அறிஞர் அண்ணாவின் கட்டுரைகள்

--------- X ---------


The kind invitation extended to all political parties, for participation in the Planning Committee, is a welcome gesture from the ruling party. The spirit behind the invitation is to be appreciated and no party would fail to reciprocate the feeling.

Planning has assumed an overwhelming importance in the present political set up, and as the dimension grows more and more, hopes are naturally raised higher. Hence there is every need for a careful and continuous appraisal. Rigidity is to be avoided as far as possible, and the plan frame should be of such a nature that alterations, additions and reshaping should be made possible, at all stages.

Even at the outset, I wish to state on behalf of the D.M.K., that if by cooperating with ruling party in this sphere, is meant active and sympathetic participation in the formulation and implementation of the plan, my party offers its willing cooperation.

But it should be remembered that there are certain basic and fundamental differences, in the political ideologies of different parties and all that we, as distinct political parties could do, is to express our suggestions within the frame-work which is the creation of the ruling party.

To cite but an instance the whole economic set up ushered in by the ruling party, is what is termed as Mixed Economy, and the politico-economic philosophy that forms the bed-rock for the plan, is what is called as ‘socialistic pattern’. The D.M.K., would like to have more definite and less ambiguous set up and philosophy.

The scope of this Committee does not extend to the sphere of discussion and re-shaping of such theories, political, economic and social.

What all we can do is, to offer a helping hand, to make the machinery move smoothly, yielding maximum result. But the Machinery is entirely built up by the ruling party.

So the remarks to be made or suggestions to be offered, by the D.M.K., or other political parties, are by their very nature, handicapped by the lack of a spirit that the ruling party has got, for such principles as Mixed Economy the only common ground is perhaps, the realisation of the necessity for planning the future and prosperity of the masses in an organized way.

Another point not to be forgotten is this, anyone attempting to formulate a plan is aware of and depressed by the fact, that State Plans lack the ‘life-force’ – and what little it gets, is supplied by and through the Planning Commission constituted by the Central Government.

True, some amount of initiative is vested with the State, but schemes of big dimensions, are thought of as the preserves of the Centre, and due to a variety of reasons, States find it convenient to invoke the aid of the Centre, for taking over such schemes.

Hence, the ‘State Plan’ becomes a sort of enlarged administrative blueprint, important in its own way.
The ruling party having had a hand in two previous plans, is naturally confident, in its ability to deal with a Third Plan. And the ‘achievements’ are presented with an understandable enthusiasm.

Balanced Regional Development Essential

But, other political parties, cannot and would not forget the fact that the two plans have not yielded, the expected results – and it is necessary to urge the ruling party also to take this fact into consideration, for, only when we are aware of the shortcomings, could we better our efforts.

A sizable increase in national income so as to raise the level of living in the country is stated to be the first and foremost objective of the Second Plan, now nearing completion.

None could dispute the necessity for that objective, but when we begin planning afresh, we should be sure of the actual performance, already achieved. Have we raised the level of living?

It is true that the National Income and also the per capita income has shown an upward march, but when the cost of living has gone up steeply, the advantage accruing from the increase in per capita income, is almost nullified.

Bearing this in mind, it should be our endeavour to formulate and handle the Third Plan, is such a way as to keep the price-line under control and regulate the cost of living correspondingly.

Inflation, deficit financing are pointed put by expert economists as danger spots. The Foreign Exchange problem brizzles with difficulties.

But it is beyond our province to control or correct these aspects as it is the prerogative of the Centre; what all perhaps we are asked to do, is to share the strain and shock as and when they arise.

Hence, the State plan is formulated on a foundation, the strength or otherwise of which, is left in the hands of the Central Government.

Rapid industrialization with particular emphasis on basic and heavy industries are of utmost importance, as they are the ‘feeders’ for a variety of industries, and economic activities. They do not absorb much man-power, but need huge amounts of capital.

During both the plans, ample attention has been paid to this and what has been termed as ‘gigantism’ by Prime Minister Nehru, has been built up, in a particular region, to the detriment of other regions.

