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The economy of India is the twelfth largest economy in the world by market exchange rates and the fourth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). In the 1990s, following economic reform from the socialist-inspired economy of post-independence India, the country began to experience rapid economic growth, as markets opened for international competition and investment. In the 21st century, India is an emerging economic power with vast human and natural resources, and a huge knowledge base. Economists predict that by 2020, India will be among the leading economies of the world.|
India was under social democratic-based policies from 1947 to 1991. The economy was characterised by extensive regulation, protectionism, and public ownership, leading to pervasive corruption and slow growth. Since 1991, continuing economic liberalisation has moved the economy towards a market-based system. A revival of economic reforms and better economic policy in 2000s accelerated India's economic growth rate. By 2008, India had established itself as the world's second-fastest growing major economy. However, the year 2009 saw a significant slowdown in India's official GDP growth rate to 6.1% as well as the return of a large projected fiscal deficit of 10.3% of GDP which would be among the highest in the world.
India's large service industry accounts for 54% of the country's GDP while the industrial and agricultural sector contribute 29% and 17% respectively. Agriculture is the predominant occupation in India, accounting for about 60% of employment. The service sector makes up a further 28%, and industrial sector around 12%. The labor force totals half a billion workers. Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes, cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry and fish. Major industries include textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, information technology enabled services and software.
India's per capita income (nominal) is $1070, ranked 142th in the world, while its per capita (PPP) of US$2,900 is ranked 129th. Previously a closed economy, India's trade has grown fast. India currently accounts for 1.5% of World trade as of 2007 according to the WTO. According to the World Trade Statistics of the WTO in 2006, India's total merchandise trade (counting exports and imports) was valued at $294 billion in 2006 and India's services trade inclusive of export and import was $143 billion. Thus, India's global economic engagement in 2006 covering both merchandise and services trade was of the order of $437 billion, up by a record 72% from a level of $253 billion in 2004. India's trade has reached a still relatively moderate share 24% of GDP in 2006, up from 6% in 1985.
Despite robust economic growth, India continues to face many major problems. The recent economic development has widened the economic inequality across the country. Despite sustained high economic growth rate, approximately 80% of its population lives on less than $2 a day (nominal), more than double the same poverty rate in China. Even though the arrival of Green Revolution brought end to famines in India, 40% of children under the age of three are underweight and a third of all men and women suffer from chronic energy deficiency.