India Economic Snapshot

Economic Forecast Summary (November 2019)

28 February 2017 - Economic Survey of India

The pace of reform is quite remarkable given the complexity of the federal structure of government and the diversity in terms of culture, languages, geography and level of development across the country. Growth has also become more inclusive as about 140 million people have been taken out of poverty in less than 10 years. India has relied on large welfare programmes including price-support for food, energy and fertilisers and has the world’s largest programme guaranteeing the “right to work” in rural areas. The on-going reform of these schemes towards better targeting of those in need, reducing administrative costs and corruption, and supporting financial inclusion could serve as best practice for many emerging economies. However, many Indians still lack access to core public services, such as electricity and sanitation. Public spending on health care, at slightly more than 1% of GDP, is low. Although almost all children have access to primary education, the quality is uneven. Female labour force participation remains low. However, some other indicators of gender equality have improved, such as female life expectancy at birth (which is now greater than that of men) and participation in education. Deprivation is pronounced in rural areas and urban slums although some states have performed better to reduce poverty.