Study Material-2

8 Unit-2


LESSON 1                                  UNIT II



- Dr. Bhawna Rajput

Studying this chapter should enable you to understand:


  • Approach and features of Industrial Policies in the pre-1991 period
  • Industrial Policy in the post-1991 period. Distinction between pre and post 1991 industrial policy framework



          The industrial policy means the procedures, principles, policies rules and regulations which control the industrial undertaking of the country and pattern of industrialization. It explains the approach of Government in context to the development of industrial sector. In India the key objective of the economic policy is to achieve self-reliance in all sectors of the economy and to develop socialistic pattern of society. The industrial policy in the pre-reform period i.e. before1991 put greater emphasis on the state intervention in the field of industrial development.  These policies no doubt have resulted into the creation of diversified industrial structure but caused a number of inefficiencies, distortions and rigidities in the system. Thus during late 70’s and 80’s, Government initiated liberalization measures in the industrial policy framework. The drastic liberalization measures were however, carried out in 1991.


Industrial Policies Prior to 1991


Industrial Policy Resolution, 1948


          The first important industrial policy statement was made in the Industrial policy Resolution (IPR), 1948. The main thrust of IPR, 1948 was to lay down the foundation of mixed economy whereby the private and public sector was accepted as important components in the development of industrial economy of India. The policy divided the industries into four broad categories:


(i) Industries with Exclusive State Monopoly: It included industries engaged in the activity of atomic energy, railways and arms and ammunition.


(ii) Industries with Government Control: It included the industries of national importance and so needs to be registered. 18 such industries were put under this category eg. fertilizers, heavy chemical, heavy machinery etc.


(iii) Industries in the Mixed Sector: It included the industries where private and public sector were allowed to operate. Government was allowed to review the situation to acquire any existing private undertaking. 


(iv)Industries under Private Sector: Industries not covered by above categories fell in this category.             


           IPR, 1948 gave public sector vast area to operate. Government took the role of catalytic agent of industrial development. The resolution assigned complementary role to small-scale and cottage industries. The foreign capital which was seen with suspect in the pre-independent era was recognized as an important tool to speedup up industrial development.


Industries (Development and Regulation) Act (IDRA), 1951


          IDRA, 1951 is the key legislation in the industrial regulatory framework. IDRA, 1951 gave powers to the government to regulate industry in a number of ways. The main instruments were the regulation of capacity (and hence output) and power to control prices. It specified a schedule of industries that were subject to licensing. Even the expansion of these industries required prior permission of the government which means the output capacity was highly regulated. The Government was also empowered to control the distribution and prices of output produced by industries listed in the schedule. The IDR Act gave very wide powers to the Government. This resulted in more or less complete control by the bureaucracy on the industrial development of the country.


The main provisions of the IDRA, 1951 were


a)  All existing undertakings at the commencement of the Act, except those owned by the Central Government were compulsorily required to register with the designated authority.


b)  No one except the central Government would be permitted to set up any new industrial undertaking “except under and in accordance with a licence issued in that behalf by the Central Government.”


c)  Such a license or permission prescribed a variety of conditions, such as, location, minimum standards in respect of size and techniques to be used, which the Central Government may approve.


d)  Such licenses and clearances were also required in cases of ‘substantial expansion’ of an existing industrial undertaking.







Industrial Policy Resolution, 1956

           IPR, 1956 is the next important policy statement. The important provisions are as follows:


(1) New classification of Industries: IPR, 1956 divided the industries into the following three categories:


(a) Schedule A industries: The industries that were the monopoly of state or Government. It included 17 industries. The private sector was allowed to operate in these industries if national interest so required.


(b) Schedule B industries: In this category of industries state was allowed to establish new units but the private sector was not denied to set up or expand existing units e.g. chemical industries, fertilizer, synthetic, rubber, aluminum etc.


(c) Schedule C industries: The industries not mentioned in the above category formed pat of Schedule C. Thus the IPR, 1956 emphasized the mutual existence of public and private sector industries.


 (2) Encouragement to Small-scale and Cottage Industries: In order to strengthen the small-scale sector supportive measures were suggested in terms of cheap credit, subsidies, reservation etc.


