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Economic Reforms in India- History and Trends

Posted in Finance Articles, Total Reads: 3255 , Published on January 04, 2017

The year 1991 will be recalled as a watershed in the economic history of India when major economic reforms were introduced. The liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG) were the three pedestals of reforms. The motive of liberalization was to liberate the economy from the shackles of licence-raj which was putting a drag on the potential of economic growth. Before 1991, the government had apparently limitless control over every factor of economic activity. Privatization called for the disinvestment of the loss making public sector enterprises which were a burden on exchequer.

Globalization tried to integrate the Indian domestic market with the global market which infused the competition in the market to remove the element of complacency from Indian producers. The major impact of the economic reforms on various dimensions of the economy is as under.

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Economic Growth

In the year 1991, the Indian economy was truly in shambles on account of which five year arrangements were suspended for a long time and rather two yearly arranges were propelled between 1990-92. The Eighth Five Year Plan which was the main arrangement in the improved economy timed the 6.78% GDP development which was most astounding in the post-freedom economy. In the pre-change period, Indian monetary development was wryly called as Hindu Rate of development as it stayed between 3-5% taking a piece of information from the Hindu philosophy of 'satisfaction is joy’ (santosham param sukham).

Be that as it may, the most noteworthy benchmark of monetary development in pre-change time turns into the least benchmark of development in post change period. Post 1991, economy saw the New Hindu Growth Rate of 8.1%, and 8.0% in the tenth and eleventh five year arranges separately. In 2015-16, notwithstanding a worldwide log jam, the monetary development is evaluated to stay around 7.5% which was a fantasy before 1991.


The auxiliary and tertiary part of the economy increased most from the financial changes. Before changes, expansive and overwhelming commercial enterprises under government control, focal arranging were viewed as key for advancement. Unbending value controls and limitations on private speculations were smothering the economy. Taking after the monetary changes, the Monopolies and Restricted Trade Practices (MRTP) Act was deregulated and supplanted by Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Quantities of exercises held for people in general area endeavors (PSE) were lessened, permit necessity was wiped out for a few businesses and remote speculation confinements were deregulated. These variables lead to the development of industry and administrations. The development in administration division was more purported as Indian IT capacities were recognized around the world.


Foreign Trade

Remote Trade is a standout amongst the most huge determinants of financial advancement in a nation. Globalization had coordinated the Indian business sector with the worldwide business sector and its influence is seen in the expansion in offer of India on the planet exchange. Outside exchange changes presented in 1991 were as under –

• Defense of conversion scale approach.

• Liberalization of imports.

• Impetus to exporters.

• Improvement of procedural customs and encouraging of straightforwardness.

In 1991, offer if Indian fares on the planet fares was 0.5% which rose to 1.25% by the year 2010 and to 2% in 2015. The Foreign Trade Policy of 2015-20 further plans to build this offer to 3.5% by 2020.


The most vital aftermath of the financial changes was that it was revolved around modern and administration part just leaving aside the agribusiness segment which gave the subsistence to more than half of the workforce. In this manner change in farming development could enhance the lives of half of the workforce yet changes neglected to accomplish this. Since the agribusiness stayed pretty much stagnant while assembling and administration division accomplished high rate of development, it prompted the ascent in wage disparities.

Income Inequalities

Rising salary disparities is the most intense weapon in the stockpile of rivals of monetary changes. As effectively expressed, about stagnant development in farming area and high development in others brought about the broadening of pay crevice. In spite of the fact that in outright numbers, neediness is decreased yet at the same time there is still extensive number of individuals living in servile destitution. Disappointment of changes to usher comprehensive development had left poor people and oppressed out of the range of products of development. Without a doubt, a second era of changes is expected to empower the products of changes achieve most powerless segments of the general public.

Human Development

Financial changes in fact succeeded in expelling a significant part of the hardships of Indian economy and succeeded in bringing a lot of capital as outside speculation however fizzled in enhancing the human capital, the most pivotal supporter to the monetary development. In 2015, India positioned at 130th position out of 188 in the Human Development Index (HDI) discharged by United Nations Development Program (UNDP). A beneath fair execution on human improvement front uncovered that financial changes are without empathetic touch.

In spite of the fact that monetary changes succeeded in introducing period of financial development however they are yet to usher monetary advancement. While the development is only expanding the wage of the nation, improvement alludes to enhancing the personal satisfaction. On the off chance that the financial development is dirtying the air we inhale, it can't be called monetary advancement. On the off chance that development is not ready to give moderate wellbeing offices to the general population at the base of the financial stepping stool, changes can't be called as fruitful.


This article has been authored by Ruchi Tallewar from IIM Raipur

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