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Features of Indian Economy

(a) Indian economy is basically an agricultural economy. More than 60% of the population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities. (b) Low per capita income is the second feature of Indian economy. It is one of the lowest in the world. (c) The occupational structure has not been changed during the last 100 years. In 1950-51 about 73% of the workers were engaged in primary activities, 11% in secondary and 16% in tertiary activities. In 1999-2000 the share of different sectors in employment amounted to 60%, 17% and 23% respectively. (d) Inequality of income and wealth is other important feature of Indian economy. In India the main resources are concentrated in the hands of the few people. 40% of the total assets is concentrated in the hands of top 20 percent people. (e) There has been remarkable improvement in social sectors such as education, health, housing, water supply, civic amenities etc. (f) Planning process is also an important feature. As the government has adopted planned developmental economy. Five years plans are framed for economic development.

Broad features of indian economy

1. Indian economy broad features 2. EmploymentEmployment in the nonagricultural sector grew 2.5% annually, while the number of enterprises engaged in services and manufacturing grew 4.8% a year during 1998-2005. On an average, the 42.12 million Indian enterprises, ranging from kirana stores to small-scale units and large factories, employed only 2.35 workers. In fact, only 1.4% or 583,000 enterprises had over 10 workers. The trend shows that enterprises are clearly focussing more on capital as a means of production and are paying lesser attention to job creation, while trying to maximise profits. 3. Employment By 2015, almost all new entrants in the global work force will come from developing countries, like India, according to a ILO report , widening gap between unprecedented opportunities for some and growing uncertainty for many. Noting that hundreds of millions of new jobs will be needed over the next decade, India will have to create on average more than 43 million new jobs each year to reduce its unemployment, which is at its highest level-at 192 million people in 2005, up from 157 million in 1995..

4. PovertyWealth distribution in India, a developing country, is fairly uneven, with the top 10% of income groups earning 33% of the income.While poverty in India has reduced significantly, 17.59% (over 230 million) of Indians still live below the national poverty line. Since the early 1950s, successive governments have implemented various schemes, under planning, to alleviate poverty, that have met with partial success. All these programmes have relied upon the strategies of the Food for work programme and National Rural Employment Programme of the 1980s, which attempted to use the unemployed to generate productive assets and build rural infrastructure. 5. PovertyIn August 2005, the Indian parliament passed the Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, the largest programme of this type in terms of cost and coverage, which promises 100 days of minimum wage employment to every rural household in 200 of India's 600 districts. The question of whether economic reforms have reduced poverty or not has fuelled debates without generating any clear cut answers and has also put political pressure on further economic reforms, especially those involving the downsizing of labour and cutting agricultural subsidies. 6. InvestmentsThe Ernst & Young European Attractiveness Survey 2006 has placed India as the most preferred location for call centres and back office functions. India also figured at number five among the top 10 countries for research and development centres. It was placed after US/Canada, Germany, the UK and France. India has one of the highest exposures to FII inflows among other emerging economies. While in India, FIIs formed nearly 70% of foreign investment (FDI plus net portfolio equity flows) flow, in China and Brazil the percentage was 26% and 30%, respectively, for 05. 7. InvestmentsIndian corporates borrowed around $4.25 billion during March via ECB/FCCB route. In the preceding month (February) the corporates had borrowed $2.025 billion. 8. Infrastructure PowerSince independence, India has allocated nearly half of the total outlay of the five-year plans for infrastructural development. Development of infrastructure was completely in the hands of the public sector and was plagued by corruption, bureaucratic inefficiencies, urban-bias and an inability to scale investment.India's low spending on power, construction, transportation, telecommunications and real estate, at $31 billion or 6% of GDP in 2002 had prevented India from sustaining higher growth rates. This had prompted the government to partially open up infrastructure to the private sector allowing foreign investment which has helped in a sustained growth rate of close to 9% for the past six quarters. 9. Telecom sectorIndia holds second position in the world in roadways' construction, more than twice that of ChinaAs of 15 January2007, there were 2.10 million broadband lines in India. Low tele-density is the major hurdle for slow pickup in broadband services. Over 76% of the broadband lines were via DSL and the rest via cable modems. 10. PowerUnion Power Ministry has formed a group that will work towards ensuring that India can hit the target of adding a capacity of 75,000 mw during 2007-12, the 11th Plan period. The

Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources is working out a comprehensive renewable energy policy The Ministry, in fact, hopes to add around 1,00,000 MW capacity from renewable sources by 2050. Currently, 7,200 MW installed capacity of power generation from renewable sources constitute 6 per cent of the entire power generating installed capacity in the country. The Ministry's activities cover all major renewable energy sources such as biogas, biomass, solar energy, wind energy, small hydropower and the other emerging technologies

