Current Affairs

Industrial Policy during British Raj – Scope and Relevance of Indian Industrial Policies


Industrial Policy in its broad sense refers to the philosophy and principles of industrial development framework visualised by the government. It shapes industrial structure of the country and covers procedures, rules and regulations governing location, size, ownership and management of different types of industries. It also contains roles of public and private sector including foreign capital and relevant aspects of fiscal, monetary and labour policies. In brief, industrial policy reflects concrete decisions of the government a to the way in which it and plans to regulate and develop industries. The relevance of clearly stated industrial policy self evident policy, industrialstructure and growth will be lopsided and random walking.
The policy enables present and prospective industrialists to plan their investments. As India has been following planned development through Five Year Plans, industrial policies form components
of the overall development plan of the country. Before we examine important Industrial Policies, let us note their objectives. As lndia has been following planned development under Five Year Plans frame, industrial policies were tailored to achieve goals of planning. Therefore, the main objectives of industrial policies are achieving rapid growth, social justice and self reliance through industrialisation.
You are aware that Britishers ruled India indirectly (through East India Company) and directly for 2 centuries -1750s to 1950s During their rule, virtually there was no industrial policy except laissez faire policy. The British Government made India a colony to sub serve the interests of Britain through procuring cheap raw materials from India and dumping of machine made cheap products in the Indian markets. They killed flourishing cottage, rural, handicrafts and small scale industries. It is worth to remember that before the present European countries got industrialised, India was already industrialised. Its industrial products were in great demand and India was famous for her exports. With the entry of Britishers, a process of de industrialisation began. 

After killing the flourishing cottage and small industries, they did not take interest in setting up modern industries. Their aim was to export raw materials from India and facilitate import of British manufactures. It was only under great pressure, the British government was forced to permit establishment ofsome consumer goods industries and mining from 1850s. India is, thus, a century behind in re-industrialisation or modern industrialisation. Notice that England was the first country to get industrialised among the world countries in the 1750s. Further even though in India some large industries were set up from the 1850s, none of them belonged tobasic and core industry group, barring TISCO. This was the main reason for the slow growth rate of 1.2% of GDP and 2% growth rate of industry during 1900-47

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