An Autobiography by S. L. Kirloskar

For the execution of the recommendations I was making, I used to see various ministers, including the Minister of Industries, the Minister of Commerce and sometimes even the Prime Minister. The Minister of Industries at that time, Mr. T. T. Krishnamachari, had started a body called the Export Promotion Council. He used to invite us for this body's meetings and ask us to give our experiences and on many occasions he accepted out recommendations. Some of the accepted recommendations, which greatly helped export, related to the formation of the Export Credit Insurance Guarantee Scheme, to the relaxation of various excise duties ad the compensatory payments which ultimately came to be known as "Export Incentives". In addition, an Export Market Fund was established to help people to travel abroad, and to advertise and promote their wares.

Here I must particularly mention the services of the two Ministers - Mr. T. T. Krishnamachari and Mr. Manubhai Shah - who really established the ground-work for our export promotion and who actively helped to create more and more exports. Often Mr. Manubhai Shah, without waiting for us to go to him, would himself come to us and ask us to state our problems, after which he would immediately take up those problems and find solutions for them. Such co-operation cut through many of the official procedures and gave us solutions much earlier than can normally be had. In those days a number of imports were made in order to satisfy certain demands. These imports had no industrial base and those persons who obtained the necessary licenses enjoyed the high prices that they could get for their imports. The seeking and securing of these import licenses were accompanied by a great deal of rush and corruption. Importers of dry fruits and similar articles made a lot of money on them. Noting this, I pointed out to Mr. Manubhai Shah how we exporters of machinery and engineering products, who were acquiring foreign exchange for the Government of India, were suffering loss in contrast with the importers of things like dry fruit - which they paid for from the very exchange provided by our sacrifices ! I suggested that the minister might consider granting import licenses for dry fruits to the exporters of engineering products, in proportion to the volume of their exports, so that they might recoup some of their losses on the export of engineering goods from the profit on imported dry fruits. This suggestion appealed to Mr. Shah who gave effect to it for some time. After his departure, however, the Import Lobby brought influence to bear on the ministry and managed to restore the Status quo ante with consequent profit to themselves and loss to exporters like us.

Export and GOI, Political Leaders, 5 year plans...
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