The Honble Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerji, Industries and Supply Minister, presented on April 6, 1948 to the Dominion Parliament the resolution on the Govt. of Indias Industrial policy. The Govt. of India proposed to set up a National Planning Commission to formulate programmes of development and to secure their execution. According to the plan, the industries have been divided into three spheres, viz.
(a) Those industries that should be exclusively the monopoly of the State; (b) those over which Government will exercise control, and (c) those that have been left to private enterprise.
In the third category some 18 industries have been mentioned, seventeen of them specifically. These include Salt, Automobiles and Tractors Heavy Chemicals, Fertilisers and Pharmaceutical Drugs, Cotton and Woollen Textiles, Cement, Sugar, Paper and Newsprint, Air and Sea Transport and minerals.
The Dominion Parliament, after a debate, approved on April7, the Governments statement of Industrial policy. Dr. Mookerji stated that it was not intended that whatever was set out in the policy Government would stick to it at any cost. They had only indicated the broad lines of policy. But nonetheless, the policy they had put forward was one which, if given effect to with the full cooperation of all interests concerned, would usher in a new era of peace and progress and economic freedom which would benefit every one in this country.
With the cessation of war II, the war time control of articles covered by industries under the third category suffered and still continues to suffer rigid control and sparse permits, greater in intensity than what prevailed during the war period, obviously due to inexperience and inefficiency of departmental undermasters. With the advent of independence great hopes were entertained that the sickening Subjanta egotism instilled into every strata of of Government departments by example and precept of the I.C.S. masters, would cease rule over the administration; but people in the trade were soon disillusionised.
Take for instance, the issue of permits for the supply and purchase of paper and newsprint. Products of indigenous industries were practically entirely withheld and permits for imported staff were issued though very sparingly according to vagrant discretion of the subs or sometimes even their chiefs. The economic effect of such caution and zeal is just an inflow of a trifle import duty synchronously with serious drawback in educational publications the pinch of which is felt intensively in Medical and Scientific publications.
Dr. Mookerji appeals for full cooperation of all interests concerned. The publishers of medical and scientific literature have always been and are still today very eager to accord their fullest cooperation to the Government, but where is that sincere willingness to accept and mould and amend methods? accordingly? Occasionally deputations and individuals may condescendingly be granted interviews and given courteous assurances of sympathetic consideration; likewise, conferences may be invited with like issue. Yet, profusion of administrative courtesy hardly conceal redolence of secretarial self opinionated.
Dr. Mookerjee, an outstanding educationist himself, will realise the national loss for want of educational books, He will, by personal investigation, find that the existing paper mills in the Dominion of India produce sufficient quantity of paper and newsprint to feed the publishing trade.
The intensive drive against hoarding and black-marketing now adopted by Provincial Governments is an effective assurance of equitable distribution and smooth flow of business through proper channel. Selling against the amount of import duty expected or earned now, an excise duty may be levied at the mill end on deliveries and the revenue thus realised credited to the Central exchequer. That would be the right sort of economic progress of the nation.