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

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Sugar-Unconvincing Case

September 20, 1975 wagon-building industry, almost exclusively concentrated in West Bengal, appears unavoidable. Two comments seem worth making. The Railway Board may be hauled over the coals for reducing its orders; it would, however, be well within its rights to point out that, for the first time in several years, wagons are running empty and that this development has been brought about by improvement in operational efficiency. Given the need for economising on resources and improving wagon-wise performance, it would thus be folly to press the Board to add to its fleet of wagons till as long as demand docs not pick up. A number of other engineering units, quietly getting rid of labour, could possibly mount a similar argument. There is a crucial aspect of economic interdependence which comes to the fore here. The demand for labour cannot be sustained unless industrial demand is, but the latter too in its turn is largely dependent upon an adequate level of employment -and incomes. No immediate way can be found out of this dilemma. Prime attention must continue to be given to strengthening demand, and if this docs not come about in the ordinary way, heavy injection of public funds for resuscitating investment activity has to be considered as an inescapable obligation. How to augment public savings so that public investments, manifesting themselves through, for in- stance, railway orders, could markedly accelerate must still remain the principal problem for India's planners and policy-makers.

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