IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cbr/cbrwps/wp376.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Past, Present and Future of Industrial Policy in India: Adapting to the Changing Domestic and International Environment

Author

Listed:
  • Ajit Singh

Abstract

In the post-World War II period India was probably the first non-communist developing country to have instituted a full-fledged industrial policy. The purpose of the policy was to co-ordinate investment decisions both in the public and the private sectors and to seize the 'commanding heights' of the economy by bringing certain strategic industries and firms under public ownership. This classical state-directed industrialisation model held sway for three decades, from 1950-1980. The model began to erode in the 1980s. Following a serious external liquidity crisis in 1991 the model was fundamentally changed. Indian industrial policy in the period 1950 to 1980, as embodied in its five-year plans, has long been the subject of intense criticism from the powerful neo-liberal critics of the country's development. In their view it was the change away from India's traditional industrial policy in 1991 towards liberalisation, de-regulation, and market orientation that ushered in a new era of faster economic growth. This paper takes a wide view of industrial policy, emphasising the government's continuing co-ordinating role in various spheres. It regards the institution of the Planning Commission as a major benefit for the country particularly as its role in formulating industrial policy in the narrow sense and in guiding India's ongoing industrial revolution in the broader sense is still widely accepted by the mainstream political parties of the left and the right (for example, Bhartiya Janata Party, Indian People's Party). The paper suggests that industrial policy and planned economic development did not come to an end with the deregulation of India's traditional investment regime in the 1980s and 1990s. Industrial policy has continued in a different form during the period, facing an agenda of new issues and an updating of older ones. The analysis of this paper suggests that today a central challenge for the Planning Commission is to exploit India's lead in ICT and its `institutional surplus' (democracy, common law legal heritage) to raise the current 8 per cent trend rate of growth to double-digit numbers while maintaining equitable distribution of the fruits of economic progress. To do so, India requires a somewhat different industrial policy than that pursued in the Nehru-Mahalanobis era, or that has been followed since then.

Suggested Citation

  • Ajit Singh, 2008. "The Past, Present and Future of Industrial Policy in India: Adapting to the Changing Domestic and International Environment," Working Papers wp376, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp376
    Note: PRO-2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/centre-for-business-research/downloads/working-papers/wp376.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 2002. "Is India's Economic Growth Leaving the Poor Behind?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 89-108, Summer.
    2. Mario Cimoli & Giovanni Dosi & Richard R. Nelson & Joseph Stiglitz, 2006. "Institutions and Policies Shaping Industrial Development: An Introductory Note," LEM Papers Series 2006/02, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Ahluwalia, Montek Singh, 1986. "Balance-of-payments adjustment in India, 1970-1971 to 1983-1984," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(8), pages 937-962, August.
    4. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "From "Hindu Growth" to Productivity Surge: The Mystery of the Indian Growth Transition," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(2), pages 193-228, September.
    5. Dasgupta, Sukti & Singh, Ajit, 2006. "Manufacturing, Services and Premature Deindustrialization in Developing Countries: A Kaldorian Analysis," WIDER Working Paper Series 049, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1999. "When is growth pro-poor? Evidence from the diverse experiences of India's states," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2263, The World Bank.
    7. Poonam Gupta & James P. F. Gordon, 2004. "Understanding India’s Services Revolution," IMF Working Papers 04/171, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Ajit Singh & Sukti Dasgupta, 2005. "Will services be the new engine of economic growth in India?," Working Papers wp310, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    9. Montek S. Ahluwalia, 2002. "Economic Reforms in India Since 1991: Has Gradualism Worked?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 67-88, Summer.
    10. repec:taf:rrpaxx:v:8:y:2003:i:1:p:1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Dasgupta, Sukti & Singh, Ajit, 2006. "Manufacturing, Services and Premature Deindustrialization in Developing Countries: A Kaldorian Analysis," WIDER Working Paper Series 049, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. David Bailey & Helena Lenihan & Ajit Singh, 2009. "Lessons for African Economies from Irish and East Asian Industrial Policy," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 357-382, December.
    3. Sukti Dasgupta & Ajit Singh, 2006. "Manufacturing, Services and Premature De-Industrialisation in Developing Countries: A Kaldorian Empirical Analysis," Working Papers wp327, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Indian Planning Commission and industrial policy; institutional surplus; ICT;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp376. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ruth Newman and Georgie Cohen). General contact details of provider: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.