Under the item ‘Major industries’, our State has got a provision of 76 lakhs, during the Second Plan.

Of course, we take refuge and seek consolation in the fact that there is the Neiveli project sponsored by the Centre at a cost of more than fifty crores.

But the potentialities for basic and heavy industries remains to this day, untapped, in spite of repeated pleadings from all political parties.

So, the D.M.K. would request the planners, to make amends, by paying sympathetic and active attention towards building up basic and heavy industries in this State, by allotting increased amounts.
It is now being realized that the disparity in the industeial growth in different regions, has caused a bitterness, in the minds of the masses. Even party considerations are set aside, when demands are put forward for correcting the unbalance.

Inflation and Deficit Finance -

The danger spots
So this State should with a stout heart and determined effort, put forth a strong plea, before the Centre.
The need for a proper dispersal of industry in an attempt to ensure a more balanced regional development of the country should be realized and acted upon.

Lack of coal has been cited as the reason for the non-industrialization of this State. The argument has neither strength nor flavour.

In this connection the D.M.K. wants to point out that Planning in a bold and imaginative way does not consist in merely seeking the bounties of nature but in overcoming and coaxing nature to yield, richer and better results.

Countries that lack rich natural resources have been industrialized in an amazing way – Japan is an illustration.

Pointing out certain disabilities as reason for inaction is not excusable at a time when there is an attempt at all round reconstruction.

Prof. K.T. Shah has pointed out,
“From the national standpoint, the fullest development of all available resources of every able resources of every unit must be sine qua non of real effective planning.

“The National Planning Authority must accordingly scientifically distribute industries and systematically organize all the different productive resources in every component unit of the country. No tangible resources of any unit must remain undeveloped.

“By this, in each convenient unit adequate employment will also be found for local labour. The working population in each unit has a primary claim for employment in the development of local resources.

“By carefully planning the effective organisation and intensive exploitation of local resources, local requirements and local opportunities, the Planning authorities will be able to clearly ascertain which province or State or regional unit should be considered to be ‘deficit’ unit and which ‘surplus’ ones.

“After such ascertainment, ways and means must be devised to make good the deficit from the common fund; or to bring about the most profitable disposal of the surplus, for the common good in each case”.

If this advice is applied, this State which has been kept as a ‘deficit’ State industrially, is entitled to get more amount from the common fund, than what the industrially advanced States get.

Hence, the steel and Aluminium industry in Salem should be started in the public sector.

There are ample possibilities for starting other and allied industries.

For instance, we should pay our deepest consideration to the fact whether we should not attempt at utilizing the immense amount of Managese instead of exporting the whole lot.

There is an apprehension in the minds of many, that the contemplated steel plant at Salem would be of a diminutive size – a sort of token or caricature of full-fledged steel plants as are located at other regions. This apprehension should be dispelled and the State should plan in a big way, keeping in view that Steel should be produced in such an amount that would feed other industries.

Railway goods wagons could be manufactured here, utilizing Salem Steel.

Possibilities of oil, are held forth, and it is stated that there has been a survey of the Cauvery Basin.

Though, schemes such as this, take time, a beginning in right earnest should be made, and a good amount should be utilized for a thorough and systematic geological survey of this State.

Road Transport is fast increasing and ‘body-building Units’ could be organized at least in half-a-dozen centers in the State.

Industries founded on the bye-products of the cattle life of the country i.e. meat, hides and skins, leather goods, articles made out of hair, wool, bones, teeth, tissues, guts or hoover of animals – must be organized on a large scale, motivated by power driven machinery and conducted as public enterprises.

Watch-making, precision and scientific instruments, sports goods, sewing machines, electric goods and such other small-scale industries ought to be planned out.

A study team should be sent to Switzerland and Japan, by this State, to get the ‘know-how’ of these small-scale industries.

Industrial Potentialities of the State analysed Possibilities of utilizing the bye-products from cashew plantations for plastic industry, should be looked into and built up.

Drug production centres should be organized at centres, where there are possibilities for getting medicinal herbs.

