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

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NEW DELHI- Lessons of SAIL

NEW DELHI Lessons of SAIL B M THE resignation of Wadud Khan as Secretary of the Steel Ministry and Chairman of the Steel Authority of India has not come as a surprise. Matters were heading in this direction for some time. The only issue to be decided was whether Wadud Khan would be retained in either of the two capacities or would be relieved of both offices. He resisted for a long time separation of the two offices, but lost the struggle when the Prime Minister was at last convinced that the experi- ment of combining the two offices had failed and gave the green signal to the Steel Minister, Chandrajit Yadav, to make the necessary changes in the steel set-up. What made Wadud Khan's position wholly untenable and forced his total exit was a series of miscalculations on his part in the prolonged tussle he was engaged in with successive Steel Ministers over the working of the SAIL and over his functioning in the dual capacity of Secretary of the Ministry and Chairman of the steel holding company. At one time he was offered Membership of the Planning Commission in place of the two offices ho held, but he understood it to mean that: he was being offered a third charge which, of course, ho was ready to accept. This streak of over-ambitiousness on the part of its Chairman found reflection in an obsession with giganticism in the conception and structure of SAIL. The idea of the holding company for steel was conceived with the objective of promoting integrated development of the steel industry in the public sector on the basis of a long- term perspective. In practice, however, this was distorted to mean the assembling from the top a bloated monolith

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