Social Scientist. v 5, no. 54-55 (Jan-Feb 1977) p. 3.

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THE MAJOR ISSUE confronting Indian industry today is stagnation in the growth of output since the mid-sixties. During the Second World War there was a fairly rapid advance of industrial production, but immediately after independence, growth rate declined, with the average annual increase during 1946-50 at a mere 1.2 per cent.1 Since 1951 industrial growth picked up momentum, although it has consistently fallen short of the plan targets. Output growth rate varied from 6 per cent per annum in the first plan period (target: 7 per cent) to a little over 7 per cent in the second plan (target: 10^ per cent) while in the third plan period it rose to an annual rate of 8 per cent (target: lOj per cent).2 Starting with 1965 the gap has become still wider, actual growth rate being just over 3 per cent per annum between 1965 and 1970 and around 2.75 per cent during 1970-74. After falling sharply to "0.2 per cent in 1973-74, it was 2.5 per cent in 1974-75. Lack of domestic demand has driven heavy and capital goods industries to the doldrums. Huge stocks are piling up^ of iron and steel, cement, aluminium, fertilizers and heavy engineering products. Over ten million tonnes of coal have accumulated at the pit heads while a million tonnes of steel are lying unsold. Consumer goods industries are faring no better. Output of mass consumer products like textiles continues to diminish. The fall has been

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