Social Scientist. v 15, no. 174-75 (Nov-Dec 1987) p. 61.

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The Contract Responsibility System 61

attempt in this paper has been a limited one, of sharing our own perception, arrived at on the basis of study and observation, that as far as the rural areas are concerned there has been no fundamental departure from the collectivist principle; but rather, experiments with imparting flexibility to production relations, which have been associated both with positive gains by way of diversified growth and potential problems with respect to income differentiation.


1. Oskar Lange, 'On the Economic Theory of Socialism', in Benjamin Lippencott (ed.). On The Economic Theory of Socialism , LJniv. of Minnesota Press, 1938.

2. Reported in Africasia', January 1984 by Nguyen Nam under Vietnam's Green Revolution'

3. However, it is reported that in practice the team in some cases is contracting with the household : a good deal of flexibility is being permitted in experimenting with various forms of contractual relations.

4. Table 1. See W.Hinton, Shenfan .Picador, 1983 for peasants'recollections : 'One hundred thousand labourers worked on the dam at Hsiszuho. Red flags flew all over the place. At night the electric bulbs outnumbered the stars. They made (he night as bright as day. All the cadres went down to work among the people and everybody worked with great determination. With 100,000 people in three shifts there were people everywhere'. (Ch. 29, The Great Leap', p. 205 passim.) See also, E.K. Wheelwright and B. MacFarlane, The Chinese Road to Socialism, Monthly Review Press. 1970.

5. Liu Zheng, Song Jian, et a/.,, China's Population Problems and Prospects, China Study Series, Beijing, 1981.

6. P. Nolan, Decollectivisation of Agriculture in China 1979-82'', Economic and Political Weekly, August 6, 1983.

7. Although economic progress during the Cultural Revolution decade, 1966-76, tends to be played down by Chinese analysts, the official statistics indicate that agricultural and industrial production grew at 3.9 per cent and 11.7 per cent during 1966 to 1970 .(the Third Five-Year Plan period) and between 1971 to 1976 the respective growth rates were 4.1 per cent and 9.1 per cent. The Chinese economy was in growth terms performing somewhat better than the Indian economy during the decade which with some exaggeration, many Chinese economists characterise as the lost decade.

8. The Sixth Five-Year Plan of the Peoples' Republic of China for Economic and Social Development 1981-1985 JFLP, Beijing, 1984.

NOTE : 1 WM== 666 sq. mtrs. approx; There are roughly 15 mu to a hectare and just over 6 mu to an acre.

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