11. AgricultureRural India has outperformed urban India in the number of enterprises it houses. Over 61% of the enterprises engaged in economic activities other than crop production and plantation are in rural India compared with just 38.7% in urban areas, according to the provisional figures of the Fifth Economic Census.Government has dropped the idea of paying fertilizer subsidy directly to the farmers. The subsidy is now routed through the producing companies. The idea has been dropped as it has been found to be unimplementable 12. AgricultureIndia ranks second worldwide in farm output.Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 18.6% of the GDP in 2005, employed 60% of the total workforce and despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, is still the largest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic development of India. Yields per unit area of all crops have grown since 1950, due to the special emphasis placed on agriculture in the five-year plans and steady improvements in irrigation, technology, application of modern agricultural practices and provision of agricultural credit and subsidies since the green revolution. 13. AgricultureHowever, international comparisons reveal that the average yield in India is generally 30% to 50% of the highest average yield in the worldThe low productivity in India is a result of the following factors:Illiteracy, general socio-economic backwardness, slow progress in implementing land reforms and inadequate or inefficient finance and marketing services for farm produce. The average size of land holdings is very small (less than 20,000 m) and is subject to fragmentation, due to land ceiling acts and in some cases, family disputes. Such small holdings are often over-manned, resulting in disguised unemployment and low productivity of labour. 14. AgricultureAdoption of modern agricultural practices and use of technology is inadequate, hampered by ignorance of such practices, high costs and impracticality in the case of small land holdings. Irrigation facilities are inadequate, as revealed by the fact that only 53.6% of the land was irrigated in 200001, which result in farmers still being dependent on rainfall, specifically the Monsoon season. A good monsoon results in a robust growth for the economy as a whole, while a poor monsoon leads to a sluggish growth. Farm credit is regulated by NABARD, which is the statutory apex agent for rural development in the subcontinent. 15. Financial SectorRBI has said 77% of the net annual foreign capital inflow into the country was volatile for the year 05-06. This is the first time that the central bank has defined what it means by volatility in foreign capital flows with respect to India Recent downslide in the stock

market has once again exposed Indias over-dependence on portfolio flows, global equity research major Morgan Stanley said in its latest report on the countrys capital market. Finance Ministry and RBI to provide 2.5% interest subsidy to regional rural banks (RRBs) and 4.5% to cooperative banks for short-term loans to farmers. This is apart from similar 2% subsidy proposed to PSBs for loans up to Rs 3 lakh.

16. IndustryIndia is fourteenth in the world in factory output. They together account for 27.6% of the GDP and employ 17% of the total workforce.Economic reforms brought foreign competition, led to privatisation of certain public sector industries, opened up sectors hitherto reserved for the public sector and led to an expansion in the production of fast-moving consumer goods. 17. ServicesIndia is fifteenth in services output. It provides employment to 23% of work force, and it is growing fast, growth rate 7.5% in 19912000 up from 4.5% in 195180. It has the largest share in the GDP, accounting for 53.8% in 2005 up from 15% in 1950. 18. Services Business services (information technology, information technology enabled services, business process outsourcing) are among the fastest growing sectors contributing to one third of the total output of services in 2000. The growth in the IT sector is attributed to increased specialisation, availability of a large pool of low cost, but highly skilled, educated and fluent English-speaking workers (a legacy of British Colonialism) on the supply side and on the demand side, increased demand from foreign consumers interested in India's service exports or those looking to outsource their operations. India's IT industry, despite contributing significantly to its balance of payments, accounted for only about 1% of the total GDP or 1/50th of the total services. 19. Industry Post-liberalisation, the Indian private sector, which was usually run by oligopolies of old family firms and required political connections to prosper was faced with foreign competition, including the threat of cheaper Chinese imports. It has since handled the change by squeezing costs, revamping management, focusing on designing new products and relying on low labour costs and technology. Six Indian companies have been listed in the Fortune Global 500 list for the year 2006 20. Occupations and unemploymentAgricultural and allied sectors accounted for about 57% of the total workforce in 19992000, down from 60% in 199394. While agriculture has faced stagnation in growth, services have seen a steady growth. Of the total workforce, 8% is in the organised sector, two-thirds of which are in the public sector. The NSSO survey estimated that in 19992000, 106 million, nearly 10% of the population were unemployed and the overall unemployment rate was 7.32%, with rural areas doing marginally better (7.21%) than urban areas (7.65%). 21. Regional imbalanceOne of the critical problems facing India's economy is the sharp and growing regional variations among India's different states and territories in terms of per capita income, poverty, availability of infrastructure and socio-economic development.[71]