(3) Emphasized on Reduction of Regional Disparities: Fiscal concessions were granted to open industries in backward regions. Public sector enterprises were given greater role to develop these areas.


          The basic rationale of IPR, 1956 was that the state had to be given primary role for industrial development as capital was scarce and entrepreneurship was not strong.  The public sector was enlarged dramatically so as to allow it to hold commanding heights of the economy.


Monopolies Commission

          In April 1964, the Government of India appointed a Monopolies Inquiry Commission “to inquire into the existence and effect of concentration of economic power in private hands.” The Commission looked at concentration of economic power in the area of industry. On the basis of recommendation of the commission, Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practices Act (MRTP Act), 1969 was enacted. The act sought to control the establishment and expansion of all industrial units that have asset size over a particular limit.


Industrial Policy Statement, 1973

          The Policy Statement of 1973 drew up a list of industries to be started by large business houses so that the competitive effort of small industries was not affected. The entry of competent small and medium entrepreneurs was encouraged in all industries. Large industries were permitted to start operations in rural and backward areas with a view to developing those areas and enabling the growth of small industries around.


Industrial Policy Statement, 1977The main elements of the new policy were:


1. Development of Small-Scale Sector: The main thrust of the new industrial policy was an effective promotion of cottage and small industries. Government initiated wide-spread promotional and supportive measures to encourage small sector. The small sector was classified into 3 categories viz. Cottage and household industries which provide self-employment; tiny sector and small-scale industries. The purpose of the classification was to specifically design policy measures for each category. The policy statement considerably expanded the list of reserved items for exclusive manufacture in the small-scale sector.


2. Restrictive Approach towards Large Business Houses: The large scale sector was allowed in basic, capital goods and high-tech industries. The policy emphasized that the funds from financial institutions should be made available largely for the development of small sector. The large sector should generate internal finance for financing new projects or expansion of existing business.


3. Expanding Role of Public sector: The industrial policy stated that the public sector would be used not only in the strategic areas but also as a stabilizing force for maintaining essential supplier for the consumer.


Further, the policy statement reiterated restrictive policy towards foreign capital whereby the majority interest in ownership and effective control should rest in Indian hands.


Industrial Policy, 1980


           The industrial policy 1980 emphasized that the public sector is the pillar of economic infrastructure for reasons of its greater reliability, for the large investments required and the longer gestation periods of the projects crucial for economic development. The IPR1956 forms the basis of this statement. The important features of the policy were:


1. Effective Management of Public Sector:

          The policy emphasized the revival of efficiency of public sector undertaking.


2. Liberalization of Industrial licensing:

          The policy statement provided liberalized measures in the licensing in terms of automatic approval to increase capacity of existing units under MRTP and FERA. The asset limit under MRTP was increased. The relaxation from licensing was provided for large number of industries. The broad-banding concept was introduced so that flexibility is granted to the industries to decide the product mix without applying for a new license.


3. Redifining Small-Scale Industries:

           The investment limit to define SSI was increased to boost the development of this sector. In case of tiny sector the investment limit was raised to Rs.1 lakh;   for small scale unit the investment limit was raised from Rs.10 lakh to Rs.20 lakh and for ancillaries from Rs.15 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh.


           Industrial policy, 1980 focused attention on the need for promoting competition in the domestic market, technological up gradation and modernization. The policy laid the foundation for an increasingly competitive export based industries and for encouraging foreign investment in high-technology areas.


Era of Liberalization after 80’s:

          After 1980, an era of liberalization started, and the trend was gradually to dilute the strict licensing system and allow more freedom to the entrepreneurs. The steps that were taken in accordance with the policy included:


(i) Re-endorsement of licenses: The capacity indicated in the licenses could be re-endorsed, provided it was 25 percent more than the licensed capacity (1984).


(ii) Liberalization of 1990: The measures were as follows:

a)  Exemption from licensing for specific new units.

b)  Investment of foreign equity up to 40 percent was freely allowed.

c)  Location restrictions were removed.


Major Features of Pre-1991 Industrial Policy:


1. Protection to Indian Industries: Local industries were given shelter from international competition by introducing partial physical ban on the imports of products and high imports tariffs. Protection from imports encouraged Indian industry to undertake the manufacture of a variety of products. There was a ready market for all these products.