In the draft proposal for the Second Plan, the urgent need for starting a Paper Mill is stressed. But the scheme has borne no fruit. There are possibilities for starting paper Mills at the Nilgries and also at Tanjore, utilizing wattle and bamboo in the former and the bye-product from the sugar mills at the later.
Gypsum to be found in very large quantity notably in Tanjore could be utilized properly and profitably, and a plant for the production of Sulphuric Acid should be built up.
The possibility of producing an appreciable amount of power alchohal from molasses in sugar factories, should be looked into.

In this connection two factors arise and usually they are pointed out as impediments – one being the difficulty in importing machinery and another being the lack of technical skill commensurate with the need.

But if we are unable to solve this difficulty quickly this State is bound to lag behind other States, already well advanced in the industrial sphere. So the State Government should not rest content with registering the replies received from the Centre but should urge it to liberalize its import cut policy as far as the need of this State is concerned. We should not fight shy of untilising the services of foreign technical experts, especially from Japan and industrially advanced European States.

To wait for the long and laborious process of building up a battalion of our own technicians – however laudable it is – will be a sore of blasting the hopes and prospects of rapidly industrializing our State.

The various friendly countries should be approached by those in the Ambassadorial and Consular services for this purpose.

Our Handloom Industry absorbs a good portion of the man-power in this State and yet it is allowed to languish.

Doles, aids, rebates and the like are but gestures. What is needed is to make this industry stable. Handloom clothes should be assured of a dependable strong and expanding market. Our export is not up to the mark. We depend upon freaks and the industry is being damaged by the jolts and shocks that arise from time to time.

The prospects of an American Market for the Handloom, it is stated, are bright and since the demand from that country is bound to be of a mass scale, it is but natural that, only when the industry is organized on a state level could there be a bright future.

Though production can be entrusted to individual weavers or societies, the export side of it should become the main concern of the State.

Handloom clothes should be purchased in bulk by the Government and exported.

Export should not be left to the whims and fancies of private dealers.

To keep many lakhs of people employed, in a useful vocation, the State should become the custodian of the interests of the Handloom weavers.

Organizing Cooperative Societies, building colonies, and such other works, offer but the philanthropic aspect. What is needed is, the Handloom Industry should be made stable and profitable. This could be best achieved only when the export side become the concern of the State.

The prospects for building up export of salt, table-salt and other varieties are bright. Besides Tuticorin, the possibilities at Vedaranyam, Chunambedu and such other places are stated to be rich. This industry absorbs also much man-power and the State could bring large farms under the public sector.

Various kinds of oils, vegetable and herbal, should be produced and where already started, production should be increased with a view to capture foreign markets.

Even the Beedi Industry, now in private hands, could be brought in the public sector.

Hopes for starting a Raw film factory at Ootacamund are held before the people, but the achievement is yet to be seen.

The film industry is assuming an importance which cannot be overlooked.

Entertainment is big business, besides being cultural and artistic.

Crores of rupees are locked up in this field and tens of thousands of people are employed.

Slowly but steadily the film industry is finding foreign markets and it should be the duty of the State to use its good offices to get the market expanded. The State should also appoint observers in countries well advanced in the film industry, to gather and impart technical knowledge and devices.

The State should step in, to take an increasing share in the profits that this industry yields, by nationalizing the cinema house, or even by running studios. Ceylon Government has organized a studio.
Besides raw film, there are many instruments used in the industry, and the State should begin producing them, here, saving many crores of rupees now being spent in foreign markets.

The quality of the films could be considerably raised, if, besides advising on standard and morality, the State takes up the job of getting the latest machinery for this industry.

Our artists, if not handicapped by the lack of such latest, highly scientific machinery, would and could successfully compete with artistes of any foreign country, and we could building up a World Market for our pictures.

Madras occupies a high position in respect of leather industry, but if there is an organized effort, much of the hides now exported could be utilized here, resulting in higher incomes, and much man-power could be a absorbed in this.

