ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Some Observations on Economic Growth in India over the Period 1952-53 to 1982-83

Some Observations on Economic Growth in India over the Period 1952-53 to 1982-83 K N Raj THERE is a presumption in some of the recent discussions on Indian development experience that the rate of growth of output (i e, of gross domestic product) has decelerated since the middle of the 1960s; and that, since the rate of domestic investment has evidently gone up significantly over the last decade, incremental capital-output ratios have not only risen sharply but that this reflects increasingly wasteful and inefficient resource use in the economy. From this follow a variety of other generalisations and policy inferences, both economic and political. The proceedings of the MIT Conference on the 'Political Economy of Slow Industrial Growth in India', sponsored by the Social Science Research Council of the United States, provide rich examples,1 The deceleration hypotheses had their origin around the middle of the 1970s based mainly on data covering the preceding decade.2 However, even before the end of the 1970s, enough evidence had begun to emerge for questioning the presumption.3 Data subsequently available for the entire period covering the last three decades4 make it possible now to secure a broader perspective of the pattern of growth and fluctuation in the economy and to replace the earlier supposition on deceleration with more plausible hypotheses consistent with even the possibility of some improvement in the overall growth rate (and in the rate of industrial growth) since the middle of the 1970s.

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