ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fuel Policy-Hesitant Half-Measures

This, then, is the basic problem that the Minister for Industrial Development should be addressing himself to: brisk investment and expansion of capacity and output in a wide range of non-essential consumption goods and consumer durables like hard and soft drinks, cosmetics, air conditioners and refrigerators and lack of investment, stagnation of output and shortages in a number of key industries. No amount of streamlining of procedures and setting of time targets for issue of licences will get round this problem. These cannot substitute for clear-cut guidelines and priorities for taking licensing decisions. A couple of extracts from the report of the Estimates Committee of Parliament on Industrial licensing are worth quoting in this context. "Asked during evidence whether any general principles have been laid down for issuing licences . .., the representative of the Ministry of Industrial Development and Company Affairs informed the Committee that not in the sense of laying down principles, but the things are well known that the unit should be economical and so on." Similarly, talking of the Central Advisory Council for Industries, the Secretary of the Ministry told the Com- mittee, "I don't think that they have laid down any principles. This Council meets, there is an exchange of information and matters are discussed".

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