Social Scientist. v 7, no. 83 (June 1979) p. 3.


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PRABHAT PATMAIK

Industrial Development in India since Independence

DESPITE the fact that the beginnings of modern industry in India date back to 1854 when the first cotton mill venture was floated, followed by the establishment of the first jute mill in Calcutta the next year, at the time of independence the modern large-scale industry, together with mines, accounted for only 7 percent of the national income compared with the small-scale industry's share of 10 percent, 49 percent of agriculture and 34 percent of the construction and service sector.1 Employment in factories in 1951 was a mere 2.9 millions and in factories and mines together around 3.5 millions which amounted to 2.5 percent of the total work force. In contrast, small enterprises employed as much as 7 percent of the work force, agriculture 71,8 percent, and the construction and service sector, including trade and transport, 18.7 percent.2 Not only was the extent of modern industry limited, there were also major gaps in the industrial structure. Cotton and jute textiles were the two main industries; there was only a sprinkling of other industries like sugar, paper, cement, steel and light consumer goods, some of which benefited from the introduction of ^discriminating protection" under the infant-industries argument in the thirties. Though the exigencies of the war necessitated the implanting of an embryonic engineering and chemicals industrial



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