ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Economy of West Bengal

Even after 30 years of Left Front rule in West Bengal, the state has lagged behind in a few economic indicators, this, despite better performance in agriculture. Agricultural growth rates have however declined in the last decade or so, the reasons for which have been elaborated upon. A gradual movement towards unorganised labour has characterised working patterns in the state and the phenomenon is studied, along with the conditions of living. In this context, the new economic policy of the Left Front government is critiqued. It is suggested that a policy that favours inclusive growth with greater emphasis on small enterprises should be followed by the government if it wants to sustain the gains made and address the shortcomings in the state.

An earlier version of this paper was presented in the seminar India Rising, held in Turin University, Italy (8-10 November 2007). Thanks are due to the participants of the seminar for helpful comments on the earlier draft. I am grateful to Abira Roy for able research assistance. The usual disclaimers apply.

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