Economic development in India

Economic development in India

The economic development in India is highly dependent upon various sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and services (especially in the software market). [ [ IT sector] , December 2007] India ranks fourth with respect to GDP (PPP) as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), "CIA World Factbook""The World Factbook", United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 9 October 2007. [] (All information are estimates and refers to various years from 1993 till 2006).] and World Bank.World Bank - September, 2007 [ Statistical Data as of 2006] ] India's economy is diverse and encompasses agriculture, handicrafts, textile, manufacturing, and a multitude of services. Although two-thirds of the Indian workforce still earn their livelihood directly or indirectly through agriculture, services are a growing sector and are playing an increasingly important role in India's economy. The advent of the digital age, and the large number of young and educated people fluent in English are gradually transforming India into an important 'back office' destination for global companies for the outsourcing of their customer services and technical support. India is a major exporter of highly skilled workers in software and financial services, and software engineering. Other sectors like manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, nanotechnology, telecommunication, shipbuilding, aviation and tourism are showing strong potentials with high growth rates.

India has an increasing population and the challenge of reducing economic and social inequality. Poverty remains a serious problem, although it has declined significantly since independence. Current estimates state that 25% of India's population is below the poverty level.


India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 18.6% of the GDP in 2005, employed 60% of the total workforcecite web
title =CIA - The World Factbook - India
publisher = [ CIA]
date =2007-09-20
url =
accessdate =2007-10-02
] and despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, is still the largest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic development of India. Yields per unit area of all crops have grown since 1950, due to the special emphasis placed on agriculture in the five-year plans and steady improvements in irrigation, technology, application of modern agricultural practices and provision of agricultural credit and subsidies since the green revolution.

India is the largest producer in the world of milk, cashew nuts, coconuts, tea, ginger, turmeric and black pepper. [ [ Agriculture sector] Indo British Partnership network, Retrieved on December 2007] It also has the world's largest cattle population (193 million). [Lester R. Brown [ World's Rangelands Deteriorating Under Mounting Pressure] Earth Policy Institute, Retrieved on- February 2008] It is the second largest producer of wheat, rice, sugar, groundnut and inland fish. [ Indian agriculture] Agribusiness Information Centre, Retrieved on- February 2008] It is the third largest producer of tobacco. India accounts for 10% of the world fruit production with first rank in the production of banana and sapota.

The required level of investment for the development of marketing, storage and cold storage infrastructure is estimated to be huge. The government has implemented various schemes to raise investment in marketing infrastructure. Among these schemes are "Construction of Rural Go downs", "Market Research and Information Network", and "Development / Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardization". [ [ Agriculture marketing] Retrieved on- February 2008]

;Research and developmentThe Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), established in 1905, was responsible for the research leading to the "Indian Green Revolution" of the 1970s. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the apex body in agriculture and related allied fields, including research and education. [ [ Objectives] Indian agricultural research institute, Retrieved on December 2007] The Union Minister of Agriculture is the President of the ICAR. The Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute develops new techniques for the design of agricultural experiments, analyses data in agriculture, and specializes in statistical techniques for animal and plant breeding.Prof. M.S. Swaminathan is known as "Father of the Green Revolution" and heads the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. [ [ MS Swaminathan] Times Inc. Retrieved on- 21 February, 2008] He is known for his advocacy of environmentally sustainable agriculture and sustainable food security.

Industrial output

India is fourteenth in the world in factory output. Manufacturing sector in addition to mining, quarrying, electricity and gas together account for 27.6% of the GDP and employ 17% of the total workforce. Economic reforms introduced after 1991 brought foreign competition, led to privatisation of certain public sector industries, opened up sectors hitherto reserved for the public sector and led to an expansion in the production of fast-moving consumer goods.cite news | title=Economic structure| date= October 6, 2003 | publisher=The Economist | url=]

Post-liberalisation, the Indian private sector, which was usually run by oligopolies of old family firms and required political connections to prosper was faced with foreign competition, including the threat of cheaper Chinese imports. It has since handled the change by squeezing costs, revamping management, focusing on designing new products and relying on low labour costs and technology.cite news | title=Indian manufacturers learn to compete | date=February 12, 2004 | publisher=The Economist | url=]