2. Import-Substitution Policy: Government used its import policy for the healthy development of local industries. Barring the first few years after Independence, the country was facing a shortage of foreign exchange, and so save scarce foreign exchange imports-substitution policy was initiated i.e.   Government encouraged the production of imported goods indigenously.


3. Financial Infrastructure:  In order to provide the financial infrastructure necessary for industry, the Government set up a number of development banks. The principal function of a development bank is to provide medium and long-term investments. They have to also play a major role in promoting the growth of enterprise. With this objective, Government established the Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) (1948), Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) (1955), Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) (1964), Industrial Reconstruction Corporation of India (1971), Unit Trust of India (UTI) (1963), and the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).


4. Control over Indian IndustriesIndian industries were highly regulated through legislations such as Industrial licensing, MRTP Act, 1969 etc. These legislations restricted the production, expansion and pricing of output of almost all kinds of industries in the country.


 5. Regulations on Foreign Capital under the Foreign Exchange and Regulation Act (FERA): FERA restricted foreign investment in a company to 40percent. This ensured that the control in companies with foreign collaboration remained in the hands of Indians. The restrictions were also imposed on technical collaborations and repatriations of foreign exchange by foreign investors.


6.  Encouragement to Small Industries: Government encouraged small-scale industries (SSIs) by providing a number of support measures for its growth.  Policy measures addressed the basic requirements of the SSI like credit, marketing, technology,entrepreneurship development, and fiscal, financial and infrastructural support.


7.  Emphasis on Public Sector: The Government made huge investments in providing infrastructure and basic facilities to industries. This was achieved by establishing public sector enterprises in the key sectors such as power generation, capital goods, heavy machineries, banking, tele- communication, etc.


Review of Pre-1991 Industrial Policy

           The pre1991 industrial policies created a climate for rapid industrial growth in the country. It has helped to create a broad-base infrastructure and basic industries.   A diverse industrial structure with self-reliance on a large number of items had been achieved. At the time of independence the consumer goods industry accounted for almost half of the industrial production. In 1991 such industries accounted for only about 20 percent. In contrast capital goods production was less than 4 percent of the total industrial production. In 1991 it had gone up to 24 percent. Industrial investment took place in a large variety of new industries. Modern management techniques were introduced. An entirely new class of entrepreneurs has come up with the support system from the Government, and a large number of new industrial centers have developed in almost all parts of the country. Over the years, the Government has built the infrastructure required by the industry and made massive investments to provide the much-needed facilities of power, communications, roads etc. A good number of institutions were promoted to help entrepreneurship development, provide finance for industry and to facilitate development of a variety of skills required by the industry.


           However, the implementation of industrial policy suffered from shortcomings. It is argued that the industrial licensing system has promoted inefficiency and resulted in the high-cost economy. Licensing was supposed to ensure creation of capacities according to plan priorities and targets. However, due to considerable discretionary powers vested in the licensing authorities the system tended to promote corruption and rent-seeking. It resulted into pre-emption of entry of new enterprises and adversely affected the competition. The system opposite to its rationale favored large enterprises and discriminate against backward regions. Government announced a number of liberalization measures in the industrial policy of 1970, 1973 and 1980. However, the dramatic liberalization efforts were made in the industrial policy, 1991.



Concept-Check Questions


Ø  Give features of the act that requires the specified industries to obtain industrial licensing.

Ø  What is the rationale of MRTP Act, 1969?

Ø  What are the important regulations that control industries in the pre-1991 era?

Ø   “Public Sector attained commanding heights in the economy”.

       Comment on the statement.


New Industrial Policy, 1991

          India’s New Industrial Policy announced in July 1991 (hereafter NIP) was radical compared to its earlier industrial policies in terms of objectives and major features. It emphasized on the need to promote further industrial development based on consolidating the gains already made and correct the distortion or weaknesses that might have crept in, and attain international competitiveness. (Ministry of Industry, 1991).  The liberalized Industrial Policy aims at rapid and substantial economic growth, and integration with the global economy in a harmonized manner. The Industrial Policy reforms have reduced the industrial licensing requirements, removed restrictions on investment and expansion, and facilitated easy access to foreign technology and foreign direct investment.


