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Answer in detail: Explain the features of economic policy of 1991. - Economics

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Answer in Brief

Answer in detail:

Explain the features of economic policy of 1991.

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Solution

The following are the features of economic policy in 1991.

  1. Delicensing: Delicensing means abolition 0f government licence required to carry on any business or industrial activity. In India, all industries except 18 specified industries of strategic importance required licence. As per the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India, only the following four industries require compulsory licensing:
    a. Electronic aerospace and defence equipment,
    b. Industrial explosives,
    c. Hazardous chemicals, drugs, and pharmaceuticals,
    d. Cigarettes
  2. Abolition of Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act: According to MRTP Act, it was made compulsory for large industrial units. take the approval of the Central government for their establishment, expansion, merger, etc. This resulted in slow industrial growth. After 1991, the abolition of the MRTP Act has encouraged industrial growth in India.
  3. Encouragement to the small sector: The government also encouraged small sector units to attain a higher growth rate in output, employment, and export sector. The small sector unit investment limit was increased from 1 crore to 5 crores.
  4. Encouraging foreign investment: New economic policy of 1991 allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with the aim to encourage investment in high priority industries requiring high investment and technology. Initially, FDI was permitted up to 51% of total investment in selected industries. Later, this limit was raised to 74% and then 100% for specific industries.
  5. Reducing the role of the public sector: Under the new economic policy of 1991, many changes were made in the public sector policy to fulfill following objectives:
    a. Ending state monopoly
    b. Improving the efficiency of public sector
    c. Releasing capital blocked in sick public sector enterprises.
    To encourage the private sector, NEP reduced the number of industries in the public sector from 17 to 8. From 2014, there are only two industries reserved for public sector viz. railways and atomic energy.
  6. Trade liberalisation: Under the new economic policy of 1991, the import licensing controls have been abolished. Almost all capital goods, raw materials, intermediate goods, and other components were made freely importable. In India, established exporters are allowed to raise external credit to finance their business and trade. Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are set up to promote exports. The Government has also introduced Agro Export Zones (AEZ) to encourage agricultural exports.
  7. Reforms in the insurance sector: Before the new economic policy of 1991, the insurance sector was a monopoly of the government. The new policy passed the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act (IRDA) in 1999 to bring reforms in this sector. The IRDA has given licence to many private companies to run an insurance business. This has resulted at the end of the monopoly of Government in this sector.
  8. Reforms in the financial sector: Before the new economic policy of 1991, only cooperative banks and public sector banks were permitted to the banking business in the financial sector. The new economic policy has also permitted the entry of new private banks as well as foreign banks.
Concept: Evaluation of the Economic Policy of 1991
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APPEARS IN

Balbharati Economics 11th Standard HSC Maharashtra State Board
Chapter 9 Economic Policy of India since
Exercise Q.6 | Q 1 | Page 63
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