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

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From 50 Years Ago: Prospects of Foreign Assistance.

Editorial from Volume IX, No 44, November 2, 1957. 

The Finance Minister is back in New delhi. The Air India international plane bringing him back home was specially diverted to reach him back to delhi. The a i i plane was on a scheduled flight via Bombay to delhi and had already been delayed because of some mechanical trouble. Ordinarily an airliner on a regular flight is not supposed to alter its schedule of halts. The alteration must have been made in this case because the Finance Minister wanted to, or was required to, be in Delhi urgently. the fact of the diversion of a plane on a regular scheduled flight is by itself quite important and raises the question whether the Government (or for that matter, a Minister) is entitled to ask the airline (the fact of its being a nationalised concern is of little consequence in this respect) to divert the plane except in the event of an emergency. If the Government thinks it can, it must remember that its airline stands in danger of losing much of its clientele, especially foreign, if the schedules of the airline are known to be at the mercy of the Government. But this perhaps is stretching the point too far. The Government probably is not keen on asserting its rights in this respect and would rather that the case under discussion be treated as somewhat exceptional.

Even if one is prepared to accept the Government’s plea to treat the diversion of the plane from its regular schedule flight as exceptional and leave it at that, it still remains to be asked: what was the exceptional circumstance which required the Finance Minister’s presence so urgently in Delhi? Although the future of the Plan was not hanging so precariously in balance as to require the Finance Minister’s immediate presence he was perhaps very keen on reporting back to the Cabinet on his mission, or perhaps the Cabinet was anxious to hear him. No doubt, the economic prospects today are somewhat darker than when the Finance Minister left on his foreign tour. that, however, is so because of the deterioration in our current crop position.

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