Indian Economic Policy and Development

Indian Economic Policy and Development

Indian Economic Policy and Development

Indian Economic Policy and Development

Excerpt

This book examines and analyses the main elements of Indian economic policy, and its major social, political and economic implications. As these cannot be assessed without some knowledge of certain features of the social and economic landscape of the country, the most relevant of these aspects are also reviewed.

The main argument of the book, in its analysis of the main elements of policy and in its suggestions for alternative policies, differs greatly from some of the most widely held opinions both in India and the West. It can therefore be expected to meet with much criticism. It may conduce to worth-while critical discussion if the scope, objectives and limitations of the book are clearly stated at the outset.

First, this is primarily an essay on the economic situation in India and on Indian economic policy, and not a treatise on the Indian economy, nor a detailed plan for future policy. This limitation of the scope of the book affects primarily the presentation of statistics and discussion of policy. The former are largely drawn from official publications, and their sources will be indicated. But their underlying bases, provenance and short- comings are not discussed in such detail as they would be in a treatise or in an article in a technical journal; in themselves, these limitations do not mean that the treatment is necessarily superficial. The discussion of policy is largely an examination of current government policies and specific measures. The alternatives which I would favour are indicated, without being developed into detailed programmes or illustrated by quantitative estimates. This approach invites the criticism that the treatment is destructive and thus unhelpful. Such a criticism is misplaced. An essay can be constructive even if it is mainly critical, provided that the criticism is valid.

Second, it is recognized throughout the book that although technical economic reasoning is relevant, assessment of wide issues of policy is not possible on this basis alone, but must take into account the effects of alternative policies on the total situation, bearing in mind institutions and social attitudes, as well as political and administrative possibilities. Further, assessment . . .

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