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What the longevity of British India Corporation tells us about government lethargy

Summary:
Manas Chakravarty in his typical humor laced style takes a shot at poorly performing PSUs: Shortly after independence, Jawaharlal Nehru had a dream, a vision taken to near delirium by his daughter, Indira Gandhi. They dreamt that, in free India, we would get our food from the Food Corporation of India, the food grown with fertilizer from the Fertilizer Corporation of India, stored in the godowns of the Food Corporation of India and seasoned with salt from Hindustan Salt. We, the citizens of this brave new India, would ride to work on bicycles made by the Cycle Corporation of India, or on scooters from Scooters India. We would bank with the State Bank of India or the nationalised banks, write on paper from Hindustan Paper, read newspapers printed with newsprint from Hindustan

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Manas Chakravarty in his typical humor laced style takes a shot at poorly performing PSUs:

Shortly after independence, Jawaharlal Nehru had a dream, a vision taken to near delirium by his daughter, Indira Gandhi.

They dreamt that, in free India, we would get our food from the Food Corporation of India, the food grown with fertilizer from the Fertilizer Corporation of India, stored in the godowns of the Food Corporation of India and seasoned with salt from Hindustan Salt. We, the citizens of this brave new India, would ride to work on bicycles made by the Cycle Corporation of India, or on scooters from Scooters India.

We would bank with the State Bank of India or the nationalised banks, write on paper from Hindustan Paper, read newspapers printed with newsprint from Hindustan Newsprint, light up our homes—made with cement from the Cement Corporation of India– with electricity supplied by NTPC, using coal from Coal India. If we fell ill, we would use medicines from Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals and Hindustan Antibiotics. We would fly Air India from airports owned by the Airports Authority of India.

Unfortunately, that dream has turned into a nightmare, with the Public Enterprises survey of 2018-19 showing there were 70 loss-making central PSUs, with total losses of Rs31,635 crore that year alone.

Read on for details..

Amol Agrawal
I am currently pursuing my PhD in economics. I have work-ex of nearly 10 years with most of those years spent figuring economic research in Mumbai’s financial sector.

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