The economic development in India followed socialist-inspired policies for most of its independent history, including state-ownership of many sectors; India’s per capita income increased at only around 1% annualised rate in the three decades after Independence. Since the mid-1980s, India has slowly opened up its markets through economic liberalisation.
After more fundamental reforms since 1991 and their renewal in the 2000s, India has progressed towards a free market economy. In the late 2000s, India’s growth reached 7.5%, which will double the average income in a decade. Analysts] say that if India pushed more fundamental market reforms, it could sustain the rate and even reach the government’s 2011 target of 10%. States have large responsibilities over their economies.
The annualised 1999-2008 growth rates for Tamil Nadu (9.8), Gujarat (9.6%),Haryana (9.1%), or Delhi (8.9%) were significantly higher than for Bihar (5.1%), Uttar Pradesh (4.4%), or Madhya Pradesh (6.5%). India is the tenth-largest economy in the world and the third largest by purchasing power parity adjusted exchange rates (PPP). On per capita basis, it ranks 140th in the world or 129th by PPP. The economic growth has been driven by the expansion of services that have been growing consistently faster than other sectors.
It is argued that the pattern of Indian development has been a specific one and that the country may be able to skip the intermediate industrialisationled phase in the transformation of its economic structure. Serious concerns have been raised about the jobless nature of the economic growth. Favourable macroeconomic performance has been a necessary but not sufficient condition for the significant reduction of poverty amongst the Indian population.
The rate of poverty decline has not been higher in the post-reform period (since 1991). The improvements in some other non-economic dimensions of social development have been even less favourable. The most pronounced example is an exceptionally high and persistent level of child malnutrition (46% in 2005-6). The progress of economic reforms in India is followed closely. The World Bank suggests that the most important priorities are public sector reform, infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, removal of labour regulations, reforms in lagging states, and HIV/AIDS.
 For 2012, India ranked 132nd in Ease of Doing Business Index, which is setback as compared with China 91st and Brazil 126th. According to Index of Economic Freedom World Ranking an annual survey on economic freedom of the nations, India ranks 123rd as compared with China and Russia which ranks 138th and 144th respectively in 2012. India ranks second worldwide in farm output.
Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 18.6% of the GDP in 2005, employed 60% of the total workforce and despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, is still the largest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socioeconomic development of India. Yields per unit area of all crops have grown since 1950, due to the special emphasis placed on agriculture in the five-year plans and steady improvements in irrigation, technology, application of modern agricultural practices and provision of agricultural credit and subsidies since the green revolution.
India is the largest producer in the world of milk, cashew nuts, coconuts, tea, ginger, turmeric and black pepper. It also has the world’s largest cattle population (193 million). It is the second largest producer of wheat, rice, sugar, groundnut and inland fish. It is the third largest producer of tobacco. India accounts for 10% of the world fruit production with first rank in the production of banana and sapota. The required level of investment for the development of marketing, storage and cold storage infrastructure is estimated to be huge.
The government has implemented various schemes to raise investment in marketing infrastructure. Amongst these schemes are Construction of Rural Go downs, Market Research and Information Network, and Development / Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardisation.
Main problems in the agricultural sector, as listed by the World Bank, are: