|1st Five Year Plan||
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|| APPENDIX (CH-9)
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2. The responsibility of the higher ranks of the public services for improving administration in this respect from within has already been emphasized. Cabinets have to provide the machinery and the administrative leadership which can exert itself in favour of reform and improvement. In the Central Government, the object could perhaps be promoted best by placing the Secretary to the Cabinet in a position analogous to that of the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury in the United Kingdom. To some extent this has already been achieved. The Cabinet Secretary should thus become the principal official adviser to the Cabinet and to the Prime Minister and other Ministers on important problems of administration. In the States, the Chief Secretary should fill an analogous role. He might be relieved of some of his routine duties so that he could give greater attention to the problems of co-ordination and administration.
3. Integrity in public affairs and administration is essential and there must therefore be an insistence on it in every branch of public activity. The influence of corruption is insidious. It not only inflicts wrongs which are difficult to redress, but it undermines the structure of administration and the confidence of the public in the administration. There must, therefore, be a continuous war against every species of corruption within the administration as well as in public life generally and the methods to root out this evil should be constantly reviewed.
4. The opportunity for corruption in various forms might arise almost anywhere in the administration, but it exists in a larger measure, in some fields of public activity than in others. It is more difficult to detect where it is collusive. As a rule, where policy is clearly prescribed and the principles on which claims may be determined admit of no doubt, the scope for corruption is small. Vagueness of policy or frequent changes in it have the effect of increasing the scope for corruption. In recent years, the shortage of essential supplies, which occurred from time to time, led to an increase of corrupt practices. The co-operation of the public is very necessary in order to eradicate this evil.
5. Stable Governments are in a better position to deal with such corrupt practices than unstable governments, where there is a tendency to remain in power by adopting devious methods. In such circumstances, some officials may be willing to compromise themselves to gain their own ends. Ordinarily public servants are sufficiently protected to be able to resist unfair political influence. Frequently, however, the remedy comes long after the event. Some measures to ensure standards in public life when these are grossly abused are necessary in the interest of democratic government itself. Some machinery for this purpose should be devised in order to enquire into cases of alleged misconduct on the part of persons who hold any office, political or other. Where there is a prima facie case for an enquiry, such an enquiry should be held in order to find out and establish facts. If the facts thus ascertained point to a case of serious misconduct, other steps will follow. It may be necessary to have legislation for this purpose. Action under such legislation should only be taken at the instance of a responsible authority, that is, the Central Government or a State Government. In practice, the occasions requiring such a reference would be rare, but the possibility of such a reference might prove a wholesome influence.
6. The law relating to offences involving corruption has been recently strengthened. The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, provides for the offence of criminal misconduct on the part of public servants in the discharge of official duty and, besides prescribing enhanced punishment, makes offences under sections 161 and 165 of the Indian Penal Code cognisable. The legislation has now been extended to cover cases of those who offer gratification to public servants. It also provides for cases in which a public servant may be found to have come into possession of pecuniary resources of income which he cannot account for satisfactorily. It does not, however, provide for those cases in which a public servant's near relations may have been found to have become suddenly rich. We suggest that the possibility of removing this lacuna should be studied and the necessary legislation undertaken. Similarly, it would be useful to consider whether public servants should be required to furnish a return each year concerning movable assets acquired by them or their near relations during the preceding year. The present practice in this respect is confined to returns of immovable property.
7. Certain other suggestions have been made recently for dealing with the problem of corruption in government offices. It has been proposed, for instance, that since corruption is often difficult to prove and firm action is essential, the reputation of a public servant may be regarded as almost conclusive evidence of his integrity. It is true enough that the integrity of an honest public servant is seldom called into question, but instances to the contrary are known to have occurred. It cannot always be presupposed that persons making allegations would do so with a sense of responsibility. In relying on reputation, there certainly is risk ofdernoi alising the public service. On the other hand, as a matter of ordinary administrative practice, an official who does not have a reputation for honesty should not be placed in a position in. which there is considerable scope for discretion. The suggestion has also been made that intelligence organisations for tracing and investigating offences involving corruption should be strengthened. We agree that the special police establishment of the Government of India should be equipped not only to investigate offences in which the Central Government is directly interested but also to deal with important cases in the States, when local agencies need assistance or have to be supplemented.
