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for instance, to have access to 30 yards of cloth in a year and at least 100 square feet of space to call home.
As incredible as it might appear now, they wanted government to exercise tight oversight over industry. “Practically every aspect of economic life will have to be so rigorously controlled by government that individual liberty and freedom of enterprise will suffer a temporary eclipse,” they declared.
It is widely believed among academics that this document was among the major forces that influenced newly independent India to create the Planning Commission, which would in time become the most hated institution among the business community.
The commission is commonly referred to as a “Soviet-style” behemoth. The comparison annoys the economist Amartya Sen.
In “An Uncertain Glory,” he and the economist Jean Drèze write: “One thing that Communist countries — from the U.S.S.R. and pre-reform China to Vietnam or Cuba — were committed to achieving, despite all the political indoctrination and dogmatism, was to ensure free and universal school education without delay.”
India’s central planning, at least in its early years, showed a disregard for the primary education of the poor, which would in time assume the proportions of a criminal neglect.