ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Small Industry : Human Dimension

Human Dimension Small-scale industry is poised to get a new phase of life in the current environment of industrial restructuring. But if the sector is to be part of the larger canvas then the state needs to shed some of the policy predilections dating back to 1966. This is not as much a shedding of ideological hangups as acceptance of failure on the part of the state for having done little to give the sector its head. It may be that, as the official claims have it, the small sector accounts for over 35 per cent of export earnings and is set to grow at 9.5 per cent per annum, but that is not the whole story.

Small-scale industry is poised to get a new phase of life in the current environment of industrial restructuring. But if the sector is to be part of the larger canvas then the state needs to shed some of the policy predilections dating back to 1966. This is not as much a shedding of ideological hang-ups as acceptance of failure on the part of the state for having done little to give the sector its head. It may be that, as the official claims have it, the small sector accounts for over 35 per cent of export earnings and is set to grow at 9.5 per cent per annum, but that is not the whole story.

For one, of course, the export and growth figures include a hefty contribution by the IT sector; for another, it is necessary to ask what has been the nature and quality of the growth of the small sector. Whatever the intentions of the government with regard to the small sector, today no one can deny that there are more inefficient and environmentally 'dirty' operations in the small sector than anywhere else. And although much has been said about the small sector's potential for employment, the small sector workers are perhaps the most disadvantaged among wage-earning labour.

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