8. The proposal has also been made that where specific allegations of corruption are made in the press against an individual public servant by name, he should be expected to clear his name by taking the matter to the courts. Mis legal expenses could be sanctioned on the understanding that if he lost his case, he would have to reimburse the government and if damages were awarded to him the cost would be the first charge on them. We consider that in such cases the first step should be a preliminary and confidential enquiry by a senior officer. On his report it could be determined whether the circumstances justified prosecution by the government or merely permission or even a direction to an officer to clear his name in a court of law. If the second course is decided upon the suggestion mentioned above about legal expenses could be adopted. What is important, however, is that in each case it is the government which should determine the nature of the action which any allegations call for.
9. Apart from prosecutions in courts, it is often felt that the government's own machinery for departmental enquiries needs to be improved. The principal complaint is that departmental enquiries drag on for long periods. To the extent this complaint is justified, it is to be ascribed largely to the fact that senior officers who conduct departmental enquiries are frequently so preoccupied with other duties that they cannot give sufficient attention to the enquiries. Sometimes enquiring officers are not familiar enough with the procedure and may not appreciate fully the difference between a departmental enquiry and a trial in a criminal court. Other factors which may cause delay may be the need for consulting the Public Service Commission and the time required for the administrative authorities to make up their minds whether the findings of an enquiry officer are to be accepted and, if so, what the punishment should be. The Government of India have recently framed detailed instructions for expediting departmental enquiries.
10. In recent years, perhaps the most conspicuous areas of corruption have been those in which businessmen had to apply for permits and licences. Supervision and vigilance within the administration were inadequate and illegitimate gains were undoubtedly made. Though less is at present heard on the subject, the need for vigilance and drastic measures continues. It is always implicit in the unwritten code of conduct for those who hold responsible positions, whether political or official, that the public should always have absolute confidence in their disinterestedness and impartiality. In their social relations and all their dealings, they must, therefore, be especially careful to see that there is no ground or occasion to suggest that some, individuals have greater access to or influence with them than others. In this connection, the recent growth of the practice among business firms of employing relations or friends of friends of influential persons as "contact men" needs to be discouraged.
11. The measures which have been listed so far will help to maintain the conditions under which it should be possible for the government to enforce a high level of integrity. While these measures are necessary, the main attack on corruption must be by ensuring efficiency in every branch of the administration. We may refer here, in particular, to the following suggestions :
We may also refer to the need for rousing public opinion to the importance of eliminating corruption and of public co-operation in maintaining high levels of integrity in the administration of all government activities.
12. The problems of efficient administration converge primarily on men and on methods. The present state of administrative efficiency has been recently described in the following words by an experienced observer :
"The impressions of a recent tour through the larger portion of the country, combined with many years of official and non-official experience , lead to the conclusion that the machine, though sound in essentials and capable after improvement of undertaking arduous tasks, is at the present moment-run-down. The work allotted to it has increased, the quality of its output has deteriorated. The parts removed from it have, in many instances, been replaced by those of inferior workmanship. The edge has been taken off through strain and, occasionally rough treatment, of many of those that remain. The tenter too is new, often impatient and inefficient. Coordination is frequently wanting. For reasons, some within and many beyond the machine's control, efficiency is undoubtedly impaired. All in all, there is considerable room for improvement." Both in the Central Government and in the States, a small number of public servants carry a heavy burden of responsibility without adequate assistance. Much of their time has to be given to work which was formerly done at lower levels. Increasingly, while each agency of government is accepting new responsibilities, the stage at which effective decisions are taken within any department is being pushed upwards. This has cumulative effects in asmuch as the process affects the entire business of government and results in loss of efficiency both in the making of policy and in its execution. For the administrative machine to be equal to the problems which beset it, many changes in methods of work and organisation and an outlook of innovation are called for.
13. During recent years, mainly because new responsibilities have had to be assumed or new policies evolved, secretariat departments have had to take up an increasing amount of original work. The line between the work of a secretariat department and an authority subordinate to it is not always easy to draw. It would be useful if the Central Government could undertake a systematic review of the new functions which secretariat offices have accepted during the past few years and consider whether some of them, at any rate, could not now be made over to subordinate authorities. A similar review might be useful in the States. Where separate departments or other executive organisations exist, it is essential that the heads of a department or attached or subordinate office should be able to function with reasonable freedom and initiative and, at the same time, with the knowledge that he has the Ministry's confidence. The problem generally resolves itself into one of establishing a clear line of responsibility between a secretariat and a department and, secondly, to one of enabling departments to function with the maximum effectiveness.
