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India's economy, which for decades was stuck with the so-called Hindu rate of growth around 3 per cent, has hit the 9 per cent mark for the last two consecutive years. Leading economists hold that the growth can be sustained in the coming years if the government can put in place more reforms and implement them. There is no denying the fact that the initiatives taken in the early 1990s continue to bring rich rewards and have enabled India to have the fourth largest GDP in the world in terms of purchasing power. The policy-driven reforms have taken our country from the Third World status to one that plays an important role in defining the fate of the global economy. The country is in the midst of a great transformation, almost epochal in scope. Everything is positive in the economy today manufacturing is resurgent, services going strong, revenue collection buoyant, export jumping 22.9 per cent, foreign investment flows strong, foreign exchange reserves crossing US$ 200 billion and no overheating of the economy. There is a new sense of optimism and a willingness to take risk and think big among the business tycoons. Simply put, Indians can get ready to uncork the bubbly to celebrate unprecedented growth in the coming years.
The rapidly growing economy, however, brings its own share of problems. Agriculture is not keeping pace with the overall buoyancy. The country is experiencing shortages in amenities, infrastructure and essential services. The basic objectives of poverty alleviation, generation of sufficient employment opportunities, and removal of inequalities in income and wealth and disparities in urban and rural societies have not been met. Antiquated labour laws still persist. Transportation, marketing, health care and financial services are still lacking in large parts of our vast country.
The present book, comprising articles contributed by experts in Economics, seeks to suggest the right initiatives to address the core problems of Indian economy. It emphasizes that in the present scenario the policy and reform should focus on areas such as redistribution of the gains of improved economy; expansion of scope and size of revenue flows into the budget to augment expenditure towards social sector; addressal of people issues in mergers and acquisitions; encouraging dryland management in the wake of scanty rainfall in many areas; and employment of structural financing to set up BOT projects, etc. The book aims at acquainting the readers with the present economic scenario in India in its true spirit, and suggests effective measures to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
It is hoped that the book will be found highly useful by the researchers and students of Economics; government executives, parliamentarians and legislators concerned with the formulation and execution of economic policies; and the general readers keen to know in depth the present state of Indian economy and the challenges ahead.
Dr. K.R. Gupta is a well known Economist. He has published over a dozen of books and more than hundred papers in reputed journals, being published in India and abroad. He had been teaching postgraduate classes and guiding research for about two decades in the University of Jammu and Kurukshetra University. He has also worked as an Economist in private as well as in public sector. His last assignment was as Economic Advisor to the Modi Enterprises.