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

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From 50 Years Ago: Jeeps, Steel and Tractors.

Editorial from Volume XIII, No. 21, May 27, 1961.

…Shri [KC] Mahindra reported that the col-laboration agreement with a British firm for the manufacture of tractors has failed…they are searching for another foreign collaborator to help them to undertake the manufacture of tractors. When will our manufacturers be able to announce a new development or im-provement through their own initiative and enterprise, instead of seeking the aid of for-eign collaborators? Foreign collaboration is assuming a protean form day by day…[A] Rajkot firm has entered into foreign collaboration for manufacturing ballpoint pens. One may understand the con-cern of the Minister of Industry for Rajkot. But how high is the priority in the Third Plan for ball pens? It is a banned item of import. What this agreement means is that the firm will be allowed to import plant, machinery and highly-paid technicians and also, of course, most of the parts in the initial stages. The only part of the ballpoint pen that may be manufactured in the country is the plastic barrel, for which also raw material will have to be imported. There are two issues here. First, is it abso-lutely essential to have foreign collaboration for the manufacture of a consumer item like ballpoint pens? Will it not be worthwhile to encourage Indian enterprise for a project like this? Second, should a banned item, whose priority in the Plan is dubious, get an industrial license for manufacture, involving foreign ex-change however small the amount may be? An excuse that may be advanced is that of ex-port possibilities. But what is that worth?

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