6 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
prices except that of labour, so that real wages and the wage share in income usually fall drastically. By the World Bank's own admission, the process of adjustment by these means has always taken longer than anticipated, and in most cases is still not complete even after nearly a decade. In almost all cases, economic growth has slackened, the balance of payments has improved only rarely and marginally, real wages have fallen and income distribution has worsened, unemployment has increased, and agriculture has not necessarily improved its performance even while de-industrialisation is under way. Significantly, even the World Bank admits that the burden of such adjustment is essentially borne by the working classes and poorer, more disadvantaged groups, who become Worse off than earlier with not much hope of an improvement in their situation in the near future.
Obviously, this unfair, unequal and inefficient strategy cannot represent the best means of economic adjustment, and so all talk to the effect that 'there is no alternative* is both misleading-and pernicious. That viable alternatives exist and should be systematically pursued as part of any genuine national drive for development is emphasized in the articles by Prabhat Patnaik and Arun Ghosh. Patnaik makes a forceful and convincing case for the continued validity of planning, especially for medium term adjustment. This involves the government determining the overall trajectory of development, within which there should of course be room for the private sector to operate. Patnaik shows how the usual arguments against planning are not logically tenable—thus, economic inefficiencies are just as possible in a market system, and lack of innovation does not hold particularly for a developing economy in which technological absorption and diffusion are still primary. Similarly, export pessimism and 'inward-- orientation* are not endemic to planning as such, but reflect a particular strategy which can be modified. By contrast, the devaluation-deflation-liberalisation package is not only iniquitous, but makes the economy progressively dependent on the caprices of international capital, which can be especially unstable during the traverse to a new growth path. Patnaik mentions that there are still unresolved problems with the planning process in a mixed economy, which require creative solutions. Foremost among these are the problems of work motivation and of control over the bourgeoisie's tendencies to 'primitive acquisitiveness* rather than accumulation.
Arun Ghosh deals specifically with a programme for medium term adjustment in the current Indian context. He stresses the need for caution in balance of payments management, and mentions several means of achieving fiscal balance. A significant issue is the need to unearth 'unrecorded* or black incomes, which is essential for achieving fiscal goals as well as cutting down on inflationary pressures in the economy. The most important medium term goal should be the raising of productivity levels across the economy, for which the government