Burier is a victim of brain waves which occur spontaneously and at intervals. He gives the impression that he is keen on executing anything he takes up. He announces a massive industrial development program for the state. One hundred thousand small and medium industrial units are envisaged for providing employment to one million workers. He launches a crash program to be implemented all over the state. Industrial sheds are constructed on war footing and Burier places orders for machinery through his secretariat. Cuts and other fringe benefits of procurement provide attraction. The entire administrative machinery in his office is keen to place orders of this magnitude. Procurement of machinery is a fertile source for minting money through ‘private practice”. The activity is so intense and widespread that industrial sheds resembling cowsheds sprang up all over the state in thousands at a rate far ahead of the number of entrepreneurs to run them.
There is no plan or program for efficient running of the units. The activities financially benefit all except those who are to run them. Officials concerned with industrial growth and infrastructure development find their brief cases full to the brim with tainted currency. Commissions and cuts freely flow and inundate the office. However, the question of who will start industries remains unanswered.
Burier organizes a campaign to bring more entrepreneurs with viable projects. He holds interviews. The first question asked is:
“Which is your nearest police station”?
The candidate asks, Sir, why are you asking the question now? How is it relevant?
Burier answers.” That is because if you run away without fulfilling the obligations to the government and the financial institution, we must hand you over to the police.” Prospective entrepreneurs flee. They take asylum in neighboring states.
However, Burier is determined to industrialize the state. He holds public meetings and every one who brings mikes, furniture, lights, food etc., gets the status of an entrepreneur. The staff recommends loans liberally and entrepreneurs take charge of each unit. Some entrepreneurs have twenty units, each under different names. The entrepreneur’s capacity to print different letter heads and business cards is the only limitation to have the number of units under his charge.
Inauguration takes place on minute to minute basis. The logos widely used are: ‘one minute entrepreneur’, ‘one industry a minute’, ‘industrialize or perish’. This strategy clicks well in terms of numbers. However, entrepreneurs who burn their fingers come up with another slogan. ‘Unwise to enter industry’. ‘Industrialize and perish’.
Many units have no power to start operations. Power connection takes minimum of two years. Several units have no proper records. Many are unable to repay loans to financial institutions. Even after two years of installation, for want of power, the plant is not commissioned. Some entrepreneurs commit suicide.
Hundreds of them have no trained personnel. Some have personnel who come there for taking rest. Herds of cattle occupy the sheds and officials are busy driving them away every day. Many others are plagued with raw material shortage and working capital problems.Machinery is rusting and thieves and predators take away useful items like motors and generators. Units enter serious financial crisis. The program becomes an economic disaster. (To be continued)