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

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Seizing the Moment

HOW one wishes that G L Mehta's statement as chairman of ICICI had been the corner-stone of the Budget speech! Few leaders of business or of Government have shown a capacity lately to perceive the intrinsic requirements of industrial growth, requirements which lie essentially in advance scheduling of demand, production and supplies' rather than in darning of the tax structure and offering of friendly scarves to stock exchange operators. G L M is emphatic that "the experience of the last few years shows that it is not enough to rely on a general recovery in the market for determining a programme for industrial growth , . . Several industries railway wagons and stores, electric cables and meters, cast iron spun pipes and even cement are those in which Government, directly or indirectly, plays an important role as a consumer. Government expenditure is a factor which is within Government's control, and it should be possible for it to plan ahead its expenditure and, on this basis, to indicate the level of demand for goods purchased by it . . . It is high time we . . . committed at least development expenditures over the Plan period to enable suppliers of goods to plan their capacity and production programmes accordingly.'' In the misplaced effort to determine Plan outlays in the light of budgetary resources, the Finance Minister has more than ditched the Plan; he has made it impossible for anybody not just the Planning Commission -

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