Export of wool is another item that needs special attention. Now left in the hands of people who know only antiquated methods, the wood industry is poor and clumsy. Expert advice, it is stated, is being imparted to them. But there is no perceptible change. Since this is an exportable item, more and intimate attention should be paid.

These and other similar industries are no doubt being offered assistance by the State, but if we want increased and rich results, the measures ought to be full, effort whole-hearted and the funds made available are not to be in the nature of mere tokens. We should plan it in such a way as to make it yield rich revenue, in five or ten years.

We should aim at something of everything and everything for something.

An expert Committee should go into the whole question and find out, how best to find out some one industry, that could become the speciality of this State and having selected such an industry, the State should place adequate funds and its disposal.

What seems to be the order of the day is to tackle all the problems – but only up to the fringe.

Small countries elsewhere, have built up industrials, for which they are peculiarly suited, besides the ordinary and routine list. And because of that, those countries find prosperity. The Watch industry of Switzerland, the Diary products of Denmark, are but well-known examples, of small but sturdy nations capturing the world market by the giants of their industry.

Plantation products, coffee, tea, rubber, spices – earn foreign exchange. But they are in private hands and the State seems to think that they are good tax-yielding concerns alone.

Since these products have got export prospects, the States should progressively, eliminate the private element, and through a phased programme bring them under the agencies of the State.

But the party responsible for the initiation and execution of the plan, has got an abiding faith in the efficacy of and necessity for the private sector, this view is not shared by other political parties.

The need for rapidly industrializing the State arises because of the fact, that today much dependance is placed on Agriculture. No country could advance – in the modern sense of the term – unless the dependance on Agriculture is progressively minimized and the industrial plane is expanded.

But, for a long time to come, the economic system is bound to revolve on the Agriculture axis.

And Agriculture itself has been raised to the level of an industry in advanced countries while for all practical purposes, here it remains a traditional occupation.

Much thought has been spent over the sector, but since conflicting and contradictory thoughts are generated the pace of progress has become hectic.

The two plans aimed at making the country self – sufficient in food. Much money has been spent, many schemes were launched, but after ten years, the food front is beset with the same old difficulties and dangers.

This State has taken earnest attempts to increase food production and has announced a success. But as regards the fundamentals connected with Agriculture, the State has not taken consistent and bold steps.

The most elementary reform – ceiling on land – has been on the anvils of the political forum all these years. Experts and moralists alike have pointed out that is the barest minimum of economic justice. And yet, legislation for ceiling on land has not become an accomplished fact.

There are strong indications to show that, that piece of legislation by such inordinate delay, has become a mere caricature of the original proposal.

Hopes of finding a revolutionary change has been blasted.

Minimise the Dependence on Agriculture

Though its strength and splendour has been shorn of the legislation even its present form becomes necessary for formulating a plan for the reorganization of the Agricultural sector.

‘Land to the Tiller’ is now being relegated to the background and instead of being hailed as a rational method of distribution, stress is being laid on production.

Production depends upon fertility and effort; and effort itself is bound to yield different results as methods differ.

Mechanized agriculture, though spoken of as the best means of increased production, will not find favour here, where there is plentiful supply of farmers and unskilled labours. But those engaged in Agriculture are being kept on the subsistence level, for decades.

“It has been estimated that in this State, most of the agricultural labourers are without work in 115 days in a year, and that the average income of an agricultural family is among the lowest in India”.
So the problem has got two aspects.

Production should be increased and the income of the agriculturists should also be raised.

And this should be done without hitting the consumer. The problem is complicated but complacency is unwarranted and confused thinking is worse still.

The various pronouncements made from time to time by the V.I.P.s go to show, what a amount of confusion exists.

The beginning of the Third Plan should be preceded by the ceiling on land.

That would generate a feeling of at least mild enthusiasm in the minds of millions.

The problem of correlating the prices of different commodities, so as to keep the cost of living with the reach of the average man, should be the concern of not only the ruling party, of politicians, but that of economists, farmers and representatives of consumers.

Production has increased and along with it paradoxically enough, prices of food stuffs have also increased.

This phenomenon is not only strange but dangerous.

