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.

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.

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