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

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Simla and the Prospects for Peace

once the holding company is formed and its chairman is invested with the status and powers of secretary to government, Other problems of a policy nature will arise. What is the likely extent of autonomy that the holding company might be allowed while operating? It has been argued that the very concept of a holding company is designed to ensure that public investments in this vital sector are utilised in conformity with the socio-economic objectives of government. and parliament. To some extent, this will impinge on the autonomy of the holding company, in practice if not in theory. The government and, in the case of the proposed three steel plants in the south, the Prime Minister personally have taken decisions in the name of socio-economic considerations which have disregarded technical and economic considerations and have saddled the operating companies in the public sector with enormous liabilities, present and future. If the holding company is to function under the direction of a Ministry in the government, there is bound to be constant friction and we might have a spectacle similar to what has been seen in IISL. Questions will also arise about the holding company's precise relationship with the companies within its ambit. This is of special importance in relation to IISL, Will the present structure of IISL continue after the formation of the holding company or will it be broken up into four separate companies each operating one of its plants three mild steel plants and one special and alloy steels plant. If HSL remains as it is, it would constitute a further layer between the holding company and the plants. Thus all that we would have is another tier in the hierarchy which might well clog up matters further.

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