This Day in History (2-Mar-1952) – Sindri Fertilizer Factory, Bihar, the first Government owned company, formally inaugurated by Nehru

Sindri was selected as best option for a fertilizer factory due to its apt geographical conditions in the year 1944.  A three members technical mission consisting of G S Gowing and J Rigg, both of Imperial Chemical Industries and T H Riley of the Association of British Chemical Plants Manufacturers, Britain sent a recommendation in to the Viceroy’s Executive Council for setting up a single large fertilizer factory to produce 3,50,000 tons Ammonium Sulphate per annum with Gypsum as raw material.

A separate project organisation was set by the Government of India in 1945 under the Chief Technical Advisor, Brig. M H Cox. To end the system of diarchy and to replace the same with one of autonomy, a company named Sindri Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited was formed under the Companies Act, which came into being in December 1951 as the first Public Sector Company, wholly owned and governed by the Government of India. The production of Ammonium Sulphate in the factory was started on 31 October 1951 and the factory inaugurated on 2nd March 1952. In his inauguration speech, the then Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru said that he was not just inaugurating a fertilizer factory but he was inaugurating a temple of modern India. The plant was modernized in year 1974 and it finally stopped production in 2002.

The plant was part of the roadmap for Public Sector which was developed as an instrument for self-reliant economic growth. The country adopted the planned economic development polices, which envisaged the development of PSUs. The government-owned corporations are termed as Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India where majority (51% or more) of the paid up share capital is held by central government or by any state government or partly by the central governments and partly by one or more state governments. Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) have laid a strong foundation for the industrial development of the country. The public sector is less concerned with making profits. Hence, they play a key role in nation building activities, which take the economy in the right direction. There are in all 251 PSU companies in India.




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