Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Haldia Fertilizer Plant

The fertilizer plant that never was! It is one of the extreme examples of how our socialist policies went horribily wrong. A fertilzer manufacturing plant was biult in Haldia; an employees' township was built, schools and hospitals were built for the employees, even recreational facilities were built. The employees and management came to work everyday and they were paid their salaries. There was only one thing that was not happening. No fertilizer was being produced!

It so happened that after the whole plant and everything was built, it was then discovered that the plant was unviable and would have lost a lot more money than what was used to pay salaries! So much for our centralized planning and planning commissions.

I came across the story of that fertilizer plant in Gurcharan Das' India Unbound; I also came across that story in Thomas Sowell's book Applied Economics. Seems like quite an infamous incident!

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