34 Indian companies have been listed in the Forbes Global 2000 ranking for 2007.cite web | title=Forbes Global 2000 (Ger-Ind) | url= | accessdate=October 3 | accessyear=2007 ] The 10 leading companies are:


India is fifteenth in services output. Service industry employs 23% of the work force and is growing quickly, with a growth rate of 7.5% in 1991–2000, up from 4.5% in 1951–80. It has the largest share in the GDP, accounting for 53.8% in 2005 up from 15% in 1950. Business services (information technology, information technology enabled services, business process outsourcing) are among the fastest growing sectors contributing to one third of the total output of services in 2000. The growth in the IT sector is attributed to increased specialisation and availability of a large pool of low cost. Highly skilled, educated and fluent English-speaking workers (a legacy of British Colonialism) on the supply side and on the demand side, has increased demand from foreign consumers interested in India's service exports or those looking to outsource their operations. India's IT industry, despite contributing significantly to its balance of payments, accounts for only about 1% of the total GDP or 1/50th of the total services.cite book|author=Datt, Ruddar & Sundharam, K.P.M.|title=Indian Economy|pages=865–867|chapter=50]

Currently, in 2007, banking in India is generally mature in terms of supply, product range and reach-even, though reach in rural India still remains a challenge for the private sector and foreign banks.Nishtha Khurana [ Crisis Prevention and Capital Controls in India], Retrieved on- October 2007] In terms of quality of assets and capital adequacy, Indian banks are considered to have clean, strong and transparent balance sheets relative to other banks in comparable economies of Asia. The Reserve Bank of India is an autonomous body, with minimal pressure from the government. The stated policy of the Bank on the Indian Rupee is to manage volatility but without any fixed exchange rate. [Rajesh Chakrabarti [ Foreign Exchange Markets] Retrieved on- February 2008]

Currently, India has 88 scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) — 28 public sector banks (that is with the Government of India holding a stake), 29 private banks (these do not have government stake; they may be publicly listed and traded on stock exchanges) and 31 foreign banks. [ India growth story is attracting talent from govt establishments] HT media, Retrieved on- December 2007] They have a combined network of over 53,000 branches and 17,000 ATMs. The public sector banks hold over 75% of total assets of the banking industry, with the private and foreign banks holding 18.2% and 6.5% respectively.

India's resource consumption


India had about convert|5.6|Goilbbl|m3 of proven oil reserves as of January 2007, which is the second-largest amount in the Asia-Pacific region behind China.cite web | url=|title= Energy Information Administration (EIA)|publisher=Statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy|accessdate=2007-10-23] Most of India's crude oil reserves are located in the western coast (Mumbai High) and in the northeastern parts of the country, although considerable undeveloped reserves are also located in the offshore Bay of Bengal and in the state of Rajasthan.

The combination of rising oil consumption and fairly unwavering production levels leaves India highly dependent on imports to meet the consumption needs. In 2006, India produced an average of about 846,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of total oil liquids, of which 77%, or convert|648000|oilbbl/d|m3/d|abbr=on, was crude oil. During 2006, India consumed an estimated convert|2.63|Moilbbl/d|m3/d|abbr=on of oil. [International Petroleum Monthly 2005-2006] The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that India registered oil demand growth of convert|100000|oilbbl/d|m3/d|abbr=on during 2006. [International Petroleum Monthly 2005-2006] EIA forecasts suggest that country is likely to experience similar gains during 2007 and 2008.

; Sector organisationIndia’s oil sector is dominated by state-owned enterprises, although the government has taken steps in past recent years to deregulate the hydrocarbons industry and support greater foreign involvement. India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is the largest oil company, and also the country’s largest company overall by market capitalization. ONGC is the leading player in India’s upstream sector, accounting for roughly 75% of the country’s oil output during 2006, as per Indian government estimates.

As a net importer of oil, the Government of India has introduced policies aimed at growing domestic oil production and oil exploration activities. As part of the effort, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas crafted the New Exploration License Policy (NELP) in 2000, which permits foreign companies to hold 100% equity possession in oil and natural gas projects. However, to date, only a handful of oil fields are controlled by foreign firms. India’s downstream sector is also dominated by state-owned entities, though private companies have enlarged their market share in past recent years.

