Industrial production recorded considerable progress in 1952. As
will be seen from the statement below the index of industrial production in
1952 stood at 128.9.
Rise in production was recorded in cotton textiles, jute goods,
sugar, salt, matches, pap|r and paper board, electric lamps, art silk
yarn and sewing machines. The continued prevalence of industrial
peace and increased supply of raw materials were two of the important
factors responsible for the larger volume of production. There was,
however, a decline in the output of some industries - producing
aluminium, pumps, diesel engines, machine tools, looms, hurricane lanterns,
dry and storage batteries, super-phosphate, sulphuric acid, soda ash, paints,
enamels, leather, glass and woollen goods.
In 1948 there were 13,120 perennial and 2,786 seasonal factory es-
tablishments in India. These together accounted for 6.6 per cent of the
total national income.
According to the Census of Manufactures, the total
productive capital employed in 29 groups of industries was about Rs. 483
crore — Rs. 196 crore being fixed capital and Rs. 287 crore working capital.
Making allowance for the industries not covered by the census, the total
productive capital employed in Indian industries was of the order of
Rs. 650 crore. The total labour force employed in the factories was about
25 lakh. In 1948, India attained the eighth place among the foremost
industrial nations of the world.
Cotton textiles and jute are two of the country’s oldest and most impor-
tant industries. Although the first cotton mill in India was erected at
Calcutta in 1818, the real beginnings of the industry were made in Bombay
in the year 1854. The capital and enterprise were predominantly Indian.
The foundations of the jute industry were laid near Calcutta in 1855,
mostly with foreign capital and enterprise. The progress of the two
industries over the past fifty years is illustrated in the following statement :
Cotton textiles and jute were the only major industries which had
developed substantially before World War I. The War gave a further
impetus to industrial development. The policy of discriminating protec-
tion was adopted in 1922 on the recommendation of the Indian Fiscal
Commission. This measure did much to help the growth of Indian
industries. Between 1922 and 1939, the production of cotton piece goods
was more than doubled, that of steel ingots increased 8 times and of paper
2i times. The protected sugar industry achieved progress so speedily
between 1932 and 1936 that the country became self-sufficient in sugar.
About the same time the cement industry had also begun to grow, and by
1935-36 it was able to meet about 95 per cent of the total needs of the
country. The production of matches, glass, vanaspatiy soap and several
engineering industries also recorded a large increase during this period. An
electrical goods industry was also started.
The Second World War created favourable conditions for the maximum
utilisation of existing capacity in Indian industries. Several new industries
also came into existence. Among othd: things, they 'produced ferro-alloys.
non-ferrous metals, diesel engines, pumps, bicycles, sewing machines, soda
ash, caustic soda, chlorine and super-phosphate. The manufacture of
machine tools and simple machinery, cutlery and pharmaceuticals was also
commenced. In the immediate post-war period a new range of industries
grew up. They were concerned with the manufacture of ball and roller
bearings, carding engines, ring frames and locomotives. The fertiliser,
cement, sheet glass, caustic soda and sulphuric acid industries were
Till recently, the major emphasis in industrial development in India
was on consumer goods industries, while the development of basic capital
goods industries lagged behind. The output of consumer goods such as cotton
textiles, sugar, soap, mat 9 hes and salt is, on the whole, sufficient to meet the
present domestic demand. In the case of capital goods industries and indus-
tries manufacturing intermediate products, the available capacity is inadequ-
ate even for ‘present requirements, while the production of iron and steel re-
presents hardly 50 per cent of the country’s present demand. In the case of
aluminium, ferro-alloys, caustic soda and soda ash, fertilbers and petroleum
products, domestic supply is far short of demand. Only a small beginning
has so far been made in the manufacture of plant and machinery (including
textile machinery), synthetic drugs, anti-biotics, dye-stuffs and chemicals.
Details about certain major industries are further given.