features of agriculture vs micro finance. Experience in the field indicates that micro- finance can play a crucial role where all round and infrastructure development has taken place in rural areas due to private and government investments or by market forces; where productivity increases in dry land agriculture, in agricultural diversification and in the portfolio of rural livelihood options have occurred; where the risk of investment in agriculture by the poor has been lowered through insurance, irrigation and dry land agriculture technology; where people have market linkages for agricultural products; and where the poor have overcome oppressive relations, which deprive them of access to resources, markets, equal opportunity, management skills and social status. Finally, it is not either or situation, rural sector require finance and it has to be delivered to sustain communities and food security of poor countries.
The supermarket revolution has arrived in China; however, it does not play a role as active as expected. The prices of vegetables fluctuate drastically, which making farmers disinterested in their production, while customers find them too expensive to consume. In this paper, we try to explain this dilemma from various aspects, with a focus on the changing impacts of supermarkets on Chinese agro-food markets, based on a survey of 200 buyers in five large supermarkets at Wuhan, Hubei province of China; and as a result, to further understand the shifting dynamics of Chinese agricultural development and transformation, in the specific context of global agro-food production networks.
Shankar Acharya and Rakesh Mohan (Eds.), India’s Economy - Performance and Challenges: Essays in Honour of Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Oxford University Press, New Delhi. 2010. 465 pp. ISBN 9780198064695 (hbk)
Since the emergence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, a growing body of research literature documented HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination in Thailand and elsewhere. The purpose of this study was to better understand community attitudes towards persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) in the context of the decreasing rates of HIV/AIDS infection and the HIV/AIDS intervention programs in Thailand. This study applies focus group discussion method to investigate community attitudes towards the PLWHAs in a Northern Thai district. Research participants comprised both non-infected community people and HIV-positive people in the district which has a relatively high concentration of PLWHAs. The study indicates that despite remarkable positive changes in the community attitudes, stigma and discrimination were still persisting in different spheres of community life. It also indicates that PLWHAs also self-stigmatise themselves. Policy options for fighting AIDS-related stigma are discussed.
This paper puts Korean nobi in international perspective–first–in comparison to the American black slavery, to capture their characteristics fully. Comparing Choson nobi-system prevalent in the 15th to the 17th centuries and the black slavery in the antebellum southern United States, we found common features such that the two kinds of coerced labor had about one–third share in population; both were legally owner’s chattel as subject to sales and inheritance; most black slaves and a part of the nobi were fed and worked by their masters, indicating they were of “true” slave status. On the other hand, although the average size of nobi-holding by Choson yangban (literati) was smaller than that of the American planters, the scale of ownership by some royal families and bureaucrats was beyond comparison. The larger the scale of ownership, the peasant-like enterprising nobi became more independent with property rights, legal entities and civil rights. In cultural aspects, the crucial difference lay in the origin of the two institutions. The fact that they were recruited from the alien land, together with religious and secular prejudices against their unerasable skin color, isolated black slaves from the free people to the last. Choson nobi were internally expelled, obscure in origin or in collective memory, and intermingled with the free people other than yangban without a clear dividing line. These differences, in turn, dictated the process of emancipation. While the moral and the religious reform was important in recognition of the ‘pure soul’ of black slaves in the United States, in Choson, there was no substantial change in the perception of human nature. The disruption in the political structure of yangban society, which counterbalanced the power of king, was a key factor. Balancing overall similarities and differences, we conclude that it is inappropriate to call the Choson nobi slaves in general sense.
