V B ATHRETA
Project Evaluation in Developing Countries
THE THREE decades since the Second World War have seen renewed interest in theories of growth and capital accumulation which were key concerns of classical economists such as Smith and Ricardo and of the critic par excellence of classical political economy, Karl Marx. This resurgence is closely linked to the major political development of this period, namely decolonization, and to the accompanying move towards economic development in newly independent territories. As a result, current literature on economic development bears the unmistakable mark of its historical antecedents especially when discussing the pros and cons of economic planning for countries embarking on development.
From the debate on economic planning in the context of development, there appears to have emerged some consensus that, while there was a considerable variety of opinion on matters of comprehensive economic planning and social ownership of the means of production, the imperfect price mechanism in the underdeveloped countrise necessitate state intervention. Further studies along these lines attempt to provide comprehensive recommendations on certain aspects of planning and certain modes of state intervention. These relate to the problems of investment planning and project evaluation in the context of economic development.