Markets, Growth and Social Opportunity
Since 1991, there has been an acceleration of economic growth accompanied by a widening of the range of consumer goods produced, together with improvement in the quality of services available. Furthermore, the economy has passed through the longest period since 1947 without facing balance-of-payments stress. However, not all sectors of the economy have shown the same dynamism, with the performance of agriculture actually becoming a cause for concern. The unequal distribution of social opportunity has meant that this shortcoming has left a significant section of the population in a low-income trap. What underlies this outcome is examined and what is needed to correct the imbalance is proposed.
This article originated in a paper written for the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. I am grateful to Rajeev Kumar, its then director, for the invitation to write it and for arranging for four anonymous reviews of the same. Subsequently, it was presented as the fi rst of three lectures on India’s economy delivered at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla in June 2016 at the invitation of its director, Chetan Singh. Any errors would be my responsibility.
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