3.6           ndian      onom
     temperamental realities of India got marginalised                      (ii) The challenge of poverty alleviation will
     in the hope and wish of a future industrialised and                           be solved to a great extent as the emphasis
     developed India. It is yet impossible to conclude                             will make agriculture a higher income-
     whether the economy has completely failed to do                               generating occupation and induce growth
     so. Experts have divided opinions on this issue.                              in the rural economy by generating more
          The last decade of the 20th century (i.e., the                           gainful employment.
     decade of the 1990s) saw major changes taking                         (iii) The situation of India as an example of
     place in the world economic idea about the                                    ‘market failure’ will cease.12
     agriculture sector. It was no more a symbol of                           Though the world’s perception regarding
     backwardness for an economy that emphasises                        agriculture had changed by the mid-1990s,
     on the agriculture sector as the engine of growth                  India recognises the sector as the prime moving
     and development. China had proved to the world                     force of the economy a bit late, i.e., by 2002.
     how agriculture could be made the prime moving                     Now, there is a consensus among experts and
     force of an economy and generate internal as well                  policymakers regarding the role of agriculture
     as external strength to emerge as an industrial                    in the Indian economy. Agriculture and allied
     economy. In the wake of the ongoing reform                         activities remained the major source of livelihood
     process, India was introspecting almost all                        for nearly half of the Indian population—its share
     economic policies it followed since Independence.                  in employment being 48.7 per cent, with 17.4 per
     It was time for the agriculture sector to have the                 cent contribution in the GDP.13
     prime attention. A major shift10 took place in the                      Once India started the process of economic
     Indian economic thinking when the government                       reforms, it commenced in the industrial sector—
     announced in 2002 that from now onwards,                           as the economy had got its structure through the
     in place of industry, agriculture will be the                      successive industrial policies, it looks a normal
     prime moving force of the economy. This was                        thing. To the extent the agriculture sector is
     a policy shift of historic importance which was                    concerned reforms were initiated a bit late—
     announced by the highest economic think tank of
     the country—the Planning commission—as the
     economy commenced the Tenth Plan (2002–07).                          12.   It has been argued by economists time and again that
                                                                                India is a typical example of ‘market failure’. Market
     As per the Planning Commission11 such a policy                             failure is a situation when there are goods and services
     shift will solve the three major challenges faced by                       in an economy and its requirement too, but due to lack
     the economy:                                                               of purchasing power the requirements of the people are
                                                                                not translated into demand. Whatever industrial goods
           (i) Economy will be able to achieve food                             and services India had been able to produce they had
                 security with the increase in agricultural                     stagnated or stunted sales in the market as the largest
                 production. Besides, the agricultural                          section of the consumers earned their livelihood from
                                                                                the agriculture sector, which is unable to create a
                 surplus will generate exports in the                           purchasing power to the levels required by the market.
                 globalising world economy benefiting                           As agricultural activities will become more gainful and
                 out of the WTO regime.                                         profita le, the masses depending on it will have the level
                                                                                of purchasing capacity to purchase the industrial goods
                                                                                and services from the market. Thus, the Indian market
                                                                                won’t fail. The view has been articulated by Amartya
       10.    The Government of India had shown such an intention               Sen and Jean Dreze in their monograph titled India:
              in two regular nion udgets i.e., the fiscals                      Economic Development and Social Opportunity,
              and            ut has not announced the shift officially.         United Nations University, 1996.
       11.    Planning Commission, Tenth Five Year Plan (2002–07),        13.   Ministry of Finance, Economic Survey 2015–16,
              Government of India, New Delhi, 2002.                             Government of India, Vol. 2, p. 98.