How far the policy of the Central Government is responsible for this sorry state of affairs, needs to be found out.

The State should assert its right to manage the food front, having for its guidance the real state of affairs here.

The state should be free to choose methods for combating the rise in price, without waiting for guidance or control from the Centre.

The Centre should as the Supreme Council vested with vast resources and powers, step in, only on application, and that too to the limited sphere of procuring food stuffs when asked for.

There should thus be maximum autonomy at any rate on the food front.

Production since it depends on fertility, factors that go to make up fertility should be carefully watched and regulated.

Irrigation, fertilizers, seeds and the like are the necessities – but even in all these things the State is not empowered to act, or is handicapped.

Major irrigation works, though executed by the State, needs Central sanction and succour, even during the initial stage.

It is in the field of minor irrigation that an amount of free action is being shown by the State.

Since our dependence on the large number of tanks is much, the amount spent on repairing and depending of these tanks needs to be increased and there is every need for speeding up the work.

The time taken for sanctioning, estimate, and final execution is in the nature of taxing the patience of the villagers. The State should quicken the pace and tempo.

Out of about of 23,000 tanks in the State, about 4,000 tanks have been attended to.

Much therefore remains to be done, and the work in this line should be taken up not in the routine way, but one on emergency basis.

Not only tanks, but also supply channels need immediate attention.

The services of the army personnel should be invoked for this work, the special machinery like dredgers should be pressed into service.

But however much we could achieve through minor irrigation, we cannot escape the fact that unless the inter-state schemes, like the Krishna Godavari, Krishna-Pennar and the tapping of the rivers in Kerala, are carried out, we might be left in the lurch.

A special Expert Committee, consisting of technically qualified men, should be constituted for the special purpose of planning out these schemes.

Attempting to leave the matter to the already over-worked administrative machinery, would only result in delay, that cannot be brooked.

The best course that seems to be, that these inter-state schemes should be placed before the Zonal Council and if it is feasible, a composite committee should be constituted.

This should be given top priority in the Third Plan.

The Chiefs of the neighbouring States having already expressed their willingness to help, there should be no delay in planning out the scheme.

The State should stress this point and see to it that amounts are set apart for this.

When we find countries attempting to import fertility in even sandy and desert regions with scientific help,we should not think it beyond our capacity to divert the copious flow of water, now running into waste as is the case with the rivers Godavairi and Krishna.

Implement Sethusamudram Scheme-Develop Tuticorin into a Major port

These schemes are to be considered on par with the gigantic dam works, already undertaken, elsewhere.
Along with this, the long-felt and much stressed water ways scheme should be implemented.
The technical and administrative difficulties, natural in such undertakings, should not deter us from launching forth such schemes, as we have already exhausted all possible sources.
Just as in Irrigation, so in power, we are faced with a stark reality – we have reached the end of our sources.

The achievement it is stated is admirable but the need for power is increasing and is bound to increase as the tempo of industrialization grows.

So unless we are assured of an Atomic Power Plant we may be left in the corner.

Of course the State authorities have been pressing the Centre, and seem to be hopeful.

But we should see to it that the Centre not only assures, but begins in right earnest, even during the first stage in the Third Plan.

The necessity for expanding our Transport facilities has become acute.

Inland waterways assume hence an importance.

And to ensure the steady and quick movement of goods, railway facilities should be increased. It is now meagre, and the planners do not seem to have bestowed much thought about this region, when they think in terms of opening new lines.

As we envisage a brisk activity from and through the lignite works at Neiveli, there is the need for, double tracking the railway line, and electrification.

And as the Sethusamudram Scheme and development of Tuticorin port, have to be implemented, the entire route, from Madras to Tuticorin has got to be buzzing with activity and hence double tracking upto Tuticorin should be planned out and included in the Third Plan.

The demand for implementing the Sethu Samudram Scheme and the scheme for development of Tuticorin as a major port, has had a long history behind it, and it is imperative that no further delay is allowed.

Find out the Feasibility of coastal Shipping Trade

These schemes should become accomplished facts, work should be begun, even during the first years of the Third Plan.