22. Regional imbalanceThe five-year plans have attempted to reduce regional disparities by encouraging industrial development in the interior regions, but industries still tend to concentrate around urban areas and port cities.After liberalization, the more advanced states are better placed to benefit from them, with infrastructure like well developed ports, urbanization and an educated and skilled workforce which attract manufacturing and service sectors. The union and state governments of backward regions are trying to reduce the disparities by offering tax holidays, cheap land, etc., and focusing more on sectors like tourism, which although being geographically and historically determined, can become a source of growth and is faster to develop than other sectors. 23. Indian exports in 2005India's exports were stagnant for the first 15 years after independence, due to the predominance of tea, jute and cotton manufactures, demand for which was generally inelastic. Imports in the same period consisted predominantly of machinery, equipment and raw materials, due to nascent industrialisation. Since liberalisation, the value of India's international trade has become more broad-based and has risen to Rs. 63,080,109 crores in 200304 from Rs.1,250 crores in 195051.India's major trading partners are China, the US, the UAE, the UK, Japan and the EU. The exports during August 2006 were $10.3 billion up by 41.14% and import were $13.87 billion with an increase of 32.16% over the previous year . 24. Balance of payments India is a net importer: in 2005, imports were $89.33bn and exports $69.18bn.India's reliance on external assistance and commercial borrowings has decreased since 199192, and since 200203, it has gradually been repaying these debts. Declining interest rates and reduced borrowings decreased India's debt service ratio to 14.1% in 200102, from 35.3% in 199091. 25. Balance of paymentsSince independence, India's balance of payments on its current account has been negative. Since liberalisation in the 1990s (precipitated by a balance of payment crisis), India's exports have been consistently rising, covering 80.3% of its imports in 200203, up from 66.2% in 199091. Although India is still a net importer, since 199697, its overall balance of payments (i.e., including the capital account balance), has been positive, largely on account of increased foreign direct investment and deposits from non-resident Indians; until this time, the overall balance was only occasionally positive on account of external assistance and commercial borrowings. As a result, India's foreign currency reserves stood at $141bn in 200506. Now however the reserves have been sitting at $200 billion which could be used in infrastructural development of the country if used effectively. 26. Balance of paymentsIndia is a net importer: in 2005, imports were $89.33bn and exports $69.18bn.India's reliance on external assistance and commercial borrowings has decreased since 199192, and since 200203, it has gradually been repaying these debts. Declining interest rates and reduced borrowings decreased India's debt service ratio to 14.1% in 200102, from 35.3% in 199091

27. GDPThe GDP of a country is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. It is also considered the sum of value added at every stage of production of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. 28. GDPUntil the 1980s the term GNP or gross national product was used in the United States. The two terms GDP and GNP are almost identical - and yet entirely different; GDP (or GDI Gross Domestic Income) being concerned with the region in which income is generated and GNP (or GNI - Gross National Income) being a measure of the accrual of income to a region. The most common approach to measuring and understanding GDP is the expenditure method:GDP = consumption + investment + (government spending) + (exports imports) 29. GDPGDP per capita is often used as an indicator of standard of living in an economy. While this approach has advantages, many criticisms of GDP focus on its use as a sole indicator of standard of living. 30. Economic growth Economic growth is the increase in value of the goods and services produced by an economy. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product, or GDP. Growth is usually calculated in real terms, i.e. inflation-adjusted terms, in order to net out the effect of inflation on the price of the goods and services produced. In economics, "economic growth" or "economic growth theory" typically refers to growth of potential output, i.e., production at "full employment," which is caused by growth in aggregate demand or observed output. 31. Features of Indian economy India's economy is diverse and encompasses agriculture, handicrafts, textile, manufacturing, and a multitude of services. Although two-thirds of the Indian workforce still earn their livelihood directly or indirectly through agriculture, services are a growing sector and are playing an increasingly important role of India's economy. 32. Features of Indian economy India is a major exporter of highly-skilled workers in software and financial services, and software engineering. Other sectors like manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, biotechnology, nanotechnology, telecommunication, shipbuilding, aviation and tourism are showing strong potential with higher growth rates.India followed a socialist-inspired approach for most of its independent history, with strict government control over private sector participation, foreign trade, and foreign direct investment. However, since the early 1990s, India has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade and investment. The privatisation of publicly owned industries and the opening up of certain sectors to private and foreign interests has proceeded slowly amid political debate. 33. Economic reforms India's low average growth rate from 194780 was derisively referred to as the Hindu rate of growth

34. Indian economic reforms The economic reforms that caused a surge in economic growth after 1980 can be attributed to two stages of reform. The pro-business measures of 1980, initiated by Rajiv Gandhi, eased restrictions on capacity expansion for incumbents, removed price controls and reduced corporate taxes. The economic liberalisation of 1991, initiated by then Indian prime minister P. V. NarasimhaRao and his finance minister Manmohan Singh in response to a balance-of-payments crisis, did away with the Licence Raj (investment, industrial and import licensing) and ended many public monopolies, allowing automatic approval of foreign direct investment in many sectors. 35. State planning and the mixed economyIndia's mixed economy combines features of both capitalist market economy and the socialist command economy, but has shifted more towards the former over the past decade. The public sector generally covers areas which are deemed too important or not profitable enough to leave to the market, including such services as the railways and postal system.Since independence, there have been phases of nationalizing such areas as banking and, more recently, of privatization. 36. Goldman Sachs projectionsGoldman Sachs has predicted that India will become 3rd largest economy of the world by 2035 based on predicted growth rate of 5.3 to 6.1%. Currently It is cruising at 9.4% growth rate.In 1999, Goldman Sachs predicted that India's GDP in current prices will overtake France and Italy by 2020, Germany, UK and Russia by 2025 and Japan by 2035.By 2035 it is expected to reach as 3rd largest economy of the world behind US and China.