Prime Driving Force for Indian Economy
After Independence a debate rose among Political leaders, about sector that will lead the process of development. What should be the Prime moving force for economy- Agriculture or Industry? There were different Pros and cons of choosing both of them and hence it was difficult to draw a consensus
Many preferred agriculture as an obvious choice because of availability of land and labour. We had huge workforce which could be utilized in agricultural activities. Also other natural resources were available in surplus. But choosing agriculture had its own drawbacks, agriculture was considered backward step, and other countries were not open to idea of agriculture as growth drivers. We had not technology or modern techniques to drive growth of agriculture. In long run this would bring no benefits or growth. Also as other countries were using high quality of agricultural products, countries would not prefer Indian products. Also we had no modern means of transportation and infrastructure base to ensure exports smoothly.
By only organizing our land ownership, irrigation and other inputs to agriculture India could have gone for better prospects of development.
At the time of independence India had no presence in infrastructure sector like Power, transmission etc to help in growth of Industries. There were only few core industries for iron steel crude oil etc. It would affect the development of newer industries .India was a poor and illiterate nation. It lacked the capital or skilled workforce to build those industries. Also people had no income to buy the goods and services that will be provided by those industries. Above all we had no technology or any expertise to build and sustain those industries. But the World Bank and IMF were supporting countries to industrialise and grow. Even developed countries were supporting countries for their growth.
Second World War highlighted importance of industries and defence. Also we needed to build industrial expertise to support agriculture.
The leaders chose Industry as the growth driver for Indian economy. It was already decided group of the nationalist leader’s way back in the mid-1930s when they felt the need for economic planning in India before setting up the National Planning Committee (1938). It was only in the 1990s that the world and the WB/IMF changed its opinion regarding agriculture sector—and emphasis on this sector by an economy was no more considered a sign of backwardness.
And in 2002 in 10th Five year Plan, Government decided that agriculture will be the prime moving force for Indian economy. This was an historic and major change in development agenda. The major reason for such a shift was to alleviate poverty and to achieve food security by increasing agricultural production.