Towards an Industrial Policy 2000 A.D

By P D Malgavkar and V A Pai Panandiker

In the panorama of development policies in most of the less developed countries, the pride of place has always been given to the industrial policy. The reasons are simple enough and are well known. But what should the key policy objectives of industrial development be? Are the existing frameworks adequate or should the industrial policy frameworks be reexamined and be made subservient to the basic socio -economic policies so that the directions of the national movement are clear as we move towards the 21st century. The present study places at the very core of industrial policy the four key socio-economic objectives of meeting (a) the minimum needs of the masses, (b) the strategic requirements of the nation, (c) the export objectives, and (d) the R&D goals to be abreast of the developed nations by the 21st century. Two factors which loom large and which, in one way, form the prerequisites of effective industrial policy are (1) population control, and (2) food production. The study estimates the policy implications of the four policy objectives and the feasibility of their achievement by the year 2000 A. D., and suggests several measures including those relating to the industrial structure. It does not deliberately work out the micro implications for each of the industrial sectors for the simple reason that unless the overall policy objectives are acceptable, the details would be too premature. We hope the study will encourage a debate on the overall industrial policy to enable us meet the needs of the Indian society by the year 2000 A.D. Authors P.D Malgavkar started his career as a businessman, changed over to academics from where he joined the tribe of Government bureaucrats. Restless as ever, he had a stint as Research Consultant and Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, Honolulu. Back home in 1978, as Visiting professor at Centre for policy Research, New Delhi, he concentrated on development issues as he saw them. He dabbles in management and development consultancy and potters around in his rocky garden. He can well said to be a rolling stone that has gathered quite a bit of moss.