Direction for questions 1 – 10: Read the passages carefully and answer the questions that follow.
PASSAGE – I
Analysts of the Soviet economy are wrestling with an intriguing mystery: How can the Soviet Government claim that the industrial output goal of the just concluded five-year plan was successfully reached when almost all the available detailed production data suggest output actually fell well below the desired levels?
The suspicion is strong among many analysts that a large part of the answer to the puzzle may be the hidden performance of Soviet military industry. The mystery would be solved if, as many a analysts suspect, output of soviet military hardware was pushed beyond original plans during 1966 – 70 and many types of civilian production were cut back to free resources for military needs.The mystery was posed sharply this month. By publication of the detailed Soviet economic report for 1970, the last year of the Eighth five-year Plan. The document gives precise production data for several dozen major industrial commodities or categories, and these can be compared with the corresponding 1970 output goals adopted in April, 1966, by the 23rd Soviet Communist Party Congress.
The comparison shows that for about 30 major commodities or commodity groupings-ranging from steel and electric power to paper, automobiles and television sets in 1970 output was below the planned target, often substantially below.
Data for only about a half dozens or so commodities or commodity grouping show that in their cases the 1970 goal of the 5 year plan was reached.Yet over-all Soviet industrial production statistics claim that industry's output grew about 50 per cent from 1966, i.e.reaching precisely the over-all target set by the 23rd Congress back in 1966.
The official 1970 production data makes it clear that there were very substantial discrepancies in many important cases between the original goals for last year and the more modest reality.
In the case of electric power, last year's result was 740 billion kilowatt –hours against the planned goal of 830 billion to 850 kilowatt-hours. Steel production last year came to 116 million metric tons, not the 124 million to 129 million tons originally
The Soviet automobile industry was expected to produce 700,000 to & 800,000 passenger cars last year, but the reality was less than half that number or 344,000 vehicles. Paper output last year was planned for 5 million to 5.3 million metric tons; the reality was 4.2 millions tons. There were only 95.2 million metric tons of cement turned out last year, not the 100 million to 105 million tons called for in the plan.
Some consumer durable goods fell particularly sharply below their output goals. Thus, the plan called for 1970 production of 7.5 million to 7.7 million television sets and 5.3 million to 5.6 million refrigerator. Actual output last year was 6.7 million
television sets and 4.1 million refrigerators.
The brighter areas-where goals were fulfilled-were few. Perhaps the most important was Oil, whose 1970 output of 353 million metric tons compared with the goal of 345 million to 355 million tons. Shoes, furniture and radios were among the few other categories where production goals were apparently fulfilled.
Two explanations are being seriously considered by analysts pondering the puzzle posed by the conflict between Soviet production statistics and Soviet fulfillment claims.
One possibility is that Soviet military production rose sufficiency to compensate for the short-falls in civilian industry. The Soviet Government does not publish data on output of military items ranging from intercontinental missiles and hydrogen bombs to submarines and machine guns. But many estimates have indicated a rapid build-up of Soviet missile, naval and other military strength in recent years. In addition the Soviet Union, is known to have provided large quantities of modern military equipment to N. Vietnam, Egypt and other friends and allies.
Thus, some analysts suggest that Soviet planners diverted, substantial quantities of capital, labour and raw materials during the last five years from many areas of civilian production to date & possible an accelerated growth of military output.
A second possibility suggested by some analysts is that there is egregious growth in the aggregate Soviet statistics of industrial production expressed in value terms. Theoretically, Soviet measures of gross 'industrial output are in constant prices, but during the last five years many new items have been introduced into production and their prices may have been relatively high, thus giving the large volume of new production a disproportionately large and inflationary weight in the over-all output index.
It is characteristic of-the continuing rigid limits on economic discussion in the Soviet Union that there has bean no explicit reference to the discrepancy between, the official claims of fulfillment of the industrial output goal and the very different picture shown by the direct comparisons of goals with output for numerous specific commodities.
But the failure to reach so many output goals could become a major issue if there is a power struggle among & those competing for the highest positions in the Soviet Communist party, positions to be filled at next month's 24th party Congress.
1. The article explains that some of the discrepancy between Soviet claims of economic -growth and available data might be attributable to
(A) Soviet concern about the disclosure of trade secrets
(B) undisclosed military production
(C) Soviet failure to achieve desired goals
(D) unwillingness of Russia to disclose all the facts
2. How many 5 Year Plans has the Soviet Union had?
3. In how many of the commodity groupings was the 1970 production goal achieved?
4. Which of the following is mentioned by the author as being a major commodity group?
I. Television sets
II. Electric power
(A) II and III
(B) I and II
(C) I, II, III
(D) I only
5. According to Soviet claims, industrial output
(A) exactly equaled goals set in 1966
(B) exceeded expectations by as much as 50%
(C) was overestimated by the Twenty-third Congress
(D) failed to measure up to Red China's output
6. The most important commodity group where production goals were achieved is
7. Those who adopt the inflation theory to explain the Soviet economic mystery feel that
(A) the Russians normally inflate their claims
(B) global inflation has finally penetrated-the iron Curtain
(C) deflation has offset the recent inflation in the Soviet Union
(D) new products now being produced in the Soviet Union have relatively high prices
8. What have the Soviet done to explain the discrepancy?
(A) They blame the capitalist influence of the West.
(B) They refer to articles written by Soviet economists
(C) The Russians contend that much progress has taken the form of improved technology
(D) The Russians have given no explanation
9. What could be the possible consequence of Soviet failure to attain output goals?
(A) A cultural revolution
(B) An economic recession
(C) A political power struggle.
(D) A re-evaluation of reporting techniques.
10. What led the author to believe that the Russians had not achieved their production goals?
(A) The reports for the specific commodities differed from the overall Soviet claims
(B) Soviet economists admitted their over-optimism
(C) World trade statistics conflicted with Russian reports
(D) Inconsistencies in Soviet newspapers aroused the author's suspicions