WHEN IN THE 1950s the problems of underdeveloped countries became an acceptable area of study within the corpus of orthodox "economics" and found their way into university curricula, the conventional wisdom in the profession attributed underdevelopment essentially to a low rate of savings. Ragner Nurkse propounded his well-known concept oie^i "vicious circle of poverty", "a country is poor because it is poor", a poor country cannot afford a high rate of savings, and hence its growth rate remains low, perpetuating its poverty. This explanation of course was facile; it originated from classes, from production relations, from the mode of deployment was after all no lower in, say, India than is the U.S., but in this very facileness lay its appeal. By obliterating the complex ensemble of relations that constitute an underdeveloped society, it gave the problem of development of such a society a superficial air of easy fractability.
For any one nurtured in this intellectual milieu, the current state of the Indian economy must appear incomprehensible. India today has been having for some time very respectable rate of savings, more respectable than that of many other countries; yet its growth-rate on average continues to be among the ^ywest. And this low growth rate lias persisted stubbornly even as the rate of savings h-^ ^Hmbed up significantly over the years. Moreover, despite the liigh rate ol Swings, Indian planning is faced with an acute resource crisis. Public investment in critical area is curtailed for lack of resources "despite the high overall savings, rate in the economy. Clearlv the problem of resource mobilisation for development is far from being identical with the problem of stepping up the rate of savings in the economy. What the task of resource mobilisation entails in the Indian economy today constitutes the content of the lead article by Dr. Ashok Mitra in the current number of Scientist. At a time when the resource crisis, itself an outcome of the policies of the government dictated by its class ,p red i lections, is pushing it towards disastrous -compromises wilh imperialism, a careful examination of this crisis, together with concrete suggestions for an alternative course of actions is an urgent necessity; and this is what the lead article tries to do. Alongside resource mobilisation, it lays great stress on the need for resource devolution, from the centre to the states and to the units below, in a polity like ours.
The accompanying piece by Amal Sanyal is also concerned with the political economy of the resource crisis. The central government budgets in recent years have been'showing deficits in the current account itself, this is