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Planning for Performance in Banks

 that yardstick. Such a course of action, it was pointed out, had led to good dividends in the UK and USSR, and there was no reason why such a system should not be tried out In India. As for price policy, it was contended by one participant that, since public sector enterprises were making losses for a long time, and since these losses arose primarily because at the prices fixed it was difficult to recover costs of capital, capital costs must be written off and prices must be fixed on the basis of variable costs. Let by-gones be by-gones. Such price-fixation would also help to earn foreign exchange. Almost all participants disagreed with this view of throwing up the whole thing in disgust. It was not a question merely of writing down capital values. In an economy committed to expansion of industry through increased public participation, such a course may in fact amount to a blockade against this very objective. A more practical course was to fight the inefficiencies of the public sector units and to make them viable and efficient. In this connection, it was pointed out that, though profitability was not the sole criterion of efficiency of public enterprises, it would have to be a very important criterion. In the long run, top management would have to be judged by this test. For this, it was necessary that top management be given sufficient incentives and autonomy and be posted for reasonably long periods in one enterprise so that they may develop a stake in the enterprise. The discussion then turned to S K Goyal's paper. Explaining the rationale of the joint-sector as advocated by the Dutt Committee, Goyal argued that the committee had not carried Its investigations to their logical conclusion to state that all large size projects should in future be established in the public sector. The Committee's advocacy of a joint-sector as a via media was a concession to the private large industrial interests. However, he thought that the Committee's proposal of joint-sector has relevance to the already established big projects of the private sector, where a large chunk of the project cost has been already met by financial institutions. Viewed in this light, the joint-sector could be an effective instrument for regulating large enterprises (which are now under private managements) in line with social purpose.

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