The Role of the State in the Economic Development of Bangladesh During the Mujib Regime

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 25
5 views
PDF
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Document Description
The Role of the State in the Economic Development of Bangladesh during the Mujib Regime (1972-1975) Author(s): Syed Serajul Islam Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Developing Areas, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Jan., 1985), pp. 185-208 Published by: College of Business, Tennessee State University Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4191343 . Accessed: 26/11/2011 05:53 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/
Document Share
Documents Related
Document Tags
Document Transcript
  The Role of the State in the Economic Development of Bangladesh during the Mujib Regime(1972-1975)Author(s): Syed Serajul IslamReviewed work(s):Source: The Journal of Developing Areas, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Jan., 1985), pp. 185-208Published by: College of Business, Tennessee State University Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4191343. Accessed: 26/11/2011 05:53 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspJSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. College of Business, Tennessee State University is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extendaccess to The Journal of Developing Areas. http://www.jstor.org  The Journalof DevelopingAreas19(January 1985)185-208 TheRoleof the State inthe EconomicDevelopmentofBangladeshduringtheMujibRegime(1972-1975) SYEDSERAJULISLAMThe painfulcircumstancesinwhichthe state ofBangladeshwascreatedproducedutterchaosandconfusionin its economicsystem.The newstatelauncheda peacefulprogramtoreplaceandredesignthe oldinstitutionsofthe war-ravagedeconomyin orderto eliminatepoverty,unemployment,andsocialinjustice.Itdiscardedold rules and attempted to set up newonesinconsonancewiththe regime'sownpreferredgoals.The stateofBangladeshthat emergedin 1971was essentiallyan intermediatestate. Inpreliberationdays,the developmentstrategy pursuedbythe administrativestate, strictlycontrolled bythecivil-militarybureaucracy,hadfocusedonrapidlyincreasingtheGNP through heavyrelianceonprivateinvestment.Themasseshad foundthat policyoflittlebenefit, however,becauseit failedto bringabout anynoticeablereductionininequalitiesin income,unemployment,and poverty.Consequently,thenewstateofBangladesh re-jectedthat strategyofdevelopmentand triedtorectifythe deficienciesof thepastby initiatinga sociallydesirable developmentpolicy.Whatthen wasthe nature of thestrategypursuedby the newstate of Bangladesh?What wastherationale behindthe adoptionofaparticulartypeof developmentpolicy?In orderto explorethese questions, it is necessaryfirsttodefinebrief-ly an intermediatestate and itslinkto developmentstrategy.Anintermediatestate is onethatisdominated by politicalelites,largelydrawnfromtheintermediate class-i.e.,rich and middle-incomepeasants,pettytraders andbusinessmen,urbanprofessionals,andintellectuals. InthecontextofBangladesh,Bertocci pointsout,theelitesbelongingtothis class(whichbecame the rulingclassin theaftermathoftheindependenceofBangladesh) stem fromorhavelinksto,other personsofprofessionalorsmall-scale entrepreneurialbackgrounds, and they are alsoalliedwith therich peasantswhodominaterural politics.' Inan intermediatestate,itseems, the statebasically pursuesamixed strategyofdevelopment,em-phasizingpublic enterprise,bymeans ofwhich thestate performstherole ofdynamicentrepreneur,undertakesthebasicinvestmentsnecessaryforeconomicdevelopment,andpromotes thepatternofamalgamationoftheinterestsof thelowermiddle classwithstatecapitalism. 2 AssistantProfessor,DepartmentofPoliticalScience, University ofDacca,Bangladesh.?1985 byWestern Illinois University.  186SyedSerajulIslam The rationalefortheadoptionof thistypeofstrategy bytheintermediatestaterests on thepromotion oftheinterestsof the intermediateclassinbothurban and ruralareas,theclass that serves as thebase ofpoliticalsupport fortheregime.Kaleckipoints outthatthistype ofstrategy ishighlybeneficialtotheinterests ofthemiddle classesforthreereasons.Inthefirstplace, statecapitalismconcentratesinvestmenton theexpansionof theproductivepotentialofthecountry.Thus,there isnodangerofforcing thesmallfirmsout ofbusiness. Second, therapiddevelopment of stateenterprises createsexecutive and technicalopeningsforambitiousyoungmenofthenumerousruling class. Third, the landreform, which isnotprecededbyanagrarianrevolution, is conducted insuch awaythat the middleclass whichdirectlyexploitsthepoorpeasants, i.e.,themoneylenders andmerchants,maintainsitspositionwhile the richpeasantry achievesconsiderablegainsinthe process. 