Since the last one and half decades, the terms “small farmer” and “contract farming” have come into common usage in academic and policy discussions. The concern is whether small farmers would benefit from contract farming. It is very likely that since firms initiate the contract, a farmer’s participation in contract farming depends largely on firm’s criteria rather than farmer’s choice. Though some studies have discussed this issue, it needs greater attention to identify the factors that influence farmers to be in such new mode of production. In this context, the present paper seeks to identify the characteristics of contract and non-contract farmers and factors that induce farmers to participate in contract farming. The analysis is based on 295 farm households (including both contract and non-contract) from two districts of Andhra Pradesh. Binary logit model was used to identify the determinants of farmers’ participation in contract farming. The results indicate that contract farmers were generally from better segments of farming community in terms of education level, productive assets and access to market as compared to the non-contract ones. The result of binary logit model confirmed that large farmers with better irrigation facilities are more likely to be in contract mode of production. In addition, farmers having bigger family size are more likely to be in contract mode of production as compared to others. It could be argued that in this scenario, contract farming practice may lead to higher inequality in the agrarian economy. There is a need for better institutional mechanisms to make contract farming more inclusive.
The teleology of transition to capitalism in general and China’s turn to capitalism in particular prescribe for observers of China an academic agenda preoccupied with the conditions of establishing capitalism. Studies of transition in China have up to this point lacked bottom-up, past-oriented, and inside-out perspectives that would allow the formation of discourse for the masses, presumably driven by the force of transition to respond from their indigenous positions. To find what possible stories there could be if such perspectives that are not intellectually intelligible from the transition point of view are to be translated into transition narratives is the purpose of this paper. Epistemologically speaking, interpreting the case at hand as an anomaly could be a useful methodology to ameliorate the deterministic and teleological proclivity in the current literature on transition. In this way, agents of transition are more than agents. They gain subjectivity through acquiring micro-perspectives on transition that are not allowed in the teleology toward liberalism. Agents of transition could participate in transition research by articulating, consciously as well as subconsciously, how they have strategically practiced transition, reducing researchers of macro-transition to equal partners in transition.
The idea of South Asia is both old and new and so is the issue of regionalism in South Asia. In this respect one could talk about regionalism in South Asia not only from a political standpoint but also from the standpoints of economic, social, cultural, psychological as well as civilizational. Humans after all are multiversed beings and South Asians, civilizationally speaking, have tried to remain as such, although the advent of colonialism and modernity or colonial modernity did numb them a little, often making them forget what had united them and what had divided them. But this is as much a methodological issue as it is a theoretical one, supplementing the statist understanding of South Asia with what could be best regarded as post-statist or focusing on the lives and livings of the South Asians. Regionalism in South Asian otherwise may not be promising when it comes to South Asians being political or homo politicus, but this may not be the case when it comes to South Asians being cultural or homo culturicus or for that matter, psychological or homo psycholigicus. And there lies the prospect for a new approach to regionalism in South Asia.
During the period 2000-2009, offshore sourcing by Japanese firms to East Asian countries rapidly increased. Our survey on Japanese offshoring shows that 20 per cent of the Japanese companies are performing offshore sourcing and more than 50 per cent of the companies with 300 or more employees are conducting offshore sourcing in China and other East Asian countries mainly for the tasks of manufacturing parts and intermediate goods or assembling final goods. It is predictable that such an increase of offshoring stimulates the exit of firms with low efficiency from the market and raises the productivity of existing firms through a change of resource allocation within or between firms. Our empirical estimation based on the Japanese firm-level data shows that the productivity differs by 3 per cent between offshoring and non-offshoring firms and offshoring raises the productivity by 5 per cent ceteris paribus.
When feudal kingdoms in Europe recognized that the people within their borders shared enough of culture and history to be organized as separate nations, political parties became increasingly important. These parties represented different interest groups, but were committed to making their nations richer, stronger and better integrated. That model was brought to other parts of the world following the retreat of imperial powers like Britain, France and the Netherlands. In Southeast Asia, the powers left behind states with communities that did not have either common cultures or similar histories. Thus many of the political parties that the local leaders established sought to use the state machinery to create nation-states. This essay examines how the imported nation-state model spawned a variety of parties and why these parties needed strong states in order to mould future nations. The diverse experiences show that political parties that were effective where nation-states existed can serve to divide people and destabilize their lives when they are still struggling to see themselves as a newborn nation.
