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

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INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION Bleak Prospects CONFLICTING views have been expressed on the rate of growth of industrial production likely to be achieved in 1977-78. The Minister for Industry has claimed that the growth rate would be around 8 per cent, compared, to the 10.1 per cent achieved in 1976-77. However, the Minister is reported to have conceded at the same time that in the first four months of 1977-78 growth had been only around 5 per cent. There have been reports of decline in output in many engineering industries. Yet a recent review by the Directorate-General of Technical Development (DGTD) is said to have disclosed a 10 per cent growth in the output of DGTD-borne units in the first eight months of the calendar year 1977. These claims notwithstanding, a nurnber of indicators point unmistakably to slackness in industrial activity and suggest that the overall growth of industrial production in 1977-78 may not exceed 5 or 6 per cent. Let us, first, briefly review the character of the rise in industrial production last year. A good part of the increase in industrial output in 1976-77, which had in fact begun in the second quarter (July- September) of 1975-76, was accounted for by public sector undertakings. During the second half of 1975-76 and the first half of 1976-77, the growth of output of public sector undertakings coming under the Ministry of Industry was around 15 per cent. Two features of this rise in output of public sector units deserve notice.

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