Social Scientist. v 8, no. 92 (March 1980) p. 3.


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MRIDUL EAPEN

Trends in Public Sector Employment and Earnings

PART ONE

THE public sector in India has come to account for the bulk of employment in the organized sector. It is interesting to note, however, that except for some particular work-creation measures, the government has generally not entered ..the market specifically to generate employment.1 In fact, when its role was being heatedly debated in the forties,3 it was never visualized that the public sector be used consciously for generating employment.

The extent and nature of public sector employment depend very much on the role of the government in economic development. The role that the public sector has come to play in most developing mixed economies is now well known.3 In India, in the post-independence period, it was recognized that rapid, independent industrialization required a sharp increase in the economic functions of the state. Although in principle a considerable extension was envisaged for the public sector, which was to achieve the ^commanding heights" in the economy, given the continued existence side by side of a growing private jmonopoly sector, it in fact played the role of a subsidiary to the latter. This it did in a dual manner: by eliminating to some extent the serious gaps in the production structure which the private sector would have been reluctant to overcome on its own and by providing a stimulus to



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