Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Subroto Roy and William E. James (editors). Foundations of India’s Political Economy: Towards an Agenda for the I 990s. New Delhi: Sage Publications. 1992. 339 pp.Hardbound. Indian Rupees 275.00.
Author: Ziaul Haque

India, with 800 million people, vast land resources, heterogeneous linguistic, cultural, religious, and ethnic groups and caste and class divisions, faces complex and formidable social, economic, and political problems. After experimenting with a mixed and controlled, ‘socialist’ economy for four decades since 1947, in which the public sector played a predominant role, a new strategy of liberalisation and deregulation is being formulated with the aim of integrating Indian economy with the world market. This implies a framework of a liberal market economy with less control and more freedoms. The book under review is the outcome of a large interdisciplinary research project initiated in 1986 and completed in 1990 by Indian and foreign scholars. Divided into the two main sections of politics and economics, the book comprises ten independent but interlinked essays/chapters which discuss some of the longterm socio-economic problems facing India. The recent policy of liberalisation, it is important to note, reflects the urgency and relevance of some of the theses presented in this important book. The removal of unnecessary internal controls, greater stress on the private sector, curtailment of wasteful expenditures, depreciation of the Indian rupee and its freefloating against foreign currencies, and other economic reforms recommended are intended to enhance the comparative advantage of the Indian economy and to make it more competitive in the world market.

Ziaul Haque

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