The development of the Minor ports should be given due attention to. Cuddalore, Pondy, Point. Calimere and other ports need attention.

The State should find out the feasibility of organizing coastal shipping trade.

The vast coast-line that this State has to its credit, is not being taken advantage of.

Fishing ought to have been developed into a major industry.

The State authorities exhibit the picture of their attempts and the most that could be said about it is that we have done some work, more in the nature of humanitarian service.

When we find that many countries are getting rich revenue by organizing fishing as a major industry, one is constrained to state that we have missed a lot by not organizing this industry.

It can never develop into a revenue-yielding industry if it is allowed to be handled by the poor, ill-organised folks now carrying on fishing as their vocation.

They should be recruited by the State, and it should be the concern of the State to set apart an amount commensurate with the magnitude of the industry. It should be considered from the point of view of not merely of lending a helping hand to the poor folks now in tht vocation, but as an attempt to build up a new and expanding industry.

Deep sea fishing should be developed along scientific lines. Experts tell us that from this source alone, this State could get rich earnings.

There are possibilities also for organizing associate and subsidiary industry – when once fishing as a major industry is built up. The sea is as rich as the land, if not richer.

To make the land richer there is need for infusing new enthusiasm in the minds of those engaged in this, and also in imparting fertility through fertilizers. Soil conservation should be systematized and schemes for the same expanded.

Members in the Legislature who belong to the ruling party have pointed out times with out number, that schemes for land reclamation and bringing into life culturable waste land should be implemented. It properly tackled, the increased in food production would many assure, be such as to enable us to export food stuffed.

The shortage in the supply of fertilizer, is regretted and the State assures the people that the fertilizer plant at Neiveli would augment the supply.

Besides Neiveli, other place for starting fertilizer plants – plant of medium size – should be explored.

Methods for economizing the use of water for the field should be studied and the people should be educated.

Organise Land Army for Road-Building and Land Reclamation
The problem of evaporation is now and then talked of, but there seems to be no systematic attempt at checking this evil.
But control has become a sort of departmental exercise.
Problems such as these and other problems like village reconstruction, cottage industry and social uplift have become the preserves of the Block Development Department and the results are not proportionate to the amounts spent. That this department savours on party politics cannot be denied.

It ought to be the endeavour of the planning body, to find out means for mobilizing public support and enthusiasm for this project, which is day by day assuming big and bigger dimensions.

The question as to the desirability and effectiveness in organizing a Land Army charged with the task of road-building, reclamation, bringing wasteland under cultivation and other connected work should be examined.

Of course, it is not to be in the nature of conscription nor should it be left to what is called as free and voluntary effort. The State should organize camps and centres, or even mobile units, for this purpose, and should bear the cost.

This would not only decrease the growing unemployment problem but would be hailed as a systematic attempt at changing the face of the land and hastening the pace of the progress.

One fact needs to be explained here and now the suggestions offered are not supported by data, not because, we think that no data is necessary but simply because, data are best obtained by those in power and not by others.

And even those in possession of data should utilize them not for the gleeful purpose of phoo-phooing suggestions offered in good faith, but with a view to launch forth schemes, even though there might be certain initial difficulties.

For this, if some sort of consultative committees are constituted –for the purpose of examining specific proposals, wherein administrators and experts could sit and discuss, much could be achieved.

The archives and pigeon holes of the Government department are not, and cannot be thrown open to all parties – but that does not near that parties should be handicapped for want of datas.

Consultative Committee should be constituted and there should be periodical meetings for discussion and comparing notes.

Two other major factors ought not to be forgotten. There should be the much dependence upon these factors.

Production in any field of activity, would be viewed with enthusiasm, only within the public feel confident, that the ‘total good’ is the aim.

The unbridled play of the profit-motive acts as a deterent and certainly damps the enthusiasm of the labouring class and the general public.

So a sort of profit-sharing scheme should be chalked out and worked out, at least in certain select fields.

Justifiable and equitable distribution accelerates production.

