Social Scientist. v 6, no. 71 (June 1978) p. 57.


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SIBSANKAR MUKHERJEE

Changing Control in some Selected Tea Producing Companies of Jalpaiguri Town

AN ATTEMPT is made in this study to explain the process of change in the control of some selected joint stock public limited tea planting and manufacturing companies, originally promoted by the Bengalee entrepreneurs of Jalpaiguri town in North Bengal. These companies were promoted by the Jalpaiguri Bengalees between 1879 and 1933 and the estates are mostly located in Jalpaiguri district. Prior to this, the British planters had started a large number of proprietory estates, which were later amalgamated into public limited companies. However, after 1947 the business positions previously occupied by the British have been gradually taken over by Indians—a phenomenon which can be explained in terms of the changed politico-economic conditions. But the same logic cannot be applied in explaining the problem with which we are concerned here, namely the transfer of control from one Indian community to another. Unlike the British companies which were de facto controlled by the British Managing Agency House of Calcutta, the joint stock public limited companies promoted by the Bengalees were directly controlled by the board of directors consisting essentially of Jalpaiguri Bengalees. After 1940 the composition of the directorship of these companies changed qualitatively. This change in composition took the form of a replacement of existing directors either by a different group of indi-



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