Rise of Public Sector

During the first two five year plans the Industrial production in the country increased by around 40%. Was Government sector responsible for this?

Yes but No. The credit goes largely to the private sector also. The public sector in India suffered due to the over optimism in estimating the construction time and underestimation of costs of the projects. The result was that large number of projects in the Public sector fell behind the schedule. However, this does not mean that Public sector did not make any remarkable progress in this period. The following were remarkable achievements during the first 2 five year plans.

Chittaranjan Locomotive Works

Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, located in the land of Viswa Bharati, near Kolkata, is one of the largest manufacturers of locomotives in the world It was founded in 1947 and was named after Chittaranjan Das(Deshbandhu), a Bengali Lawyer and Indian Independence activist who is best known for defending Aurobindo Ghosh on charges of involvement in the Alipore bomb case.

Sindri Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited

The Sindri Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited came into being in late 1940s and production started in 1951. The support of UK and USA was vital to launch this project. The main produce was ” Ammonium Sulpahte” and the company started producing 30 thousand tonnes of Ammonium Sulpahte annually.

  • Please note that another company Hindustan Chemical and Fertilizers Limited was floated by the Government of India in July 1959. Both Hindustan Chemical and Fertilizers Limited and Sindri Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited were merged in 1961 and this merger gave birth to Fertilizers Corporation of India.

Steel Plants at Rourkela , Durgapur and Bhilai:

  • The Rourkela Steel plant was set up in collaboration of German firms’ viz. Krupp and Demag. It started in 1961.
  • The Durgapur Steel Plant was launched with assistance of a consortium led by British Firms and it started in 1956.
  • The Bhilai Steel Plant was set up with the technical assistance of Soviet Union in September 1967.
  • So the correct order of their launching years is : Durgapur>Rourkela>Bhilai.

Fact Box: Genesis of SAIL

Please note that a company Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) was set up in 1954. HSL was initially designed to manage one plant that was coming up at Rourkela with the help of German Firms. For Bhilai and Durgapur Steel Plants, the preliminary work was done by the Iron and Steel Ministry. From April 1957, the supervision and control of these two steel plants were also transferred to Hindustan Steel Limited.

Later in 1964, Bokaro Steel Limited was incorporated. Later the concept of creating one umbrella came up and 1973 with a capital of ` 2000 crore, Steel Authority of India Ltd was created.

Apart from the above Hindustan Machine Tools was started in collaboration with Swiss Companies to produce Machine Tools in India.

We can conclude that the Industrial Policy of 1948 and 1956 launched India on the track of Industrial Development and the scope of the PSU was expanded largely. This is evident with the sobriquet given to the PSU by Jawahar lal Nehru as “Temple of India“.

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