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Salient Features: Economy transformed from primarily agriculture, forestry, fishing, and textile manufacturing in 1947 to major heavy industry, transportation, and telecom-munications industries by late 1970s. Central government planning 1950 through late 1970s giving way to economic reforms and more private-sector initiatives in 1980s and 1990s. Agriculture predominates and benefits from infusion of modern technology by government. World Bank Group and developed nations provide most aid; Japan largest donor. Major trade partners United States, Japan, European Union, and nations belonging to Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC--see Glossary).

Currency and Exchange Rate: Rupee; US$1 = Rs35.67 (July 1996).

Fiscal Year (FY): April 1-March 31.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Rs36.7 trillion (nearly US$1.2 trillion) in 1994 (estimated). GDP annual average growth rate 3.8 percent in 1994.

Foreign Trade: Principal export trade with European Union, United States, and Japan. Main commodities agricultural and allied products, gems and jewelry, and ready-made garments. Iron ore, minerals, and leather and leather products also important. Exports 7.7 percent of GDP in FY 1992. Principal import trade with European Union, United States, and Japan. Major imports (28 percent of total) oil products from Middle East. Other major imports chemicals, dyes, plastics, pharmaceuticals, uncut precious stones, iron and steel, fertilizers, nonferrous metals, and pulp paper and paper products. Imports 9.3 percent of GDP in FY 1992.

Balance of Payments: Negative trade balance in late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1993 estimated exports US$22.7 billion versus US$23.9 billion imports.

Foreign Aid: Most aid provided by Aid-to-India Consortium, consisting of World Bank Group and Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and United States. Japan largest aid granter and lender; US$337 million grants between 1984 and 1993, US$2.4 billion loans in same period. Indian aid program to Bhutan and Nepal; smaller programs assist Bangladesh and Vietnam.

Industry: Increasing share (27.4 percent in FY 1991) of GDP, but employed only about 9 percent of the work force in 1991. Basic industries: textiles, steel and aluminum, fertilizers and petrochemicals, and electronics and motor vehicles.

Energy: India importer of petroleum and natural gas but has abundant coal, hydroelectric power (especially in parts of North India), and burgeoning nuclear power industry.

Minerals: Less than 2 percent share of GDP in FY 1990 and 1 percent of labor force involved in mining and quarrying in 1991. Basic minerals: iron, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, mica, uranium ore, rare earths.

Services: Some 39.8 percent of GDP in FY 1991, then employing about 13 percent of work force. Large and diverse transportation system.

Agriculture: Declining share (32.8 percent) of GDP but employed majority of workers (67 percent of total labor force) in FY 1991. Around 45 percent (136 million hectares) of total land cultivated, 27 percent double cropped, effectively giving India 173 million hectares of cultivated land. Another 5 percent (15 million hectares) permanent pastureland or planted in tree crops or groves. Farming by smallholders; large landholders divested in 1970s. Rice, wheat, pulses, and oilseeds dominate production, but millet, corn (maize), and sorghum important; commercial crops--sugar (India world's largest producer), cotton, jute also important. Green Revolution technological advances and improved high-yielding variety seeds, and increased fertilizer production and irrigation between mid-1960s and early 1980s. Dairy farming, fishing, and forestry important parts of agricultural sector. Agricultural products around 18 percent of total exports.

Science and Technology: Major government investment (80 percent of total) in and control of science and technology sector; 200 national laboratories, 200 government-sector research and development institutions, and about 1,000 research and development units in industrial sector supported by both public and private funds. Substantial investments in research and development in defense, nuclear science, space, and agriculture.

Data as of September 1995

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India Table of Contents