14. The requirements of personnel may be broadly divided into three categories : (a) administrative (including economic), (b) scientific and technical, and (c) subordinate and clerical. The administrative personnel consists, in the main, of the members of the Indian Civil Service and of its successor, the Indian Administrative Service, and in the States includes also members of the State administrative services. In the States, besides the ordinary work of the administration, the administrative services provide personnel for executive duties in the field of development. Their numbers are, however, small, and complementary personnel fo- technical jobs is inadequate. At the Centre, there are not enough men with the necessary experience and qualifications (d) to undertake work in connection with the framing of economic policy and the study of economic problems and (e) to manage public enterprises in the field of industry or handle executive duties relating to the regulation and control of trade and industry. In the ranks of the subordinate and clerical personnel also there are gaps, but these are associated not so much with numbers, as with lack of experience, lack of training and supervision and, to some extent, with faulty methods of work and organisation.
15. The step; which h've been already taken for the organisation of the Indian Administrative Service provide for trained administrative personnel for manning responsible posts at the Centre and in the States. As the functions of government expand, there are three directions in which it will be necessary to supplement the existing arrangements :
16. To achieve this object, we have three proposals to make. In the first place, individuals with high academic qualifications or special experience in the economic field should be drawn into the administrative service. There should be scope for drawing persons so equipped into the administrative service at age limits somewhat above those at which initial recruitment is made through competitive examination. In this connection, a higher age limit, up to 30 years, for instance, could be considered. Officers selected in this manner should first be put through the necessary administrative training. Secondly, a proportion of the junior officers of the administrative service should be selected at an early stage in their careers and given intensive training in the economic field within the Government, with suitable business houses and, if necessary, abroad. Thirdly, the practice already exists and could be further developed for obtaining for responsible senior positions individuals with special experience and knowledge from other fields such as universities, banking and finance and industry. For securing personnel in the second category, proposals for constituting an industrial management cadre are at present under consideration. Similarly, the question of finding personnel for economic and statistical intelligence is under consideration and proposals are expected to be formulated in the near future. The problem of obtaining personnel in adequate numbers for responsibilities connected with development prograirmes, land reform and food administration in the States may also call for supplementary recruitment, depending upon the situation in individual States. In the main, however,.these responsibilities have to be undertaken by officers with experience of revenue and development work in the districts.
17. Recruitment to posts which are either permanent or have to be filled for more than relatively short periods is ordinarily made bv a public service commission. There has, however, been no objective assessment yet for the country as a whole of the way in which these arrangements have worked. The need for action in some directions is, however, already apparent. In the first place, the experience and observations of the Union and State Public Service Commissions about the quality of candidates interviewed by them or applying to them should be analysed and communicated to universities and other educational authorities. These reports should form the basis of an annual review which should in turn be linked with programmes of improvement in the field of education. Secondly, both at the Centre and in the Stares there should be greater contact and exchange of opinion between the Public Service Commission and the department on whose behalf recruitment is undertaken. The advice of the Public Service Commission could bs c f considerable assistance to administrators in; f aming specifications for various posts. Similarly, appreciation of their needs and difficulties could be of help to the Public Service Commission. Thirdly, a coordinated approach between the Public Service Commission and the administrative authorities could, on the one hand, lead to a marked reduction in temporary and ad hoc recruitment, which is still common, and, on the other, could expedite the processes of recruitment which tend to take perhaps longer than might b; absolutely necessary. In the fourth place, from amongst candidates who appear before Public Service Commissions but are not selected for particular posts, it should be possible to prepare lists of suitably qualified persons whom administrative authorities could consider for temporary appointment to meet their urgent requirements. Temporary appointments are frequently necessary, but reduction in their number would be desirable. We would also suggest that methods and procedures adopted for selection to different kinds of postsadministrative, technical, scientific etc.,should be continually reassessed and adapted to meet new requirements.