Natural gas

As per the Oil and Gas Journal, India had 38 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of confirmed natural gas reserves as of January 2007. A huge mass of India’s natural gas production comes from the western offshore regions, particularly the Mumbai High complex. The onshore fields in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat states are also major producers of natural gas. As per EIA data, India produced 996 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas in 2004.cite web | url=|title= Energy Information Administration (EIA)|publisher=Statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy|accessdate=2007-10-27] India imports small amounts of natural gas. In 2004, India consumed about convert|1089|Gcuft|m3|abbr=on of natural gas, the first year in which the country showed net natural gas imports. During 2004, India imported convert|93|Gcuft|m3|abbr=on of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar.

;Sector Organization

As in the oil sector, India’s state-owned companies account for the bulk of natural gas production. ONGC and Oil India Ltd. (OIL) are the leading companies with respect to production volume, while some foreign companies take part in upstream developments in joint-ventures and production sharing contracts (PSCs). Reliance Industries, a privately-owned Indian company, will also have a bigger role in the natural gas sector as a result of a large natural gas find in 2002 in the Krishna Godavari basin. The Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) holds an effective control on natural gas transmission and allocation activities. In December 2006, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas issued a new policy that allows foreign investors, private domestic companies, and national oil companies to hold up to 100% equity stakes in pipeline projects. While GAIL’s domination in natural gas transmission and allocation is not ensured by statute, it will continue to be the leading player in the sector because of its existing natural gas infrastructure.

Emerging issues

;Child labourThere are more children under the age of 14 in India than the entire population of the United States. The great challenge of India, as a developing nation, is to provide sufficient nutrition, education and health care to these children.cite web | url=|title=Child Labor and India|publisher=Embassy of India, Washington, DC|accessdate=2007-11-28] Children under 14 constitute nearly 3.6% of the total labor force in the country. Of these children, 9 out of every 10 work in their own rural family settings. Around 85% of them are engaged in traditional agricultural activities. Less than 9% work in manufacturing, services and repairs.Child labor is a complex problem that is basically rooted in poverty. The Indian government is implementing the world's largest child labor elimination program, with primary education targeted for ~250 million. Numerous non-governmental and voluntary organizations are also involved. Special investigation cells have been set up in states to enforce existing laws banning employment of children (under 14) in hazardous industries. The allocation of the Government of India for the eradication of child labor was $10 million in 1995-96 and $16 million in 1996-97. The allocation for 2007 is $21 million.

Corruption has been one of the pervasive problems affecting India. It takes the form of bribes, evasion of tax and exchange controls, embezzlement, etc. The economic reforms of 1991 reduced the red tape, bureaucracy and the "Licence Raj" that had strangled private enterprise and was blamed for the corruption and inefficiencies.cite paper | author=DeLong, J. Bradford | title=India Since Independence: An Analytic Growth Narrative | date=2001 | url=] Yet, a 2005 study by Transparency International (TI) India found that more than half of those surveyed had firsthand experience of paying a bribe or peddling influence to get a job done in a public office.

The chief economic consequences of corruption are the loss to the exchequer, an unhealthy climate for investment and an increase in the cost of government-subsidised services. The TI India study estimates the monetary value of petty corruption in 11 basic services provided by the government, like education, healthcare, judiciary, police, etc., to be around Rs.21,068 crores. India still ranks in the bottom quartile of developing nations in terms of the ease of doing business, and compared with China, the average time taken to secure the clearances for a startup or to invoke bankruptcy is much greater.

The Right to Information Act (2005) and equivalent acts in the states, that require government officials to furnish information requested by citizens or face punitive action, computerisation of services and various central and state government acts that established vigilance commissions have considerably reduced corruption or at least have opened up avenues to redress grievances. [ Example] of a central government department's implementation of the Right to Information Act.] The 2006 report by Transparency International puts India at 70th place and states that significant improvements were made by India in reducing corruption. [ Transparency International Press release] ] [ Transparency International Press release] ]

