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

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From 50 Years Ago: Role of Public Enterprises.

Weekly Note from Volume XI, No 20, May 16, 1959.

Pandit Nehru’s forceful defence of public enterprises at the meeting of the All-India Congress Committee this week is welcome because it may help to dispel the shadow of doubt and suspicion under which they have had to function in recent years. Public enterprises have to work in the limelight of publicity and under the critical eye of v arious legislative and other bodies. It is not infrequent, therefore, for defects in their working to be widely publicised – and some of these defects are undoubtedly quite glaring. That there should be wide public discussion of the working of public enter-prises and that criticism of such defects should be brought to the surface by careful examination is of course in the fitness of things. Public money is involved, and it is right that every attempt should be made to ensure that it is not wasted or misused. Unfortunately, public enterprises are also subjected to a considerable amount of u nwarranted criticism, and in any case there is insufficient appreciation of their achievements.

The Prime Minister’s forceful statements about the progress recorded by many public enterprises should help to present the problem in the right perspective. He referred to the tremendous progress made by the Sindri fertiliser factory, the Chittaranjan locomotive works, the machine tools factory and the aircraft f actory at Bangalore and the penicillin factory at Pimpri, specifically excluding the steel mills from this list on the ground that these were still in the process of coming to fruition. “I do wish,” he said, “to remove from the minds of the public any impression that public ventures have not succeeded. They have succeeded remarkably well”.

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