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

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NEW DELHI-Shadow-Boxing over Public Sector

NEW DELHI Shadow-Boxing over Public Sector BM THE debate on industrial and commercial enterprises in the public sector had tended to become for some time quite heated. Privatisation of public sector was very much the talk of the town. The Energy Minister, Vasant Sathe, in particular raised the proverbial hornets' nest when he declaimed against the public sector being treated as a 'holy cow'. His junior colleague, the newly- appointed minister of state in the Industry Ministry, the ebullient K K Tiwari, even started a public controversy over what he regarded as derogatory remarks on the condition of the public sector but which a little thought would suggest has been aptly characterised by Sathe as similar to that of the holy cow in India. Tiwari was anxious to hold forth as a champion of public enterprise and socialism. But the Prime Minister has not let the controversy over the role and status of the public sector to develop further by soft-pedalling the issue and taking a vague stand which leaves all options open for policy-making and administration. There is now, therefore, a laboured attempt at all levels to moderate and play dpwn the controversy on the role of the public sector, its privatisation, and so on. The seminar recently organised by the Forum of Financial Writers was an illustration of how smartly discussions of this kind can be managed. This only emphasised how well and closely the media is being managed by the official establishment.

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