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

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Half-Truths on Coal

Are overambitious expansion programmes under the Plans, prices pegged at unremuneratively low levels, and transport bottlenecks, the only basic problems of the coal mining industry? Or have the presidents of the Indian Mining Association (IMA) and the Colliery Owners' Association (COA) been extravagantly successful in representing all units of the heterogeneous coal mining industry? If these were the only major problems of the industry they could be more easily solved: Alter a period of shortage, in the Third Plan the railways have developed an excess capacity of approximately 15 per cent. Allowing coal prices to rise would not have any significant impact on industrial prices generally since coal costs account for only about 23 per cent of manufacturing costs. And, with the downward revision of most Fourth Plan programmes, coal targets too could be adequately lowered.

Steel Programme Wobbles

Even while the Third Plan programme of steel expansion has yet to be completed, the programme for the Fourth Plan seems to have become the subject of controversy and indecision. The Third Plan envisaged a rise in steel capacity from 6 million tonnes ingots to 9 million tonnes, all of it in the public sector— from 1 to 1.8 million tonnes ai Rearkela, 1 to 1.6 million tonnes at Durgapur and 1 to 2.5 million tonnes at Bhilai, The Bokaro project, of course, had become persona non combatant in the process of the protracted and finally infructuous negotiations for U S Aid.

Last Days of Konkan Shipping

The Konkan shipping service, which accounts for nearly two thirds of the entire coastal passenger traffic in India, is in a bad way again. Last month saw the exit from the scene of Bombay Steam Navigation Company (BSN) which, established in 1845, was perhaps the first scheduled passenger shipping service in the country. The closure of BSN leaves only Chowgule Steamship in the field. So once again, after a respite of just two years, a single company will have a monopoly of Konkan coastal shipping. It was only two years ago that the Chowgules had started passenger services along the coast thus ending the over a hundred year old monopoly of BSN.

Fertiliser After the Deadline What

there need be no dictation if there is a general understanding that if Federation falls, every region in turn faces collapse, and that if Federation is upheld, all disputes, in due course, can be settled. Nigeria's leaders would be well advised not to push their differences to the point of no return. It will take some time for the ghastly past to be forgotten, but a little investment in time now is bound to pay rich dividends in the future.

Nations in the Making

measures taken by the Government have been half-hearted and halting

Too Cheap to Allocate

there need be no dictation if there is a general understanding that if Federation falls, every region in turn faces collapse, and that if Federation is upheld, all disputes, in due course, can be settled. Nigeria's leaders would be well advised not to push their differences to the point of no return. It will take some time for the ghastly past to be forgotten, but a little investment in time now is bound to pay rich dividends in the future.

A Storm in the Tea Cup

 were to be available only to units which had taken out licences by March 31, 1967. This is the deadline which is about to expire. If it was expected that the new policy would cause foreign fertiliser companies to rush in, the Government was in for disappointment very early. To whip up interest, a mission of officials was sent out to visit foreign countries and explain the new policy. Though in press interviews the Mission gave highly optimistic accounts of the likely flow of new investment as a result of its efforts, later events showed that the Mission had been a failure. It is even reported that the members of the Mission spoke with different voices and even submitted separate reports.

The Suit Does Not Fit

 be an unmixed blessing. Further, despite the upward revision of the Third Plan outlay on the railways, and despite the rising costs of operation, the contribution from the railways' own sources to the Plan outlay was larger than expected. Yet the 4 per cent higher than expected contribution to Plan outlay seems much less remarkable against the background of exhortations over the years that the railways should meet most of the costs of their development programmes.

Another Role for ICICI

 and could boast of a membership of 12.8 lakhs and working capital of Rs, 74 crores at 1963-64 end. Outstandings which were just Rs 5 to 6 crores at the beginning of the First Plan reached the level of Rs 69 crores in 1963-64. The Third Plan target of Rs 150 crores (outstandings) had been achieved by 1965-66.

Sowewhat Less Than Warranted

narrow grooves in which the new Governmental leadership continues to move. The only silver lining for the Indira Government

Policies Have to Wait

ligation of price, distribution and other controls in more industries and reduction of excise duties on commodities which are facing market difficulties.

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