University-industry linkages (UILs) are not widely spread in Asian countries, but their extent is increasing, and firms tend to be satisfied with their interaction with them. As for the mode of UILs, in Asia, formal channels such as joint or contract-based research in Korea, China, and Malaysia and small-scale consulting in Thailand are more common, which is different from the case of the United States. This implies that different modes of UILs correspond to different stages of economic development of nations and/or the different capabilities of firms in each country. We also find that those that have certain R&D capabilities and thus conduct some R&D are the most frequent users of services from universities or public research institutes (PRIs). This implies that the relationship between R&D by firms and that by universities is more complementing than substituting. The fact that the firms that already conduct R&D activities tend to collaborate more with universities or PRIs might indicate the limitation of UILs as a new vehicle for catch-up. However, beyond the dichotomized question of supplementing or substitution, what matters more is apparently the absorption capacity of firms as well as the various (teaching, research, and entrepreneurial) capabilities of universities and laboratories. If such capabilities are there, there is no doubt that UILs will be more intense. Given the low or diverse degrees of capabilities of firms and universities in latecomer economies, increasing the level of their capabilities is foremost, followed by the utilization of diverse modes of UILs, depending on specific conditions and contexts.
Rapidly increasing dependence of the economic growth process on energy and the depletion of fossil fuel reserves at a fast pace have raised concerns for securing energy supply across the world. The developing nations remain the worst affected on at least two counts: first, they are at the lower levels of economic development and thereby have the pressing need for growth; second, they have the limited affordability to finance their energy imports in the face of rapid surge in the prices of fossil fuels. In such a context, this study provides a comparative analysis of South and South-east Asia – the major economies of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are selected from the former region and Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are selected from the latter for focused analytical inquiry into energy supply situation and energy policy framework.
The paper aims to study the extent of food insecurity in South Asian Countries (SAC) with special focus on India. Agriculture is the predominant sector of economies of all SAC and poverty and hunger are the most serious problems faced by this region. Agriculture is caught in a low equilibrium trap with low productivity of staples, supply shortfalls, high prices, low returns to farmers and area diversification, which result in a threat to food security. The growth of agricultural output has slowed down in most of these countries and in other countries where growth is still reasonably high, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain that. India has produced adequate food reflected in mounting buffer stocks, but there are millions of food insecure and undernourished people. The per capita availability of foodgrains has fallen substantially during the last decade of reforms. Besides this, decreasing per capita availability of arable land, climate change risks and natural resource degradation are compounding the challenge of meeting food demand. India needs an agricultural growth rate of 4.0 to 4.5 percent to reduce poverty and food insecurity significantly and needs to take necessary steps towards achieving food security.
With continuous expansion of narratives in both security and development paradigms their increasing overlap has resulted in new experiments of their fusion and integration. While much of this integration debate has been triggered and led by western academicians and institutions, it is here that the mosaic of Asian practices and paradigms feels certain comfort in joining in these debates and decision-making processes. In this, Asian narratives remain premised primarily on highlighting continuity of their historical legacies of unity-in-diversity, their shared path-dependencies on western (mainly colonial) models and formulations as also their growing autonomy from these Western powers and resultant, though as yet gradual, cooption (read partnership) into the evolving global practices and paradigms on both security and development sectors. This change though remains too slow and uncertain as Asia still remains only a cluster of its widely varying sub-regions. Even in the sub-regions, their multilateral articulations continue to reflect their diverse political cultures, security challenges and levels of development. There is hardly any semblance of an agreed consensus on what constitutes their pan-Asian identities and interests, which will underwrite and ensure injection of Asian wisdom into evolving 21st century world order that seeks to merge security and development sectors as one.