18. Next to recruitment, the-training of personnel has considerable bearing on administrative efficiency. Each type of work in the government requires a programme of training suited to it. In genera, in all branches of administration it is necessary to provide for the training of personnel at the commencement of service as well as at appropriate intervals in later years. In this connection, we would emphasise the importance of careful grounding in revenue and development administration for recruits to the Indian Administrative Service and the State administrative services. The training of these officers should be entrusted to experienced Collectors. During recent years, this subject has not received as much attention as it deserves. This circumstance makes it all the more necessary to ensure that the training during probation of new recruits the Indian Administrative Servi-e should be as well organised as possible.
19. Probationers selected for the Indian Administrative Service are given their initial training in the Indian Administrative Service Training School at Delhi. The Establishment Officer of the Government of India has hitherto served as the head of this institution in addition to his own duties. In the early years this combination of duties had some advantage, but in the future it is necessary that the Director or Principal of this institution should be a whole-time officer. As the probationers are drawn from all over the country, training in the school offers a valuable opportunity of impressing on them a broad national outlook. The school should be developed, not merely as a centre for training officers of the administrative service, but also as a centre of studies in public administration generally. The post of Director should be filled by carefully selected officers who are appointed to it in the course of their service careers and, after they have served for a period, move on the other posts. Since traditions have to be established for the future, it would be desirable for the first whole-time incumbent to the post of Director to serve for a period of at least five years. It might be possible for the Central Government to assign to him an official responsibility for seeing that all States have proper training programmes for their administrative services. Th^s would require the Director to tour different States from time to time. The school could also be organised as a centre for refresher courses for senior administrative officers from the States and from the Central Government at stated intervals in their service. In other words, it should be developed as a kind of staff college for the higher grades of administrative persons serving both at the Centre and in the States.
20. In connection with its secretariat reorganisation schemes, certain arrangements for the training of secretariat staff have already been introduced in the Central Government. The stage, has, however, reached when the problems of training need the attention of a specially designated Director of Training, whose responsibility it should be to organise systematic training programmes and refresher courses for different grades of employees. There are certain directions in which the scope for training should be widened. For instance, for officers concerned with the administration of economic activities, there should be a regular scheme for training in well-established business organisations. Finally, it is necessary to recognise that in the future, only a small number of recruits to the higher services will have had the opportunity of training abroad before they join service. Full advantage should, therefore, be taken of the various technical assistance schemes which are now available for providing opportunities for specialised training to selected officials. In connection with the administration of these schemes, there is need for greater co-ordination between the Central Ministries as well as between the Central Government and the States, so that the training programmes are adjusted to the needs of development in different fields and the selection of officials for training is made with the necessary care. In addition to these schemes, we recommend that public servants should be encouraged to take advantage of study leave concessions at appropriate stages in their careers.
21. However carefully personnel may be selected and trained when they enter upon their duties, unless the methods of work employed are sound and well-conceived, there is much less of efficiency. So long as the magnitude of government's business was small and personnel for exercising supervision was available in adequate measure, it was possible to continue the traditional methods of transacting business. This situation no longer exists. Careful study and review of organisation and methods can lead to greater economy and efficiency. We recommend that the Central Government should have an organisation and methods division which should work in close co-operation with the personnel sections in the different Ministries. In the States also, units for the study of organisation and methods are needed and the Central Government should provide the necessary facilities for training. Among the problems (which need early attention in the field of methods) are the problems of simplifying office procedures, elimination of delays, the system of records maintained in the Central Ministries, ths movement of files, and procedures for efficiency audit in organisations of different kinds. Other fields of study might be, for instance, techniques connected with inter-departmental conferences, delegation of responsibilities to different grades of officials, relations between the planning units and the executive and administrative sections of different organisations, the use of space, working conditions of the lower grade employees of government, and the' organisation of messenger services in place of the present archaic methods for the employment and use of peons in government offices.
22. Closely associated with the question of training and methods are the arrangements in government offices for supervision and inspection. Senior officers can do much to improve efficiency by spending a portion of their time in inspecting their offices from time to time. The inspections need not always be formal ; indeed, surprise checks have a special value. The causes of delay would frequently come to light and be remedied if senior officers and even ministers occasionally examined files from the point of view of the time taken before conclusions are reached or the necessary action taken. In many departments there is not enough contact between officers and the lower grade personnel, nor are there any intermediate officials who take new recruits in hand, introduce them to their work, and help them to understand the functions of the organisation in the wider setting of the government. This is an aspect to which each organisation in the government should pay careful attention. Lack of the necessary human relations between different grades of public employees leads, in turn, to a certain neglect of the welfare needs of lower grade staff. Apart from what the government may be able to do for them by way of housing or medical facilities, there is much that individual ministries or departments can do for their employees through mutual self-help schemes.
