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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
Outlook.com

Rupee, the Fourth R

Even World Bank's aid will be at the expense of other states. Is it right to expect the Indian poor to finance affluent lifestyles in Gujarat?

Rupee, the Fourth R
Rupee, the Fourth R
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
THE tragedy in Gujarat requires a swift measured response, not least in making available material and financial resources rapidly to those most affected. It is a poignant reflection of the vision-free public policy environment in present-day India that State response has been feeble and ineffective. The media has matched the government's incompetence with shallow cynicism. Grotesque colour photographs of suffering fill the pages of our newspapers but economic information is thin, garnered almost exclusively from government press notes.

The two important analytical questions are: what resources are needed and how are these going to be delivered and financed? The Indian government has already promised Rs 500 crore directly and intends collecting Rs 1,300 crore through direct tax surcharges. International agencies, ngos et al should collectively provide a multiple of that amount. Even the World Bank has offered a large loan (yes, a loan even if a very soft one—the money goes right back to Washington, eventually).

How is the money to be spent? Disaster expenditures...
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