Jeffrey Henderson, East Asian Transformation, on the Political Economy of Dynamism, Governance and Crisis, Routledge, London and New York, 2011, xiv + 164 pp. ISBN: 978-0-415-54791-8 (hbk); ISBN: 978-0-415-54792-5 (pbk); ISBN:978-0-203-83313-1 (ebk)
As demonstrated by the case of the Indian state of Assam, in this paper I argue that ethnic insurgencies that generally present themselves as expressions of ‘people’s power’ can, paradoxically, at times find themselves challenged by expressions of ‘counter people’s power’ by the very same people they claim to be liberating. I then go on to show that civilian resistance against the prominent United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) insurgents in Assam has taken on multiple forms, and is particularly separated by a rural-urban divide. The aim of civilian resistance in rural areas is tactical: it is aimed not necessarily at ending insurgency but simply at reducing abuse and insecurity in people’s everyday lives; sometimes this takes a violent turn, even ending in the deaths of insurgents in the hands of civilian protesters. In Assam’s urban areas, civilian resistance is generally more ideological, and has a longer history than its rural counter-part. It primarily takes the form of non-violent civil-society initiatives – protest meetings, peace rallies, media interventions, public denouncements, candlelight vigils, newspaper and Internet petitions against violence, etc. Typically, these are aimed at ending the insurgency and reaching a sustainable peace settlement. While such acts of civilian resistance might not necessarily herald a new breakthrough in Assam’s insurgency scenario, they do hold the potential to force both insurgents and security forces to observe restraint, to reduce the insurgents’ social legitimacy, to get compensated by the government for army atrocities against civilians, and to restore the Assamese people’s genuine aspirations into the peace process – just as counterinsurgency forces are gaining strength and pushing the insurgents towards the negotiating table.
The objective of the study is to determine the effects of family planning and maternal and reproductive health (FP-MRH) programmes in cities and to analyze the institutional factors that can make them effective. The proposed methodology is experimental in design with data from both beneficiary and non-beneficiary households, the comparison of which will serve as the basis for measuring the benefits and costs of such programmes. The article analyzes three censuses of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, from 1998 to 1996, in which more than 65 per cent of the households were identified as family planning (FP) users. In this case, the relevant comparison is not only between those using or not using family planning, but also, most especially, between those receiving them from the public programmes or from private sources.
Household data in Malaybalay confirm a decline in fertility of about 2 per cent on average in the public FP users compared with the privately sourced household FP users and non-users from 2008 to 2010. The consequences of the programme on a series of family welfare outcomes are then estimated, in addition to fertility: women’s and children’s health (measured using the incidence of death), ownership of house and lot, engagement of mothers in the labour market and finally the schooling of children. Within the three years being analyzed, many of these indicators of the welfare of women and their children improve slightly but significantly, in conjunction with the other health and social programmes of the city. The cost-benefit analysis show that, overall, the return of investment is 56 per cent, implying that for every peso spent on FP-MRH programmes, 56 centavos worth of savings can be used in other programmes.
This suggests that the social returns to reproductive health programmes in the cities have many facets beyond fertility reduction but are also seen to be dependent on the existence of these other development programmes. Furthermore, the nascent success of these programmes provides the rationale for greater national support.
In the last few years ethanol and biodiesel as energy source have been seen as a panacea because of their carbon neutrality and transport oil substitution abilities. The biofuels production got the world wide response and the governments in a large number of countries took policy initiatives to promote biofuels, fixed blending mandates and designed and implemented the economic incentives for production and commercialization of biofuels. The evaluation of global biofuels production in the last few years brings out that the biofuels production will sustain only if the production of biofuels feedstock fits well in the whole food and agro-ecological system, avoids the other numerous limiting conditions and becomes a long term cost effective proven source. There is no standard package of practices for the choice of feedstock but it will depend on the assessment of each micro agro-ecological situation. The production of selected feedstock on commercial scale may require substantial investment of time and money in research and development for plant varieties improvement and evolving the suitable production technology. In the absence of such approach, the biofuels production programs are likely to be engulfed in one issue or the other and may bring unforeseen externalities.
Alicia Campi and Ragchaa Baasan, The Impact of China and Russia on United States-Mongolian Political Relations in the Twentieth Century, The Edwin Mellen Press, New York, 2009. 628pp. ISBN10: 0-7734-4753-9 (pbk), ISBN13: 978-0-7734-4753-0(hbk)
Recent development of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) has encouraged Thailand to explore the importance and new opportunities of further trade and economic linkages with Southwest China and Northeast India. This development is made possible by the growing GMS economies and cooperation, in particular, trade and investment facilitation, and key transport corridors. In examining linkages with Southwest China and Northeast India, this paper argues that potential trade and investment opportunities for Thailand with these regions exist and need to be further explored.
