ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rejuvenation of Punjab’s Economy

Economic Transformation of a Developing Economy: The Experience of Punjab, India edited by Lakhwinder Singh and Nirvikar Singh, Singapore: Springer, 2016; pp 470, ¤ 99.99. 

Punjab has had a very dynamic history, full of challenges and experiments, and is home to the progressive and recent religion, Sikhism. Punjab is unique in many ways with vast fertile lands and experiences of a series of invasions from advancing armies from North for a long time, right to the recent history of the agonising partition in 1947. In 1966, the division of Punjab into three parts again disrupted the economic progress of the state. However, within a short period of time, thanks to the green revolution in the 1980s, it became the granary of country and richest state of India. These good times were short-lived due to lack of foresight by political parties and policymakers, and Punjab witnessed an era of militancy. Consequently, by the early 1990s, Punjab’s ranking slipped to third place in terms of per capita income and by 2012 to seventh place. The volume provides insight into the declining trend of the growth rate of Punjab relative to other states. Accordingly, the editors rightly warn us that the waning economic status of Punjab will have implications for political influence in the country.

The book is an outcome of a conference organised by the Centre for Development Economics and Innovation Studies, Punjabi University in collaboration with University of California, Santa Cruz, United States (US) on the theme of rejuvenation of Punjab’s economy, held from 21 to 23 March 2014 in Patiala, Punjab. The 20 chapters in the book, in addition to the introduction, are divided into seven parts: understanding the crisis of agrarian transition (four chapters); agrarian market and distributive outcomes (five chapters); structural transformation of Punjab’s economy (three chapters); human development (two chapters); external factors (two chapters); fiscal policy (two chapters); and finally, two chapters in the seventh part, titled “Perspectives on Rejuvenation of Punjab Economy,” serve as the conclusion. The 24 contributors, including two editors, are reputed scholars who have been working on the Punjab economy for many years, and, therefore, the book is an authoritative work on development economics.

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