;Environmental DegradationAbout 1.2 billion people in developing nations lack clean, safe water because most household and industrial wastes are dumped directly into rivers and lakes without treatment. This contributes to the rapid increase in waterborne diseases in humans. [Gleick PH. 1993. Water in Crisis. New York: Oxford University Press.] Out of India's 3119 towns and cities, just 209 have partial treatment facilities, and only 8 have full wastewater treatment facilities (WHO 1992). [Russell Hopfenberg and David Pimentel [ HUMAN POPULATION NUMBERS AS A FUNCTION OF FOOD SUPPLY] Retrieved on- February 2008] 114 cities dump untreated sewage and partially cremated bodies directly into the Ganges River. [National Geographic Society. 1995. Water: A Story of Hope. Washington (DC): National Geographic Society] Downstream, the untreated water is used for drinking, bathing, and washing. This situation is typical of many rivers in India as well as other developing countries.Globally, but especially in developing nations like India where people cook with fuelwood and coal over open fires, about 4 billion humans suffer continuous exposure to smoke. In India, particulate concentrations in houses are reported to range from 8,300 to 15,000 μg/m3, greatly exceeding the 75 μg/m3 maximum standard for indoor particulate matter in the United States. [Christiani DC. 1993. Urban and trans-boundary air pollution: Human health consequences. Pages 13-30 in Chivian E, McCally M, Hu H, Haines A, eds. Critical Condition: Human Health and the Environment. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press.] Changes in ecosystem biological diversity, evolution of parasites, and invasion by exotic species all frequently result in disease outbreaks such as cholera which emerged in 1992 in India. The frequency of AIDS/HIV is increasing. In 1996, about 46,000 Indians out of 2.8 million (1.6 % of the population) tested were found to be infected with HIV.Burns JF. 1996. Denial and taboo blind India to the horror of its AIDS scourge. New York Times, 22 September: A1.]

Future predictions

It has been estimated by the economists that the domestic political scene will be dominated by the upcoming general election, which is due to be held by May 2009 but might be held sooner. The increasing importance of regional parties will ensure that the next government will again be a coalition government, likely to be led by either the current ruling party (Indian National Congress) or by the main opposition (Bharatiya Janata Party). A governing alliance of regional and left-wing parties could also be a possibility.cite web | url=|title=Economic data|publisher=Country Data, An economist group business|accessdate=2007-10-18] The Reserve Bank of India (RBI, the central bank) is most likely to maintain a bias towards monetary tightening during the remainder of 2007 in order to keep inflation under control. Monetary policy will move to a more neutral orientation in 2008 to 2012, provided that the wholesale price inflation remains within the RBI's medium-term target range of 4 to 4.5%.

The government will remain committed to increased spending on public facilities such as health, education and rural welfare projects in a bid to improve living standards outside the country's fast-growing urban localities. Also, the strong economic growth will increase tax revenue, allowing the government to continue to reduce the budget deficit. The real GDP growth (on an expenditure basis) is forecast to slow from 9.4% in fiscal year 2006/2007 (from April to March) to an annual average of 7.7% in 2007/2008 to 2012/2013. Information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITES) output will grow rapidly in the upcoming period, owing to India's cost advantages in these sectors. The strength of the Indian rupee against the US dollar will mitigate inflationary pressures by limiting import-led price rises. However, strong domestic demand, together with supply-side bottlenecks, will keep consumer price inflation at an average of nearly 5.1% a year in 2008 to 2012. For the years 2008-2010, India, is the second largest destination for Foreign Direct Investment, after China.

External links

* [,,contentMDK:21002801~menuPK:2792475~pagePK:64156158~piPK:64152884~theSitePK:461198,00.html India and the Knowledge Economy] - a World Bank Institute report.
* [ Finance Ministry of India]
* [ Economy of India]
* [ India in Business] - Official website for Investment and Trade in India
* [ Taxation]
* [ Reserve Bank of India's database on the Indian economy]
* [ India Brand Equity Foundation]
* [ Ernst & Young 2006 report on doing Business in India]
* [ Department of Public Enterprises]
* [ Chindia: The next Decade] Senior Business Week writer Pete Engardio, credited for having made the Chindia neologism famous, compares the rise of both China and India in this online video conference. (video)
* [ India Economy Watch - search engine]
* [ CIA - The World Factbook -- India]
* [ Cheers! India is now a trillion dollar economy] by Venkatesan Vembu, Daily News & Analysis
* [ Gross Domestic Product Growth - India]
* [ Annual Inflation Rate - India]
* [ Software on Indian Taxes] Taxation software for all Indian Tax Needs


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