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

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SARKAR COMMISSION-Public Money for Private Empires

January 12, 1974 FOLLOWING the revelations of the Dutt Committee Report, the government appointed a Commission under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice A K Sarkar to inquire into certain irregularities with respect to the grant of industrial licences and institutional finance to the large industrial houses, especially the Birlas. Though the Commission was appointed on February 18, 1970, little is known about what the Commission has been up to so fan Now, suddenly the Commission has come to life with its public hearing in connection with the allegations of undue favours shown by the public-sector Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) to four companies belonging to the Birlas and two companies belonging to the Bangurs. The Birla companies in question arc Central India Machinery Manufacturing Company (CIMMCO), Industrial Plants, Bihar Alloy Steel and High Quality Steels and the Bangur companies are Shree Digvijay Cement and Jayshrec Chemicals, Its terms of reference require the Commission to inquire into (a) the circumstances in which certain financial institutions granted assistance by way of loans, underwriting of shares and debentures, purchase of shares or otherwise, to the larger industrial houses referred to in the Dutt Committee's Report; (b) whether any undue favour was shown or undue influence exercised in the grant of such assistance or in prescribing the terms thereof; and, (c) if so, the concerns, institutions or persons responsible. The Commission selected the IDIBI as the first institution for inquiry since it is the youngest among the term- financing institutions, having been established in July 1964, and so would have relatively few cases requiring investigation. The period of the Commission's enquiry is upto the end of 1967. During this period, the IDBI granted assistance to 13 concerns belonging to the larger industrial houses. Among them, the Commission identified the above-mentioned six concerns as the ones where there was a prima for it. It has not seriously considered why Periyar enjoyed the tremendous popularity that he did, and whether Tamil nationalism with anti-Brahmi- nism as its main component is always inimical to class struggle.

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