The Industrial Development of Bengal, 1900-1939

A. Z. M. Iftikhar-ul-Awwal
A. Z. M. Iftikhar-ul-Awwal (Copyright), 1982
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"The present work examines the industrial experience of Bengal during the period 1900 to 1939 with particular emphasis on the role of the government as the main instrument for growth. For this work, available statistical material has been utilized for the sake of precision as well as to strengthen the qualitative evidence. The book contains eight chapters. While Chapter I builds up the case for industrial development, Chapter II examines in detail the industrial policy of the Bengal government in the light of its own limitations as a subordinate authority to the Government of India and that of Whitehall. Chapter III is an investigation of the labour market in Bengal with emphasis on the supply of labour to jute, tea and coal industries in relation to wages and conditions of work. In Chapter IV, I have examined the rates of profitability and security of industrial investments. In this chapter, I have also examined the financial institutions of the time and their role in the industrial development of the province. Chapter V points to some of the difficulties experienced by Indian entrepreneurs, and in the above light looks at their contribution to the larger industrial establishments of Bengal. The next two Chapters VI and VII examine the growth and development of the two biggest manufacturing industries of our period - jute and handloom cotton weaving industries. The concluding chapter is an estimate of the industrial progress made in the province during the period under review. This book is a slightly revised version of my Ph.D. thesis submitted to the University of London in 1978. In the preparation of this thesis, I have accumulated an enormous debt of gratitude to my Supervisor, Dr. K. N. Chaudhuri whose careful vigilance and timely intervention saved me from many factual errors and infelicities of style. My thanks are also due to Mr. I. B. Harrison, who went through some of my preliminary chapters during the absence of Dr Chaudhuri in 1975-76 and made many useful observations. I am also indebted to Dr. Sirajul Islam of Dhaka University for helping me with some necessary corrections."