THE FRUITS of the new economic policy ushered in by the Rajiv Gandhi Government have already begun to' appear. According to the latest trade statistics, the first four months of the current financial year have witnessed a nearly 80 per cent increase in the size of the country's trade deficit. Corn -pared to a deficit of about Rs. 1,705 crore during Apri^ July 19 8 4, the figure for the current year is Rs. 3080 crores .This massive increase is due to the fact that while exports have remained virtually stagnant, imports have forged ahead by nearly 30 per cent. Whether or not there have been some special factors contributing to this import splurge through a lunching" effect, is beside the point. The basic fact is that while imports are pushing ahead, exports refuse to budge. The policy of import "liberalisation "which was supposed to boost our exports is pushing the country, as many had feared, into a veritable payments crisis, whose impact will be felt by all.
While it is true that a hall mark of the society we live in is that willy-nilly we are required to become economics conscious, this requirement becomes more pressing at certain times than at others. Now is one such time. Difficult days are ahead and it is important for all thinking persons to come to grips with ,and actively intervene in, what is going on in the realm of the economy and economic policy. It is in this context that Social Scientist which recently brought out a double number devoted to a discussion of the new turn in economic policy, is following it up in the current issue with some more articles dealing with economic matters. This is by no means for a lack of choice in selecting articles ;on the contrary it represents a deliberate exercise of choice in keeping with the imperatives of the present situation which we hope our readers will understand. Bombarded as they are with the paeans of praise being loudly sung in the bourgeois press to the pragmatic ^ new policy being introduced by a 'dynamic "leadership ,we would like to bring to their ears the critical voices which are being raised in conventions and seminars across the country, which barely, if at all, get a passing mention in the media.
The lead article byArun Ghosh ,Amiya Bagchi and Sreemanta Dasgupta provides a critical review of the new trends in industrial, including textiles