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The best of Bhavan's Journal: 1954 - 2003
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Privatise, Or Decay
J.R.D. Tata
(Published in 1970 Annual Number)
The most tragic aspect of India’s economic life is the slow repudiation, in the name of socialism, of a wisely chosen policy of mixed economy as the pattern for industrial development, bewails Shri J.R.D. Tata.
Today, the reputation and image of private enterprise is far from being commensurate with its massive contribution to India’s industrial and economic development during the last half century. To those who believe in private enterprise and are anxious to work for the economic revival of our country, such a state of affairs is of serious and deep concern and frustration. A more serious consequence, however, is that as a result of the suspicion and hostility which this poor image of the Private Sector has generated in the minds of Government and Parliament, it is being increasingly denied the opportunities to play the full part of which it is capable, along with the Public Sector, in developing the country’s economy.
As a result, many sound projects of importance put forward by honest, competent and resourceful companies are being frustrated to the detriment of the economic development .
We stand today on the threshold of the second development decade, in which Indian industry in both sectors will face a most challenging and difficult task. It is clear that if the present situation persists into the seventies and we are subjected to even greater restraints than we are today, it will be impossible for us to meet this great national challenge.
The sixties’ decade has been a disappointing one. India will have failed by a wide margin to achieve the target 5% rate of growth set before her and 67 other developing countries by the U.N. Most disappointing of all will be the fact that our per capita income will have increased by less than 1% per year and continues to be perhaps the lowest in the world.
The decade was by no means one of unmitigated failure and was marked by some significant achievements. Perhaps the happiest event of the sixties was the beginning of the Green Revolution, and the consequent failure of the prediction by some world experts that famine would grip India in the seventies.

(Contd...)


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