|Economy of India
||1 Indian Rupee (INR) (₨) = 100 Paise
||April 1–March 31
||$3.305 trillion (2008 est.)
|GDP per capita
|GDP by sector
||agriculture: 17.8%, industry: 29.4%, services: 52.8% (2007 est.)
||6.4% (CPI) (2007 est)
below poverty line
|27.5% (2008 est.)
||516.4 million (2007 est.)
|agriculture: 60%, industry: 12%, services: 28% (2003)
||7.2% (2007 est.)
||textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software, services
||$163 billion (Financial Year 2007-2008)
||petroleum products, textile goods, gems and jewelry, engineering goods, chemicals, leather manufactures
|Main export partners
||US 15%, the People's Republic of China 8.7%, UAE 8.7%, UK 4.4% (2007)
||$230.5 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
||crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, chemicals
|Main import partners
||the People's Republic of China 10.6%, US 7.8%, Germany 4.4%, Singapore 4.4%
||$149.2 billion (2007)
||$141.2 billion (2007 est.)
||$172.6 billion (2007 est.)
|Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars
The economy of India is the fourth largest in the world, with a GDP of $3 trillion (2007) when measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis.. The country was under socialist-inspired policies for an entire generation from the 1950s until the 1980s. The economy suffered from extensive regulation, protectionism, and public ownership, leading to pervasive corruption and slow growth. Since 1991, continuing economic liberalization has moved the economy towards a market-based system.
Agriculture is the predominant occupation in India, accounting for 60% of employment. The service sector makes up a further 28%, industry around 12%. One estimate is that only one in five job-seekers has had any sort of vocational training. The labor force totals half a billion workers. In terms of output, the agricultural sector accounts for 18% of GDP; the service and industrial sectors make up 54% and 28% respectively. Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes, cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry and fish. Major industries include textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery and software design. India's GDP is $1.089 trillion, which makes it the twelfth-largest economy in the world or fourth largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates. India's nominal per capita income of $977 is ranked 128th in the world. In the late 2000s, India's growth has averaged 7.5% a year, increases which will double the average income within a decade.Unemployment rate is 7.2% (2007 estimate).
Previously a closed economy, India's trade has grown fast. India currently accounts for 1.5% of World trade as of 2007 according to the WTO. According to the World Trade Statistics of the WTO in 2006, India's total merchandise trade (counting exports and imports) was valued at $294 billion in 2006 and India's services trade inclusive of export and import was $143 billion. Thus, India's global economic engagement in 2006 covering both merchandise and services trade was of the order of $437 billion, up by a record 72 percent from a level of $253 billion in 2004. India's trade has reached a still relatively moderate share 24% of GDP in 2006, up from 6% in 1985.
India's recent economic growth has widened economic inequality across the country. Despite sustained high economic growth rate, approximately 80% of its population lives on less than $2 a day (PPP), more than double the same poverty rate in China. Even though the arrival of Green Revolution brought end to famines in India, 40% of children under the age of three are underweight and a third of all men and women suffer from chronic energy deficiency.
India's economic history can be broadly divided into three eras, beginning with the pre-colonial period lasting up to the 17th century. The advent of British colonisation started the colonial period in the 17th century, which ended with independence in 1947. The third period stretches from independence in 1947 until now.
The citizens of the Indus Valley civilisation, a permanent and predominantly urban settlement that flourished between 2800 BC and 1800 BC, practiced agriculture, domesticated animals, used uniform weights and measures, made tools and weapons, and traded with other cities. Evidence of well planned streets, a drainage system and water supply reveals their knowledge of urban planning, which included the world's first urban sanitation systems and the existence of a form of municipal government.
The 1872 census revealed that 99.3% of the population of the region constituting present-day India resided in villages, whose economies were largely isolated and self-sustaining, with agriculture the predominant occupation. This satisfied the food requirements of the village and provided raw materials for hand-based industries, such as textiles, food processing and crafts. Although many kingdoms and rulers issued coins, barter was prevalent. Villages paid a portion of their agricultural produce as revenue to the rulers, while its craftsmen received a part of the crops at harvest time for their services.
