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No. 329

OCTOBER 2002

Vol LXXXIII

ISSN 0019-5170

Contents


 

  Public Debt, Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth in Nigeria

A. G. ABIOLA
 

The study examined whether Nigeria had exceeded the critical limits of public debt indicators and whether the severity of the debt burden affected fiscal stability and economic growth. It also determined the direction of causality between public debt and economic growth. Descriptive and econometric analyses using the error correction modeling (ECM) technique were employed. It found that the years of oil boom recorded lower debt stock and debt service as well as higher exports with fiscal stability and relatively impressive economic performance. Higher debt stock and service, as well as low exports characterized the years of relatively poor receipts from oil, which brought fiscal instability and unimpressive economic performance. Furthermore, external debt imposed more severe burdens. A uni-directional causality running from economic growth to public debt was found for the Nigerian economy suggesting that it was the urge to promote economic growth that has been largely responsible for the high public debt overhang in Nigeria.

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   Gene Revolution Food For All Indians in The 21st Century

AKRAM A. KHAN & F ARHAD SHlRANI BIDABADI
 

India's greatest achievement in the 20th century has been its ability to increase its food production and keeping Malthusian fears at bay. However, as land and water for agriculture are diminishing resources there is no room for complacency and no option has remained rather than to produce more food and other agricultural commodities from less arable land and irrigation water. In other words, the need for more food has to be met through higher yields per units of land, water, energy, and time.
The advances in molecular biology and biotechnology provide India with a new window of opportunity to deal with issues of food production and food security. It deserves to be discussed, contemplated, and digested at all levels. Currently farmers in both developing and developed countries as a result of proper policies and institutions that are in place are adopting GM crops at a very fast rate. People of India have both rights to get benefit from biotechnology and know why biotechnology should be used in agriculture when traditionally bred crop varieties have provided food for human consumption for thousands of years? Who will benefit from biotechnology? What are risks? And who will take responsibilities for problems that are sure to emerge? And what kind of policies are presently in place in regards to issues related to biotechnology? These reasonable questions deserve to get proper answers.

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  Satisfaction Level from Labour Welfare Schemes in Sugar Factories of Gorakhpur Division

SANDEEP KUMAR AND SURENDER SINGH YADAV
 

The present study was undertaken to examine the labour welfare schemes in sugar industry of Uttar Pradesh with special reference to sugar factories of Gorakhpur Division. There are 21 sugar factories in Gorakhpur Division of different sectors. Eight sugar factories of State Government and private sector were selected for the study. Total 240 workers were interviewed for the analysis. The results showed that workers' satisfaction level from welfare measures which affects work environment is 12 per cent in State Government factories and 30.5 per cent in private sector factories. Satisfaction level from social security schemes is 22.5 per cent in State Government factories and 52.5 per cent in private sector factories. Worker's satisfaction level from housing scheme is 17 per cent in State Government factories and 42.5 per cent in private sector factories. This is 7.5 per cent from medical scheme in State Government factories and 25 per cent in private sector factories. Satisfaction level from education scheme is 20.5 per cent in State Government factories and 29 per cent in private sector factories. Hence, the analysis has revealed that workers' satisfaction level from welfare schemes in very less in both the sectors. It also shows that workers in State Government factories have less satisfaction from welfare schemes as compared to private sector factories.

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 Economic Development, Macroeconomic Vulnerability and Financial Crisis: The Case of Malaysia

 B. N. GHOSH AND GOH SOO KHOON
 

The paper reports the results of an empirical study to ascertain whether macroeconomic fundamentals or self-fulfilling speculative expectations mattered in the Malaysian financial crisis in 1997- 98. The paper examines a variety of macroeconomic factors and, the prohibit  test shows that the crisis occurred at a time when macro fundamentals had slightly deteriorated but the deterioration of fundamentals does not seem to have been large enough to explain the magnitude of the crisis. The paper finally observes that the Malaysian financial crisis of 1997 has been the product of both weak macro economic fundamentals and self- fulfilling speculative expectations.

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 U. S. Budget Deficits and Domestic Long Tenn Interest Rates

MICHAEL TOMA
 

This paper provides empirical estimates of the causes of the primary budget deficit and the ex ante real long term rate of interest that strongly imply that the causality between primary deficit and the ex ante real long term interest rate yield in the U. S. may actually be be-directional.

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  The Optp Basket Pegs: for the Case of Hong Kong

AI- YUNG KAM
 

This paper calculates optimal elasticity-weighted currency baskets for HK. Two possible objectives are considered: (I) minimize the variance of the balance of trade; (II) minimize the variance of the national income. This paper employs the model developed by Flanders and Help man (1979) with two modifications. Firstly, the home country's demand for imports will be included. Secondly, two restricted assumption imposed by Flanders and Help man are relaxed; (I) the value of import into the small economy is totally price inelastic; (2) no cross-price effects in the demand for the small economy's exports. For the objective I, the results show that the basket assigned relatively more weights to the currencies of the United States (31%), China (26%), Taiwan (19%), Korea (10%), and Japan (9.7), and less weights to the Singapore (5%), German (4.5%), United Kingdom (3.1%), France (0.5), and Thailand (0.2). For the objective 2, the basket assigned relatively more weights to the currencies of the Taiwan (55%) and Korea (32%), less weights to the United States (8.5%), German (3%), Singapore (1.2%), Thailand (1%), and zero weight to United Kingdom, Japan, France, and China. If the currencies of the five less developed countries are excluded the alternative optimum weights show that the US dollar accounts for 70% and 95% of the basket, respectively, which indicates the HK's current fixed exchange rate policy equivalents to pegging an elasticity- weighted currency basket.

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 Foodgrain Losses at Farm Level A Case of Paddy Crop in Punjab

JASKARANJIT SINGH AND M. S. SIDHU
 

Paddy is an important crop in Punjab. It occupied about 33 per cent of the total cropped area of the state during the year 1999-2000. The study brought out that harvesting loss to paddy was 18.78 kgs per acre with sickle and 6.67 kgs per acre with combine harvest. The area harvested with combine and sickle was about 90 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. The threshing loss was 0.48 per cent of the produce threshed. The food grain storage in the gunny bags was the most common followed by storage in metal bin and bharola. The average storage loss for family consumption and seed was 1.89 per cent and 1.50 per cent respectively. The rats, birds, etc. caused loss to paddy during storage. The average quantity of paddy sold was about 165 qtls. The marketing loss was 0.65 per cent of the produce sold. The total loss at the farm level to paddy in Punjab on the basis of sample farmers was about 182 thousand tonnes which was 1.39 per cent of the paddy production. In monetary terms, the loss was to the extent of about Rs. 33 crore during the year 1999-2000.

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The Process of Quantity- Tatonnement and the Flow of Funds in the Indian Economy

N. N. SHRIVASTAVA AND A. K. BAJPAI
 

This is an exercise in the technique of economic analysis. The matrix format aptly represents the logic of general equilibrium, where each element influences and is influenced by the remaining elements of the format. The change in an element may be expected to change the composition of a vector. The changed composition of a vector would inevitably induce adjustments among all the elements of the remaining vectors. However, this paper casts the financial system of India into a matrix format to examine the adjustment among the elements comprising a vector. The focus is on the intra vector adjustments' -the first aspect of the process of quantity-tatonnement. In this context the decreasing quantitative significance of elements and their inter-dependence is shown to determine the process of adjustment.

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