Pre vs. Post 1991 Policy


1. Distinctive Objectives of New Industrial Policy (NIP), 1991: NIP had two distinctive objectives compared to the earlier industrial policies:


i) Redefinition of Concept of Self-Reliance: NIP redefined the concept of economic self-reliance. Since 1956 till 1991, India had always emphasized on Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) strategy to achieve economic-self reliance. Economic self-reliance meant indigenous development of production capabilities and producing indigenously all industrial goods, which the country would demand rather than importing from outside. The goal of economic self-reliance necessitated the promotion of ISI strategy. It helped to built up the vast base of capital goods, intermediate goods and basic goods industries over a period of time. NIP redefined economic self-reliance to mean the ability to pay for imports through foreign exchange earnings through exports and not necessarily depending upon the domestic industries.


ii) International Competitiveness: NIP emphasized the need to develop indigenous capabilities in technology and manufacturing to world standards. None of the earlier industrial policies, either explicitly or implicitly, had made reference to international technology and manufacturing capabilities in the context of domestic industrial development (Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 2001). For the first time, NIP explicitly underlined the need for domestic industry to achieve international competitiveness.


          To achieve these objectives, among others, NIP initiated changes in India’s industrial policy environment, which gained momentum gradually over the decade. The important elements of NIP can be classified as follows:


1. Public sector de-reservation and privatization of public sector through dis-investment;

2. Industrial Delicensing;

3. Amendments of Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act, 1969;

4. Liberalised Foreign Investment Policy;

5. Foreign Technology Agreements (FTA);

6. Dilution of protection to SSI and emphasis on competitiveness enhancement.


1. Public Sector De-Reservation and Privatization through Dis-Investment:

           Till 1991, Public Sector was assigned a pre-eminent position in Indian Industry to enable it to achieve “commanding heights of the economy” under the Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR), 1956.  Accordingly, areas of strategic importance and core sectors were exclusively reserved for public sector enterprises. Public enterprises were accorded preference even in areas where private investments were possible.


Since 1991, the public sector policy consists of:

(i)  Reduction in the number of industries reserved for public sector: Now only two industries (atomic energy and railway transport) are reserved for the Public Sector. They are known as “Annexure I” industries (Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 2001). The essence of government’s Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) policy since 1991 has been that government should not operate any commercial enterprises. The policy emphasized to bring down government equity in all non-strategic  PSUs to 26 percent or lower, restructure or revive potentially viable PSUs, close down PSUs, which cannot be revived and fully protect the interests of workers. Government’s withdrawal from non-core sectors is indicated on considerations of long-term efficient use of capital, growing financial un-viability and the compulsions for these PSUs to operate in an increasingly competitive and market oriented environment (Disinvestment Commission, 1997).


(ii) Implementation of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): As a part of the measures to improve the performance of public enterprises, more and more of public sector units have been brought under the purview of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) system. A memorandum of understanding is a performance contract, a freely negotiated document between the Government and a specific public enterprise.


(iii)   Referral to BIFR: Many sick public sector units have been referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) for rehabilitation or, where necessary, for winding up.


(iv)  Manpower Rationalization: In order to make manpower rationalization Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) has been introduced in a number of PSUs to shed the surplus manpower.


(v) Private Equity Participation: PSUs have been allowed to raise equity finance from the capital market. This has provided market pressure on PSUs to improve their performance.


(vi)  Disinvestment and Privatization: Disinvestment and privatization of existing PSUs has been adopted to improve corporate efficiency, financial performance and competition amongst PSUs. It involves transfer of Government holding in PSUs to the private shareholders.


2. Industrial Delicensing:

          The removal of licensing requirements for industries, domestic as well as foreign, commonly known as “de-licensing of industries” is another important feature of NIP. Till the 1990s, licensing was compulsory for almost every industry, which was not reserved for the public sector. This licensing system was applicable to all industrial enterprises having investment in fixed assets (which include land, buildings, plant & machinery) above a certain limit. With progressive liberalization and deregulation of the economy, industrial license is required in very few cases. Industrial licenses are regulated under the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act 1951. At present, industrial license is required only for the following:

(i)   Industries retained under compulsory licensing (five industries are reserved under this category).

