Regional Imbalances and Public Investment in India (1860-1947)
THOUGH the overall development potential of any economy or its region is largely determined by the natural endowments, the pade and intensity of development would, to a great extent, depend on the balanced utilisation of resources through a coordinated development of overhead facilities and directly productive activities. Under the capitalist path of development, especially in the developing countries, the Government is assigned the task of developing the economic infrastructure as a necessary prerequisite for stimulating private entrepreneurial activities towards commercial and industrial grbwth. Though, in the initial stages the British Government in India was primarily concerned with its own strategic and commercial interests, public investment in India in the British period largely determined the locus and course of economic development until recently. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to trace the direction and regional distribution of public investment in the economic overheads and outline its broad impact on the various regions focusing particular attention on the Punjab which was the recipient of a balanced package of public investment in railways and irrigation apart from roads before independence.