Employing the political economy approach in the historical context, this article examines the role of Indo-China rivalry in explaining the persistence of underdevelopment in land-locked Nepal. This external dimension of Nepal’s underdevelopment has largely been overlooked in the existing literature. China in the north and India in all the other three directions are two powerful, immediate and rival neighbours of Nepal. Both of them have their various national interests in Nepal, and often these interests have been contradictory and rival. Consequently, the constant pressure on Nepal to balance these interests adds a geo-strategic dimension to Nepal’s development challenge. While this balancing game has become a reward for Nepal’s ruling elites, the consequences of this for the mass of the Nepali people has been persistent underdevelopment. This experience of underdevelopment by the Nepali people has contributed significantly to the radicalisation of Nepali politics which has its own consequences for Nepal’s development potentials. Our political economy exploration in historical context suggests that the foreign policies of India and China towards Nepal are unlikely to undergo fundamental change due to the rising economic might of both India and China in the global economy and, consequently, their politico-economic rivalry in South Asia and beyond. This implies that it is only through development-oriented internal political processes that Nepal can hope to unleash its development potential. Additionally, Nepal has to also navigate a path of maintaining relations with both India and China which minimises the negative consequences of their external influences on Nepal’s development process.
India and China have emerged as important sources of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) in the global economy. The increasing presence of their enterprises in the advanced countries has posed a challenge both to theory of internationalization of firms and public policy alike to explain why this has happened. In this paper, an attempt is made to examine, in a comparative framework, the trends, patterns and determinants of OFDI from India and China. The critical review of theory and empirical evidence related to internationalization of firms clearly brings out that unlike firms of advanced countries, there are multiple sources of the strength of Chinese and Indian firms that drives overseas investment. The study covers the period from 1990 to 2010. The major finding that emerged from the analysis is the dramatic rise of stocks and flows of OFDI from India compared to that from China. The outward to inward FDI ratio for India has increased at a higher rate during 2000-2007 but this ratio was much higher for China between 2008 and 2010. China’s OFDI was more concentrated in financial services and Asian countries, whereas in case of India, it was predominantly in manufacturing sector and advanced countries. Internationalization of firms from China and India has been driven by push factors that enable firms to acquire resources, markets and technologies. The public policy regarding OFDI has undergone substantial transformation from merely permissive to encouraging in both the countries. The pattern of investment abroad and internationalization of firms from both India and China seems to have been largely determined and guided by the state policy.
The study asserts that rural villages which have developed relatively complex communication systems have extensive local knowledge and practice systems. Using the knowledge and community-based perspective, the study departs from past works of development communication scholars, who have focused their attention mainly on the transfer of information. The study is concerned with how meaning is created and shared in rural communities through the use of communication. It looks at how small homogenous farming communities in Thailand – world’s number one rice exporter – utilize communication to improve rice crop production. It asks: what roles does communication play in the formation of collective definitions (perspectives) and the construction/management of local knowledge and practices on rice farming? To explore the plausibility of this paper’s assertion, ethnographies of two rice farming villages were conducted – Baan Sap Som Boon (irrigated) in Chainat province (Central Region) and Baan Hua Hae (rainfed) in Ubon Ratchathani province (Northeast Region). Data generation period was from October 2004 to July 2005. Research results indicate that Baan Sap Som Boon has both an extensive knowledge of rice farming methods and procedures and an elaborate community-based communication system. Baan Hua Hae, on the other hand, practices more traditional means of rice production and divides time with other livelihood activities. In both villages, communication plays a central role in improving crop production via facilitating the formation of collective definitions on rice farming, labor, economics and agriculture-related institutions.
