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No disinvestment: Sindhia

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, SEPT. 15. The State Government is against disinvestment in State-run industrial undertakings and plans to strengthen them, the Minister for Industries, Infrastructure Development and Civil Aviation, P.G.R. Sindhia, has said.

He was speaking on the occasion of the 146th birth anniversary of Sir M. Visvesvaraya at a function organised by the Janata Dal (Secular). He indicated that the Government wanted to conduct a study of the functioning of State-run undertakings and decide on a future course of action with regard to at least some of the units which were in bad condition. Although a huge amount was required to rejuvenate them, the Government had an open mind on the revival of public undertakings which were sick, he added.

Most of the speakers at the programme recalled the services of Sir Visvesvaraya to the industrial development of the State and said a befitting tribute to him would be to encourage the development of industries and the strengthening of existing units.

NGEF

Mr. Sindhia said the Government would do its best to revive the New Government Electric Factory (NGEF). The prime lands owned by the NGEF had been auctioned by the previous government resulting in complaints from various quarters. A large section of the workers had also participated in the voluntary retirement scheme and collected the retirement benefits.

The Minister also recalled the contribution of Sir Vivesvaraya to the farm sector. "He was a man with a great vision who built the Kannambadi Dam (Krishna Raja Sagar) across the Cauvery," Mr. Sindhia said. The KRS was providing irrigation to large tracts of lands in the Mysore and Mandya districts, he pointed out.

`Appoint technocrats'

The Janata Dal State unit president, N. Thippanna, said that if the State-run industrial undertakings were to perform well, they should be headed by technocrats and not by bureaucrats and non-officials. It was unfortunate that State-run undertakings, which had done well in the past, were now doing well.

The Bangalore city unit president of the Janata Dal (S), D.S. Srikantamurthy, called upon the `technical wing' of the party to identify and investigate the lapses in works taken up by the Public Works and Irrigation departments and the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, and, thereafter, with the support of the `legal wing' of the party file public interest litigations. The lapses and malpractices should be exposed and only then would officials ensure that standards were maintained in Government works, he added.

Basavaraj Horatti, the Janata Dal (S) MLC, wanted the party to also celebrate Teachers' Day to encourage teachers.

The Janata Dal (S) president, H.D. Deve Gowda, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, could not attend the programme.

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