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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Forty Years Ago, August 31, 1980: Fiscal Discipline

Calling for strict fiscal discipline, PM Indira Gandhi said wasteful expenditure has to be controlled.

By: Editorial | August 31, 2020 3:34:30 am
Forty Years Ago, August 31, 1980: Fiscal DisciplineThe Indian Express front page, August 31, 1980. (Express Archives)

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has said that the crux of the Sixth Five Year Plan is resource mobilisation. In this massive effort, she sought the cooperation of the states even if it meant a “number of difficult and somewhat unpopular effort”. She said though the Planning Commission would have liked a larger outlay, even for the Rs 90,000-crore plan outlined in the draft framework, they had to be “hard-hearted, hard-headed and practical”. Calling for strict fiscal discipline, the PM said wasteful expenditure has to be controlled. PSUs have to be run efficiently if the government’s policies were responsible for their losses, they have to be corrected.

Talks On Sixth Plan

The draft framework of the Sixth Five Year Plan was generally welcomed by all states though some had strong reservations on the suggestion for a gradual withdrawal of subsidies and on resource mobilisation. The criticism came from the two Marxist-ruled states, West Bengal and Kerala. They called for a national wage policy and greater emphasis on employment. They were also critical of the Plan paper’s approach to large industrial houses and expressed the fear that monopolies could be created.

Polish Workers’ Win

Striking Polish workers secured a historic breakthrough when the government issued a statement agreeing to their demand for independent trade unions and the right to hold strikes. The agreement marks the first time that workers have won such rights in the Soviet-bloc. The government negotiating team said that the workers can form “self-governing unions”. The striking workers said that the new unions will have a socialist character in line with Poland’s constitution.

Sati in Raipur

A 50-year old woman, Kacheribal Bairagi of Kheda village in Madhya Pradesh’s Raipur district has committed sati. She immolated herself on the funeral pyre of her husband.

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