IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Political Economy of Decline of Industry in West Bengal: Experiences of a Marxist State Within a Mixed Economy


  • Subhash C. Ray

    (University of Connecticut)


Over more than six decades following Independence, industry in West Bengal has steadily gone downhill. Usually the Left Front government effectively controlled by the Marxist Communist Party (CPM), that has ruled the state for the past 34 years until its recent defeat in the state assembly elections, is held responsible for the plight of industry in the state. The party and its followers, on the other hand, blame denial of the due share of the state in the central resources by a hostile government at the center for industrial retardation. This paper takes a close look at the available statistical evidence to argue that the main reason for the decline is a direct outcome of poor work culture, political interference, and failure of governance that has resulted in industrial anarchy that scares off private investment in the state. While the Left Front has its share of responsibility, the newly anointed Chief Minister of the State, Mamata Banerjee, has herself contributed generously to fostering and cultivating this chaos by calling wildcat general strikes in her erstwhile role as the ‘one person opposition party’. The only thing that can revive industry in West Bengal is liberating civil administration from the grip of political party bosses.

Suggested Citation

  • Subhash C. Ray, 2011. "The Political Economy of Decline of Industry in West Bengal: Experiences of a Marxist State Within a Mixed Economy," Working papers 2011-10, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2011-10

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no


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

    Cited by:

    1. Subhash C. Ray & Abhiman Das & Kankana Mukherjee, 2017. "Labor-Cost Efficiency with Indivisible Outputs and Inputs: A Study of Indian Bank Branches," Working papers 2017-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Center-State Relationship; Trade Unions; Governance;

    JEL classification:

    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:uct:uconnp:2011-10. 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: (Mark McConnel). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.