Noon Lecture: "The Performance of India's Economy since the 1950's" - Basanta K. Pradhan

Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 11:45 AM
CIGI, 57 Erb Street West, Waterloo, Canada
Aug 27


In its early years, India was left behind as one of the world's poorest countries in large part due to the ‘license-permit raj’ stemming from its colonial past, causing India to stagnate at about 3.5 percent of GDP growth from 1951-1981. Due to the gradual opening up of the economy in the 1980s, the growth performance improved to about 5 per cent. The growth rate rose further thanks to the big bang liberalization post 1990, leading to a 9 per cent growth trajectory post 2004, which continued till the global recession pulled down the economy in mid 2008. Still, many suggest that the Indian economy will bounce back to the 9 per cent range by 2011.

Despite this dramatic turn around in terms of economic growth in recent period, India continues to face several major problems. The economic inequality has widened in this phase of high growth. Even though poverty has gone down considerably relatively, approximately 80% of Indians still live on less than US$2 per day. Perhaps the solution lies in an emphasis on both ‘sustainable growth’ as well as ‘inclusive growth’. It may be impossible to sustain India’s high growth trajectory without inclusiveness.


Dr Basanta K Pradhan is a Professor at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. He is currently heading the Development Planning Centre at the Institute. He is part of two teams – one provides annual and five yearly macroeconomic forecasts to the Planning Commission of India and the other publishes monthly macroeconomic forecasts in a newsletter. He has led large research projects such as ‘Micro impact of Macro policies in India’, ‘Socio-economic impact of HIV and AIDS’. His interests are mainly in the area of ‘inclusive growth’ with particular focus on the Indian economy. He has built SAM and CGE models to analyze various developmental issues in India like federal fiscal transfers, income distribution and poverty, macroeconomic impact of HIV and AIDS, human capital formation and economic growth etc. He has a few books, published reports and academic journal papers to his credit. Some of his works are widely cited.

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