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

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From 50 Years Ago: Concentration: More or Less?

Editorial from Volume XIII, No. 14, April 8, 1961. 

The Estimates Committee probe into the working of the Development Wing of the Commerce and Industry [Ministry] focuses attention once again on the growth of large industrial groups in the country about which there is so much concern. The Committee alleges that the procedure of licensing of new industrial units and expansion of old units by the Development Wing has tended to give an advantage to the larger groups and thereby encouraged the growth of con-centration. ...The Estimates Committee contends that the larger groups often apply for many more licences than they need, in order to forestall competitors[,] and they are not genuinely interested in promoting all the projects they claim to be interested in. Since industrial licences are issued only up to a certain capa-city level, every licence confers an element of monopolistic advantage and contains an element of favour. ...ten years have elapsed since the enact-ment of the Industries Development and Reg-ulation Act, one of the objects of which was to disperse the control of industries. At that time, nobody could have foreseen the industrial development that has taken place since then, nor anticipated the extent to which private enterprise would flourish in a socialistic pat-tern of society, nor realised fully the magni-tude of the power of patronage which licens-ing has conferred upon [the] government. An evaluation of licensing policy as it has operated so far would therefore be timely and useful.

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