Local Industry in the USSR

Local Industry in the USSR

 

industrial enterprises, associations, and firms as well as scientific research, planning and design, and other organizations under the jurisdiction of ministries of local industry of the Union republics and simultaneously (except enterprises under republic jurisdiction) under the councils of ministers of autonomous republics and local Soviets of working people’s deputies. Local industry is important in an economic sense because its enterprises help local Soviets resolve economic problems arising in an oblast, krai, city, or raion and satisfy the needs of the population and the local economy. In creating various and usually small manufacturing enterprises in small cities and in large populated points in the countryside, local industry develops industrial production in regions far from industrial centers. The local population engaged in individual trades is brought into productive labor in public manufacturing. Along with centralized stocks of raw materials, local industry uses local resources of raw materials and by-products of industrial and agricultural production.

In terms of types of authority, local industry is divided into three basic groups: republic, oblast (krai), and raion. Local enterprises under republic jurisdiction are managed through the main administrations of sectors or are directly under the authority of a ministry. Enterprises of oblast jurisdiction are directed by oblast (krai) administrations of local industry, and those of raion (city) jurisdiction are directed by raion (city) executive committees of Soviets and oblast (krai) administrations of local industry. The production of enterprises of oblast and raion jurisdiction accounts for 80–85 percent of the total production of local industry.

The local industry of Union republics has a multisector structure. It includes a large number of enterprises of the machine-building, metalworking, chemical, garment, textile, lumber, musical, and other sectors of industry. Local industry accounts for a significant amount of the overall production of many consumer products. The enterprises manufacture nearly all musical instruments and folk art crafts as well as a large share of the metal dishware, locks and hardware, stainless steel cutlery, metal beds, children’s carriages and bicycles, toys, plastic items, household chemicals, furniture, and metal clothing accessories and notions. Local industrial enterprises supply about 15 percent of the total volume of production in the USSR of consumer and domestic goods.

Local industry supplements the industry of the Union republics in the production of garment and knitted-wear goods, felt shoes and slippers, rugs, and textile and leather accessories. It satisfies many of the needs of kolkhozes and sovkhozes for various industrial-manufacturing items (carts and small farm implements, harnesses and saddlery, and pig-iron casting for house furnaces and other domestic uses). In a number of republics and oblasts, local industry meets the needs of the local economy and population by extracting and processing peat and sand, gravel, rock, and the like; it manufactures ceramic pipe, hardware, building materials and parts, and many other items.

The Communist Party and the Soviet government have always attached great significance to the development of local industry, presenting it at different stages of economic construction with specific tasks, determining paths for its development, and affording practical assistance in organization, economic strengthening, and supply of equipment. In the prewar years local industry became firmly established. Production volumes and numbers of enterprises producing consumer goods increased. Local industry rendered great assistance in supplying building programs with local construction materials. It also played a significant role in providing everyday services for the population.

During World War II local enterprises in territory occupied by the fascist Germans suffered considerable damage. Work to restore local industry began immediately after the liberation of occupied regions. In the postwar years local industry developed significantly, helped by various types of equipment, machinery, raw goods, and materials received from large state enterprises. As local industry has grown, in terms of technical equipment, size, and construction of new enterprises, many of its factories and plants have been transferred to the authority of national and republic ministries. In 1957, control of much of local industry was transferred to councils of the economy; the ministries of local industry in Union republics were eliminated. The September 1965 plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU decided to reestablish ministries of local industry in all Union republics. The decrees adopted in 1966–68 were of great importance for the development of local industry, including the decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of Sept. 30, 1966, entitled On Measures for the Further Development of Local Industry and Artistic Handicrafts and the decrees of the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted in 1967–68 on the increased production, diversification, and improvement of musical instruments, folk handicrafts, and metal products of the Rosinstrument trust.

Local industry has a strong material and technical base. As of Jan. 1, 1974, there were more than 3,000 local enterprises, including 1,000 raion (city) industrial combines, employing over 1 million workers. There was an average of 340 employees at each enterprise. Along with small and medium-size enterprises, local industry has large enterprises and associations with 1,500 to 3,000 and more employees. Among these are the the Red October and A. V. Lunacharskii musical instrument factories in Leningrad, the Moscow Combine for the Production of Musical Instruments and Furniture, the Mogilev Metallurgical Plant, the Orenburg Down Shawl Factory, and “Turkmenkover,” a carpet firm. A large number of home workers, pensioners, and invalids work for local enterprises. In 1973 home workers constituted over 10 percent of all employees of local industry. The volume of industrial production of local enterprises increased from 3.5 billion rubles in 1965 to 8.15 billion rubles in 1973. The system of local industry includes nine scientific research and planning and design institutes and more than 100 planning and design bureaus.

The local enterprises are supplied with modern equipment. Future directions of development include the more efficient distribution of enterprises in republics and economic regions, the concentration of manufacture of definite categories of products at specialized enterprises, the development of production cooperation, and the further improvement of the organization and management of production, in particular, the creation of production associations (as of Jan. 1, 1974, there were 140 production associations and firms within the local industry network).

K. A. DOLOTOV

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