Central Planning in Czechoslovakia: Organization for Growth in a Mature Economy

By Jan M. Michal | Go to book overview
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Chapter 5
TRANSPORTATION

1. General Trends

As in many other European countries, transportation in Czechoslovakia suffered much during World War II. In the first postwar years, a fairly large share of the national resources was allocated to the transport system, and this trend continued, after the introduction of comprehensive central Planning in 1948, until 1953. The number of persons employed in transportation increased from 184,000 in 1948 to 230,000 in 1953. Gross fixed investments went up from 1,857 million Kčs in 1949 to 3,360 million in 1957 (at 1957 constant prices, in 1953 currency units; including investments in the system of communications). Between 1953 and 1957 the increase in manpower was much slower: in the latter year, there were 259,000 persons employed in transportation, only 29,000 more than in 1953.1 The yearly flow of gross fixed investments to transportation and communications, at 1957 constant prices, was reduced to 3,179 million Kčs in 1957, i.e., 181 million less than in 1953. Over the nine years from 1948 to 1957, the number of persons working in transportation increased by 41 per cent, and capital assets (basic funds at 1955 replacement costs [see Chapter 8, Section 3]) increased by approximately 16 per cent.2 The traffic increased, however, in the over-all average, by some 160 per cent. The capacity of rolling stock and of other transport installations and the working capacity of transport workers and employees seem to have been very overstrained.

The following tabulation shows the pattern of traffic in 1957, and the corresponding percentage increases over 1948:

____________________
1
Data from SRRC, 1958, Table 11.17; excluding apprentices.
2
This percentage is derived from a weighted average for freight and passenger transportation. It should be pointed out that the depreciation of assets, which is not adequately reflected in statistics on the basic funds, was necessarily higher in transportation than in other branches of the economy. The proportional share of transportation in total basic funds in the national economy decreased between 1948 and 1957 (see Table 8.11). All data on investments in transportation are from SRRC, 1958, Table 6.4.

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