3 Thistype of economicstrategy seems toresultinaccomplishing neithergrowthnorequity,however.Sincethestrategy preventsthe freefunctioningofprivateenterprise,itmayleadto lowratesofeconomicgrowth.Perhapstheresultof thistypeofstrategy is thealienationofboth the bottom (workersandpeasants) and the top (upperbourgeoisieand also thebureaucracy),whothen seektodiscreditthepoliciesof theintermediatestate.Theselargelytheoreticalstatements,however,requireempiricalverification. In thisstudy ofBangladesh, anattemptwillbemadetoevaluatethedevelopmentpolicies pursuedbythe stateunderMujib.Themainpurpose of suchanexaminationwill betoshowthelink between thenatureof thestate andthetype ofdevelopmentpolicypursued. Inotherwords, whydoes aparticularstateadopt aparticulartype ofstrategy?Whatistheclass basis ofthesepolicies?TheIntermediate State ofBangladeshand ItsPledgestoDevelopmentStrategyInpostindependentBangladesh the stateapparatus was controlledbypoliticalelitesbelongingtotheAwamiLeague (AL),whichwas themouthpieceoftheintermediateclassduring thenationalistmovement. Themaindecision-makingstructures inthestate apparatus ofBangladeshwerethe office oftheprimeminister,thecabinet, and theJatiyo-Sangsad (Parlia-ment), and allthesewere dominatedbymen fromthe intermediateclassbelongingto theAL.ThedataonthesocioeconomicbackgroundoftheALleadersindicate that thepartywas allalongdominated by theintermediateclass.TheALsrcinatedin1949,and in the thencentralworkingcommitteeof theparty 57percentwerelawyers,14percent smallbusinessmen, 14per-centlandholders,11percentteachers,3percent laborleaders, and3percentreligiousleaders.4Until theindependenceofBangladeshin1971,partyleadershipremainedstrictlyinthehands ofthe samepeople.Of the 37membersinthecentralworkingcommitteeoftheparty in 1970,85percentwererepresentativesoftheintermediate class.5 AftertheindependenceofBangladesh,theoffice of theprimeministerwasoccupiedbySheikhMujiburRahman(Mujib),whowasasonof aserestadar(civilcourtclerk).Of the 23ministersinhiscabinet, 15 werelawyers,4 formerbusinessexecutives,1alandholder,1ateacher,1a tradeunionleader, and1 a retiredarmy officer.6 Thedateonthe income of themembersof theConstituentAssembly alsoindicatedthepreeminenceofthe  EconomicDevelopment: Bangladesh during MujibRegime187 intermediateclass. Over75percentof the members had an annual incomeofless than30,000 taka (Tk)(with51.11percentbelowTk2O,000and24.1per-centbetweenTk2O,000-30,000)which, byBangladeshstandards atthattime, wouldput a man in middleandlower-middle income groups.7Theparliamentaryelections of1973,in whichAL won 292 out of total 300seatsin the Sangsad, furtherreconfirmedthepositionof theintermediateclassinthe postcolonialstateapparatusofBangladesh.Of the 292 members,26per-centwerelawyers,24percentsmallbusinessmen andpetty traders,3per-centlargelandowners,15percentrichand middle farmers,10percentteachers,and5percentmedical doctors.8In the state structureofBangladesh,thePlanningCommission and thepubliccorporationswerethechiefadvisoryandimplementingbodiesintheeconomic sector, andthese were alsocontrolledbymen ofintermediate-classbackground.Theprimeminister ofBangladeshwasthe ex officiochairmanofthe commissionwhilethedeputychairmanwasanacademician.Theothermembersof the commission were alsodrawnfromuniversityfacultiesand had,in themain,beenMujib'sclosest advisersduring thenationalistmovement.Until thefall of Mujibin1975 therewere 76 chief executivesinpubliccorporationsand,ofthese,44belongedto theprofessionalclass,while25 were fromgovernment service,3 were businessexecutives,and 4were retiredarmyofficers.9Insum,therefore,it can be said that during1972-1975 there existed anintermediate stateinBangladesh.Itwasanin-termediatestate becauseits rulingpolitical elites came neitherfrom the topnorfromthebottomechelons ofthe society.The AwamiLeague,whichdominatedthestate apparatusinBangladeshduringtheyears1972-1975, adopteda strategyofdevelopmenttowhich thepartyhadapoliticalcommitment that was reflectedfor thefirsttime inaconsolidatedwayin the 1970 electionmanifesto.'0Before thedeclarationofthe manifesto,whateverhad been stated bythe AL regardingeconomicpolicywas concernedmainlywith the demandforautonomyof EastPakistan.Thepartyprogramof theAL, asenunciatedin thesix-point pro-gram,only talkedof redistributionofresourcesbetween East and WestPakistan. The 1970 election manifesto can beconsideredas the firstclear-cut commitmentonthe part of the ALtotheeconomicdevelopmentof thecountry.Inordertopreempttheattractionof the leftiststoworkers andpeasants,in themanifesto,theparty promisedtheimplementationofthefollowingmeasures:(1) establishmentofa socialisteconomyand,as a firststeptoward the achievementofthis objective,nationalization ofbankingandinsurancecompanies,thejuteindustry,and cottontextile aswellasother basicand heavyindustries;(2) implementation ofland reformsandchangein thesystemof ownership of land with a viewtoredistributinglandamongthe landlesslaborers;and(3)reformofthetax andrevenue systemand, specifically,abolitionof the salttaxand land revenueinallland-holdings below eightacres.'2Afterindependence,theearlierpoliticalcommitmentofthe rulingpartytotheseeconomic objectiveswas evident in theconstitutionof Bangladesh,which laid down the fundamentalstate policiesin the economic sphere.Thepreambleof theconstitutiondeclared that the highideals ofnation-alism,socialism,democracyandsecularism shallbe the fundamentalprin-ciplesof the Constitution.'3Inparticular,itwas the principleof socialismthat vividlyexpressedthe attitudeof the rulingpartytoward economic
Similar documents
View more...
Search Related
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks