A critical appraisal

IN A severe indictment of the government's economic policies, the Planning Commission has observed that capital expenditure on infrastructure and social sector have suffered most in the quest for fiscal deficit control. Public investment in agriculture has become stag- nant or has decreased over the first 3 years (1992-95) of the Eighth Plan employment rate has been lower than envisaged. Glaring inadequacies in irrigation and flQod control projects have also come to light.

The mid-term appraisal has warned against the swift and wide opening up of the consumer goods sector to imports, as that would have an adverse effect on employment generation. It has advocated that programmes for providing wage and self-employment be continued as instruments of direct intervention for tackling poverty. The appraisal has cautioned against neglecting investment in the farm sector, which continues to have a predominant share in total employment generation.

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