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4

Parts of the Economy

P.R. Sarkar

A developed economy should consist of four parts--people's economy, psycho-economy, commercial economy and general economy. This quadro- division of economy is a vast expansion on the contemporary and co- contemporary conceptions of economic activity. Most economists today understand only a little of the principles of general economy and something of commercial economy, but both of these parts are still in an undeveloped state. People's economy and psycho-economy are totally unknown to modern economists, and as such could find no place in the present mode of economic thinking. A brief outline of the parts of the economy is given below.

People's Economy

This part of the economy will deal with the essential needs of the people in general--their production, distribution, marketing, shopping, storage, pricing, sales, freight charges, proformat costing and all related activities. Most importantly, it is directly concerned with the guaranteed provision of minimum requirements like food, clothes, housing, medical care, education, transportation, energy supply and the supply of irrigational waters. Continuous improvement and ready availability of these essentials is a key factor in people's economy.

Minimum requirements must be assured through guaranteed purchasing power which should be enshrined in the constitution as fundamental human rights or as cardinal human rights. This will give the citizens of the country power to sue a government if their minimum requirements are not met. Hence the necessity of people's economy will be reinforced by constitutional power.

As people's economy will deal with minimum requirements and people's subsistence problems, it must take precedence over other parts of the economy. For example, if people have no food and are starving, it may be necessary to establish short term uneconomic industries to supply food. In normal conditions such industries would violate the logic and demands of general economic principles and the principles of demand and supply.

People's economy should be also concerned with the development of small-scale industries, both private and cooperative. Private industries would be limited in size and scope to prevent monopoly production and exploitation, and would be required to function as cooperatives once they grow too large. Cooperative industries are the best means of organising people in an independent manner so that they take collective responsibility for their livelihood.

People's economy may deal with employment for all, the eradication of mass poverty, rural economy, the phase-wise socialisation of land into the hands of those who work physically or intellectually for proper production, practical training programmes to impart specific skills to enable people to find employment in their immediate urban or rural locality, work placement, and transportation, transhipment and loading of any material, even if they are not economically viable. Another important aspect of people's economy may also be concerned with power, water and energy supply. Small-scale and cheap power and water production is essential if people are to have complete control over their economic lives.

Finally, people's economy may further deal with economic decentralisation, "people's power" and co-operative dynamo, and block-level planning.

Let us take the case of Bengal. As an example of how people's economy concerning the minimum necessities of life can be developed, the following programme should be adopted to improve the economic standard of Bengal.

 

 

 

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