Financial Control And Economy
23. We have considered a number of factors bearing on the efficiency of administration. Many of these relate to matters of detail and application rather than of principle. There are three other aspects which involve questions of general approach and to which it may be useful to refer. These are : (a) the present system of financial control; (A) the present arrangements within the administration'for promoting good work and discouraging bad work ; and (c) the need for careful assessment of results.
24. A plan of economic development necessarily postulates substantial increase in public expenditure. The importance of securing economy and sound financial control which is already generally recognised is, therefore, further emphasised by the needs of national planning. The objects of financial control are to ensure (i) that no wastage of resources occurs, (2) that public money is not misapplied, and (3) that for the money spent adequate results -are obtained. Within the administration the responsibility for ensuring that these conditions are observed rests equally upon the administrative authorities and upon finance departments although, necessarily, the latter have special duties to discharge. There is need always for close co-operation at each level between the financial and the administrative authorities so that, if any difficulties are encountered, they can be removed through personal consultation at an early stage in the formulation of a proposal and before commitments are entered into. Financial procedures which, on the one hand, secure adequate control and, on the other, avoid too great an interference in carrying out their own programmes, are essential to the efficient execution of the Five Year Plan. The subject, however, requires careful consideration and specific remedies can only be proposed after detailed study with reference to local procedures and problems. We, therefore, suggest that both in the Central Government and in the States the existing arrangements should be reviewed by the finance departments in co-operation with the Planning authorities.
25. It is axiomatic that in every government department or organisation there s alvv.lys some room for economy. Economy is a continuous process and. in addition to inculcating it as a habit of mind among all public servants, from time to time systematic reviews of expenditure incurred in any office should be undertaken. Within any organisation, perhaps the principal source of wasteful expenditure lies in the failure to plan carefully and in detail in advance of execution. F r too many projects tend to receive acceptance in principle or in respect of their preliminary stages before they are in fact ripe for implementation. Financial control should concern itself not only with the minutiae of expenditure, but even more with the scheme of priorities on which a project is based and with the appraisement of the stage at which a project may be regarded as having been adequately investigated to justify commencement of execution. In relation to large projects, in particular, the more glaring mistakes are frequently made in the beginning rather than in the course of execution when, despite attempts to control and regulate, it may become too late to withdraw.
26. It has been observed that during the past few years, the proportion of those who do their work in a routine way, without desire to do better, has probably increased. To some extent this may have been due to the uncertainty of employment which was felt by numerous temporary employees. The effect of recent decisions has, however, been to reduce the number of temporary posts and to facilitate the selection of temporary employees with good records for permanent and quasi-permanent positions. Expansion in administrative organisations accompanied by diminution of supervision and guidance have also affected staff efficiency. The economic conditions of fixed income receivers of the middle and lower middle classes in particular during recent years have undoubtedly been trying. While all these factors are relevant to an understanding of the present state of the administrative machine, they do not fully explain wny incentives for good work have become so much weaker than before. In . ihis connection there are two factors which seem to stand out.
27. The arrangements for assessing the work of an individual official and for encouraging him if his work is good and warning or punishing him if his work is bad, are unsatisfactory and have to be placed on a sound basis. Reports on the work of individual officials have tended to become less specific and less objective than before and the easy course of neither blaming nor praising tends frequently to be adopted. Accurate reporting on individuals is possible when there is systematic supervision and attention to the work expected, of an official, It also appears that sufficient notice has not always been taken of defaults of duty and there has been too much toleration with poor performance. This has tended to blur the distinction in terms of reward and punishment between those who are eager and painstaking and those who are indolent and careless.
