chapter  12
How have the disadvantaged fared in India after the economic reforms?
ByJ. V. Meenakshi, Ranjan Ray
Pages 12

India has recently completed a decade of economic reforms which began in June 1991. While the immediate stimulus for the reforms was the serious balance of payments situation facing the country in the second half of 1991, the reforms process, started by the then Finance Minister, Manmohan Singh, was designed to bring about far reaching structural changes to the Indian economy. The sequence of measures, that has been referred to as the ‘process of liberalisation’, has generated a vigorous debate on the desirability and effectiveness of these changes. Much of the discussion has been conducted at the level of macro aggregates such as growth rates, trade figures, output levels, etc., and relatively little at the household level. The principal reason for this is that household level statistics, unlike macro aggregates, are available only with a lag. Consequently, an assessment of the impact of the changes on household welfare has not taken place until now.