The sponsors of the plan, expressed their intention of reducing the inequalities in wealth, power and income, but so far there has been no solid success.

Another factor of equal importance, is this: By what method are we going to find the resources for the huge plan? Already the burden of taxation especially the indirect form, has hit hard the people, and any further attempt to raise the level or the items of taxation would not be conducive.

Hence methods for harnessing the money-power locked up with the higher strata of society, should be formulated. Only when there is the realization on the part of the masses, that this is the people’s plan, could mass enthusiasm be generated and their realization could never be achieved by sermons and seminars. The people should feel the touch of progress in a hundred small ways around them, in their fields, their abodes, and in departments.

Implement the Master plan for Madras City

Enough attention should be paid to the special problem of the Metropolitan City of Madras and the ‘Master Plan’ prepared by cities should be analysed and implemented.

Slum Clearance Schemes should be taken up, during the Third Plan keeping the aim of solving it, once and for all.

Generation of mass enthusiasm is of prime importance, for, it should not be forgotten that the base for any scheme is the individual.

Besides adopting conventional methods, bold and new methods ought to be adopted.

For instance, we should not allow the abundance of solar energy to be wasted.

Those who have studied this problem point out various uses which solar energy could be harnessed.

Solar cooker alone has been the accomplishment so far. The possibility does not end there.

An expert committee should study this problem and formulate schemes for utilizing solar energy.

Schemes for increasing the irrigation facilities, by construction of small dams, reservoirs and the like, do not receive due attention.

Almost in every district, there is the possibility of such schemes. They may not be spectacular but they are certainly helpful involving the problem of irrigation.

The Palar Scheme pending with Government for a long number of years, should be taken up and executed in the Third Plan.

Tapping of sub-soil water, utilizing drilling machinery, tube wells, artisan wells and the like, are to be more extensively taken up.

To cite but a few cases, the Cheyyar Scheme in the North Arcot District, the Vegavathi Scheme in the Chinglepet District, Alangulam Scheme in the Thirunelveli District, a tunnel near Rajapalayam with a view to divert the water flowing westward for more useful purpose, Kudaganar Scheme, Keeriya Scheme, are being spoken of for a long number of years.

The Third Plan should devise ways and means for tapping and conserving such sources, with a view to augment the irrigation facilities.

But, whatever might be the attempts and achievements at the State level, unless the Centre is liberal and responsive, big but essential schemes like basic and heavy industries, development of ports, coastal trading, atomic plant and the like could not be realized.

So it should be the duty of the State Government, to argue the case for fair and equitable treatment for this State, which has been neglected and accorded a step motherly treatment and take up on itself the responsibility of getting these basic needs accomplished.

It will not be out of place to point out in this connection that unless those in power are zealously keen on making this State prosperous, they cannot make their voice felt. Pleading before the Centre in a faltering voice will not help us. Demands ought to be pressed forward. Mendicancy never succeeds.

Taking into view the basic industries, major ports and atomic plant into consideration, the amount to be set apart ought to be of good size.

The amount needed for accomplishing items that come under the State sector too will not be small.

So the amount asked for, as we understand it from reports, is meagre.

I would like to request the State Government to formulate plans and schemes, on both the Central and State levels, keeping view that at least a thousand crores should be the amount to be spent to both these sectors during the Third Plan.

Considering the previous neglect and the consequent industrial backwardness, the amount thought of, is not over-ambitious or unjustifiable.

The Planning body itself cannot decide issues at two or three sittings.

There is so much necessity for a series of sittings – consultative conferences and the like, wherein, expert opinion should be asked for, discussed and new drafts made.

I conclude with the hope that, that is the aim of the party in power.

Planning is a continuous proceess, and consultation and mutual understanding as between the different parties add strength and spirit.

It may not be possible for any one party to present an all-inclusive plan.

Besides asking for suggestions, all those interested could be brought together from time to time, reassess, evaluate and offer if necessary comments on the way in which schemes are implemented. For, the drafting of a plan is in the nature of a birth – it is but the beginning – much depends upon the hand that rocks the cradle and nurtures the new-born.