28. While considerations of seniority are important, given a satisfactory system of appraisement, in certain cadres there should be scope for promotion more rapid and more conspicuous than the normal rules provide for. This is a principle of wide application and is already being applied in some cases. The possibility of extending the practice should be explored so that, in each field a person who has the requisite ability can feel assured that if he does outstanding work, the system itself provides adequately for promotion to higher levels of responsibility. There could also be tests for promotions to -particular grades in certain related cadres or services, so that men who start low in the public service can jump grades according to their ability,
29. With increased investment on development, much more attention to the systematic assessment and evaluation of results from public expenditure is now called for than was probably necessary in the past. The problem arises in almost every project included in the Five Year Plan in the Central Government as well as in the States. In each case, the machinery for review of results has to be related to its nature and organisation. With every important programme provision should always be made for assessment of results. For instance, there should be an annual report and also intermediate periodical reports. In this connection, it may be suggested that reports should confine themselves to items of information which are intrinsically important and should not become too elaborate. Frequently reports which are received do not receive the necessary study and analysis, and no attempt is made to draw practical conclusions from them. Reports which are called for by the Central Ministries from the States or by departments in the States from the districts should invariably be the basis of documents which are submitted to the higher authorities and are also made available to the project authorities from whose material they are compiled and later to the public. For important projects or on aspects which need close scrutiny, wherever possible, there should be arrangements for independent inspection followed by detailed reviews in consultation with the project authorities. Systematic evaluation should become a normal administrative practice in all branches of public activity. With the object of developing the techniques of evaluation a beginning has now been made with the establishment of an independent evaluation organisation under the Planning Commission for community projects and other intensive area' development programmes.
Strengthening Administration In The States
30. The implementation of the Five \ear Plan calls for well-organised development services in the States. Some States are not at all well placed in this respect, in particular, those which have been recently constituted or may be small in size and resources. Viewing the country as a whole, there is scarcely any field of development in the States or any level of responsibility for which a sufficient number of qualified persons are available. As programmes develop, the shortage will become even more acute. To a limited extent, the problem may be met by means of joint cadres with neighbouring States or by transfers on deputation from other States but other steps are also necessary. For instance, in consultation with the States which may desire to participate, the Central Government should investigate the possibility of establishing Central development cadres in fields of technical development, such as agriculture, engineering, forests and public health. We are not considering here the question of All-India Services in these fields, but merely how co-operative arrangements could be made by the Central Government in consultation with the States concerned for the establishment of joint cadres for maintaining the supply of qualified personnel for development in the States.
31. Since the Central Government obtains its own higher personnel mainly from the States, the manner in which it selects officers required at the Centre has considerable bearing on morale and efficiency among officers in the States. In this connection, we would make three suggestions :
Administration Of Public Enterprises
32. Industrial undertaUngs owned and managed on behalf of the State are a comparatively new development, the only exceptions being the ordnance factories, the railweys and the Hindustan Aircraft. Factories for the manufacture of telephones, telephone cables and machine tools are in different stages of completion. The most important undertaking which has been recently completed is the fertiliser factory at Sindri. The Hindustan Shipyard at Visakhapatnam and the Government Housing Factory are examples of mixed enterprises in which the State has a predominant share. Work on projects for the manufacture of penicillin and D.D.T., which were recently sanctioned, is still in its early stages. The National Instruments Factory is a continuation of the Mathematical Instruments Office. Plans for the establishment of a steel plant are in an advanced stage. The Five Year Plan contains financial provision for establishing certain nev/ basic industries. The setting up of a Ministry of Production a few months ago to take charge of most of the industrial undertakings of the Central Government is proof of recognition of the growing importance of State industrial under-takings in the economic development of the country, especially in the field of basic industries.
33. Industrial undertakings of the Central Government have been organised as joint stock companies, each with its own board of directors. The boards include representatives of the Government as well as some representatives drawn from business and industry. Sufficient experience has not yet been gained to permit any conclusions regarding the working of different undertakings or the results of the present pattern of organisation and management. As experience develops and new problems arise, further changes are to be expected. Since each industrial enterprise presents problems peculiar to itself, it is necessary to have separate boards of directors for different undertakings. There is need also for a central board which could give detailed attention and advise the Government in respect of questions of general mportance for the public sector as a whole, such as personnel for industrial management, financial and accounting problems, price policies, investment programmes etc. The success of public enterprisers in the field of industry has great significance for industrial development in the future, since the steady expansion of the public sector is inherent in the development which is now being planned. We, therefore, recommend the early establishment of a single central board which will concern itself with the larger problems of policy, management and organisation for the industrial undertakings of the Central Government.
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