Religion, especially Hinduism, and the caste and the joint family systems, played an influential role in shaping economic activities. The caste system functioned much like medieval European guilds, ensuring the division of labour, providing for the training of apprentices and, in some cases, allowing manufacturers to achieve narrow specialization. For instance, in certain regions, producing each variety of cloth was the specialty of a particular sub-caste.
Estimates of the per capita income of India (1857–1900) as per 1948–49 prices.
Textiles such as muslin, Calicos, shawls, and agricultural products such as pepper, cinnamon, opium and indigo were exported to Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia in return for gold and silver.
Assessment of India's pre-colonial economy is mostly qualitative, owing to the lack of quantitative information. One estimate puts the revenue of Akbar's Mughal Empire in 1600 at £17.5 million, in contrast with the total revenue of Great Britain in 1800, which totalled £16 million. India, by the time of the arrival of the British, was a largely traditional agrarian economy with a dominant subsistence sector dependent on primitive technology. It existed alongside a competitively developed network of commerce, manufacturing and credit. After the fall of the Mughals, India was administered by Maratha Empire. The Maratha Empire's budget in 1740s, at its peak, was Rs. 100 million. After the loss at Panipat, the Maratha Empire disintegrated into confederate states of Gwalior, Baroda, Indore, Jhansi, Nagpur, Pune and Kolhapur. Gwalior state had a budget of Rs. 30M. However, at this time, British East India company entered the Indian political theatre. Until 1857, when India was firmly under the British crown, the country remained in a state of political instability due to internecine wars and conflicts.
An aerial view of Calcutta Port taken in 1945. Calcutta
, which was the economic hub of British India, saw increased industrial activity during World War II
Company rule in India brought a major change in the taxation environment from revenue taxes to property taxes resulting in mass impoverishment and destitution of the great majority of farmers, resulting in numerous famines. The economic policies of the British Raj effectively destroyed India's large handicrafts industry and caused a massive drain of India's resources. An estimate by Cambridge University historian Angus Maddison reveals that India's share of the world income fell from 22.6% in 1700, comparable to Europe's share of 23.3%, to a low of 3.8% in 1952. It also created an institutional environment that, on paper, guaranteed property rights among the colonizers, encouraged free trade, and created a single currency with fixed exchange rates, standardized weights and measures, capital markets, a well developed system of railways and telegraphs, a civil service that aimed to be free from political interference, and a common-law, adversarial legal system. India's colonisation by the British coincided with major changes in the world economy—industrialisation, and significant growth in production and trade. However, at the end of colonial rule, India inherited an economy that was one of the poorest in the developing world, with industrial development stalled, agriculture unable to feed a rapidly growing population, one of the world's lowest life expectancies, and low rates of literacy.
The impact of the British rule on India's economy is a controversial topic. While leaders of the Indian independence movement, and left-nationalist economic historians have blamed colonial rule for the dismal state of India's economy in its aftermath, right-wing historians have countered that India's economic performance was due to various sectors being in a state of growth and decline, resulting from changes brought about by colonialism and a world that was moving towards industrialization and economic integration.
 Independence to 1991
Indian economic policy after independence was influenced by the colonial experience (which was seen by Indian leaders as exploitative in nature) and by those leaders' exposure to Fabian socialism. Policy tended towards protectionism, with a strong emphasis on import substitution, industrialization, state intervention in labor and financial markets, a large public sector, business regulation, and central planning. Five-Year Plans of India resembled central planning in the Soviet Union. Steel, mining, machine tools, water, telecommunications, insurance, and electrical plants, among other industries, were effectively nationalized in the mid-1950s. Elaborate licences, regulations and the accompanying red tape, commonly referred to as Licence Raj, were required to set up business in India between 1947 and 1990.