Microfinance, having emerged as a widespread phenomenon, is commonly dominated by the approach advocating undue financial and commercial orientation. Microfinance interventions following such an approach have come under severe scrutiny due to a series of crises encountered by them. This paper is an attempt in the direction of guiding the debate over microfinance in a more meaningful way by capturing the experience of interventions based on alternative approaches, especially focusing on community based enabling models. The enabling models emphasise on creating collectives whereby members can exercise control and ownership providing apparently several advantages. By bringing community issues to the fore they help resolve many of the contradictions that go with the delivery of microfinance. The experience, however, shows that enabling models are faced with several challenges in realising their full potential be it in terms of their form, outreach or depth of services or ability to tap developmental links for creating holistic impact. The paper identifies policy implications for strengthening the enabling models like creating suitable legal framework for community based structures, ensuring resource support for the process of social intermediation and capacity building, providing adequate and cheaper public funds for meeting their loan fund needs, and boosting the linkages between microfinance and other developmental programmes.
Food standards are expected to acquire greater importance with increasing concerns on food safety – on breakout of diseases on one hand, and growing consumer demand for products which are healthy, on the other. Compliance with international food standards is a pre-requisite to gain a higher share of world trade. The analysis was carried out on the impact of cost of compliance with food safety measures by exporters of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in India with the help of net social indicators, by using Tsakok quantitative magnitude. The study revealed that the net social gain to the society is positive in case of fresh fruits (Rs 1593.62 crore) and vegetables (Rs 1476.94 crore). It is also interesting to note that net social loss was Rs 24 crore per year, which means that the export of processed products with cost compliance led to importing countries registering a social gain at India’s cost. It was found that the compliance to food safety measures is a costly proposition and the small processing and exporting units in India are particularly affected because of high cost of compliance per kg during pre-export processing. This has also impacted the export competitiveness of products adversely. The study concluded that the compliance to food safety measures is a costly proposition in India though it has to be complied with to promote exports.
Multilateralism and regionalism are seen as forces that pull the world apart in opposing directions. But, the incentive structure of the new generation PTAs, as they are mostly FTAs, is loaded in favour of freer trade. In FTAs members are free to enter into PTAs with third countries. They also have the freedom to reduce MFN tariffs. In the absence of strong rules of origin, FTA members might also end up competing among themselves to reduce tariffs to the level of the lowest tariff member lest all imports will get admitted through the lowest tariff country. Thus, what the FTA contagion does is to make the markets more contested. As developing nations enter into different networks of PTAs they would be exposed to international competition in a wide range of products. This for instance is what ASEAN-India FTA does in the case of trade in tropical commodities. The proliferation of FTAs, therefore, would render the developing world’s opposition to possible MFN cuts in bound tariffs with respect to many of the products redundant. The paper argues that the PTAs, especially the recently formed ones are likely to weaken the resistance against non-discriminatory, i.e., MFN liberalization of trade barriers.
More than 50 per cent of the Indian population lives in villages that are located more than five kilometres from the nearest town. This half of India is more likely to experience illnesses of different kinds and simultaneously less likely to get qualified medical treatment. The incidence of premature deaths, infant and child mortality and malnutrition are all significantly higher within villages located further from towns. In consequence, such villagers are more susceptible than others to being overcome by the medical poverty trap. Poverty has increased within villages located more than five kilometres from towns, even as the national economy was surging ahead. Globalization privileges cities, disadvantaging locations at greater distances from towns. Public policy is required to compensate. Efforts to limit spatial inequalities must take precedence in future health policies.
The study focuses on the ‘export openness’ of Indian economy which is expected to have a positive impact on economic growth. The temporal coverage of the empirical analysis carried out spans the period 1970-71 to 2008-09. The research question addressed in the study is whether exports are related to growth and if so, then in what direction? Empirical verification of export-led growth hypothesis by applying various time series techniques in this study confirms both short-run and long-run relationship between exports and economic growth. Bivariate Granger causality test suggests that the direction of causality runs from export growth to GDP growth. This implies that one can use export performance also to predict the growth of Indian economy rather than depending only on the time-series models.
JEL Codes: F1, F43, O53.