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister, along with the statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, carried on by Indira Gandhi formulated and oversaw economic policy. They expected favorable outcomes from this strategy, because it involved both public and private sectors and was based on direct and indirect state intervention, rather than the more extreme Soviet-style central command system. The policy of concentrating simultaneously on capital- and technology-intensive heavy industry and subsidizing manual, low-skill cottage industries was criticized by economist Milton Friedman, who thought it would waste capital and labour, and retard the development of small manufacturers.
India's low average growth rate from 1947–80 was derisively referred to as the Hindu rate of growth, because of the unfavourable comparison with growth rates in other Asian countries, especially the "East Asian Tigers".
The Rockefeller Foundation's research in high-yielding varieties of seeds, their introduction after 1965 and the increased use of fertilizers and irrigation are known collectively as the Green Revolution, which provided the increase in production needed to make India self-sufficient in food grains, thus improving agriculture in India. Famine in India, once accepted as inevitable, has not returned since the introduction of Green Revolution crops.
 After 1991
In the late 80s, the government led by Rajiv Gandhi eased restrictions on capacity expansion for incumbents, removed price controls and reduced corporate taxes. While this increased the rate of growth, it also led to high fiscal deficits and a worsening current account. The collapse of the Soviet Union, which was India's major trading partner, and the first Gulf War, which caused a spike in oil prices, caused a major balance-of-payments crisis for India, which found itself facing the prospect of defaulting on its loans. India asked for a $1.8 billion bailout loan from IMF, which in return demanded reforms.
In response, Prime Minister Narasimha Rao along with his finance minister Manmohan Singh initiated the economic liberalisation of 1991. The reforms did away with the Licence Raj (investment, industrial and import licensing) and ended many public monopolies, allowing automatic approval of foreign direct investment in many sectors. Since then, the overall direction of liberalisation has remained the same, irrespective of the ruling party, although no party has tried to take on powerful lobbies such as the trade unions and farmers, or contentious issues such as reforming labour laws and reducing agricultural subsidies. Since 1990 India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the developing world; during this period, the economy has grown constantly, but with a few major setbacks. This has been accompanied by increases in life expectancy, literacy rates and food security.
While the credit rating of India was hit by its nuclear tests in 1998, it has been raised to investment level in 2007 by S&P and Moody's. In 2003, Goldman Sachs predicted that India's GDP in current prices will overtake France and Italy by 2020, Germany, UK and Russia by 2025 and Japan by 2035. By 2035, it was projected to be the third largest economy of the world, behind US and China.
 Future predictions
File:IndianEconomicForecast.SVG In the revised 2007 figures, based on increased and sustaining growth, more inflows into foreign direct investment, Goldman Sachs predicts that "from 2007 to 2020, India’s GDP per capita in US$ terms will quadruple", and that the Indian economy will surpass the United States (in US$) by 2043. Despite high growth rate, the report stated that India would continue to remain a low-income country for several decades but can be a "motor for the world economy" if it fulfills its growth potential. Goldman Sachs has outlined 10 things that it needs to do in order to achieve its potential and grow 40 times by 2050. These are 1.improve governance 2.raise educational achievement 3.increase quality and quantity of universities 4.control inflation 5.introduce a credible fiscal policy 6.liberalize financial markets 7.increase trade with neighbours 8.increase agricultural productivity 9.improve infrastructure and 10.improve environmental quality.
Farmers work inside a rice field in Andhra Pradesh
. India is the second largest producer of rice in the world
and Andhra Pradesh is the 3rd largest rice producing state in India.
India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 16.6% of the GDP in 2007, employed 60% of the total workforce 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 Green revolution in India. However, international comparisons reveal that the average yield in India is generally 30% to 50% of the highest average yield in the world.
India is the largest producer in the world of milk, cashew nuts, coconuts, tea, ginger, turmeric and black pepper. It also has the world's largest cattle population (193 million). It is the second largest producer of wheat, rice, sugar, groundnut and inland
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