(ii) Manufacture of items reserved for small scale sector by larger units: An industrial undertaking is defined as small scale unit if the capital investment does not exceed Rs. 10 million (approximately $ 222,222). The Government has reserved certain items for exclusive manufacture in the small-scale sector. Non small-scale units can manufacture items reserved for the small-scale sector if they undertake an obligation to export 50 percent of the production after obtaining an industrial license.

(iii) When the proposed location attracts locational restriction: Industrial undertakings to be located within 25 kms of the standard urban area limit of 23 cities having a population of 1 million as per 1991 census require an industrial license.


          Thus, excluding these, investors are free to set up a new industrial enterprise, expand an industrial enterprise substantially, change the location of an existing industrial enterprise and manufacture a new product through an already established industrial enterprise. The objective of industrial delicencing would be to enable business enterprises to respond to the fast changing external conditions. Entrepreneurs will be free to make investment decisions on the basis of their own commercial judgment. This will facilitate the technological dynamism and international competitiveness. Further industries will have freedom to take advantage of ‘economies of scale’ as well as ‘economies of scope’ in the current industrial policy environment.


3. Amendment of Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act, 1969: An important objective of India’s earlier industrial policies was to prevent emergence of private monopolies and concentration of economic power in a few individuals. Accordingly, Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act, 1969 was enacted and MRTP Commission was set up as a permanent body to periodically review industrial ownership, advice the government to prevent concentration of economic power, investigate monopolistic trade practices and inquire into restrictive trade practices, which are prejudicial to public interest. An MRTP firm was mainly defined in terms of asset size. An MRTP company had to obtain prior approval of the government for setting up a new enterprise as well as for expansion. However, MRTP Act was applicable only to private sector companies.


          Since 1991 MRTP Act has been restructured and pre-entry restrictions have been removed with regard to prior approval of the government for the establishment of a new undertaking, expansion, amalgamation, merger, take over, and appointment of directors of companies. The asset restriction and market share for defining an MRTP firm has been done away with. MRTP Act is now applicable to both private and public sector enterprises and financial institutions. Today only restrictive trade practices of companies are monitored and controlled. The MRTP act has been replaced by the Competition Act, 2002.  This law aims at upholding competition in the Indian market. The competition commission has been established in 2003 which mainly control the practice that have an adverse impact on competition.


4. Liberalized Foreign Investment Policy:

           India’s earlier industrial policies welcomed FDI but emphasized that ownership and control of all enterprises involving foreign equity should be in Indian hands. The Balance of Payments (BoP) difficulties in the mid 1960s forced the country to adopt a more restrictive approach towards FDI through the setting up of a Foreign Investment Board, which classified industries into two groups: banned and favored for foreign technical collaboration and FDI. The number of industries for foreign investment was steadily narrowed down and by 1973 there were only 19 industries where FDI was permitted (Kucchal, 1983).The enactment of FERA, 1973 marked the beginning of the most restrictive phase of India’s foreign investment policy.  The NIP radically reformed foreign investment policy to attract foreign investment. The important foreign investment policy measures are as follows:


i)  Repeal of FERA, 1973: FERA, 1973 has been repealed and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) has come into force with effect from June 2000 (RBI, 2003). Investment and returns can be freely repatriated except where the approval is subject to specific conditions such as lock-in period on original investment, dividend cap, foreign exchange neutrality, etc. as specified in the sector specific policies. The condition of ‘dividend balancing’ was withdrawn for dividends declared. A foreign investor can freely enter, invest and operate industrial enterprises in India,


ii)  Dilution of Restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): FDI is allowed in all sectors including the services sector except atomic energy and railway transport. FDI in small scale industries is allowed up to 24 percent equity. Use of brand names/trade marks is allowed.  Further, FDI up to 100 percent is allowed under the automatic route in all activities/sectors except the following which require prior approval of the Government:-

- Sectors prohibited for FDI; 
- Activities/items that require an industrial license; 
- Proposals in which the foreign collaborator has an existing financial/technical

  collaboration in India in the same field;
- Proposals for acquisitions of shares in an existing Indian company in financial

  service sector and where Securities and Exchange Board of India (substantial

  acquisition of shares and takeovers) regulations, 1997 is attracted;
- All proposals falling outside notified sectoral policy/CAPS under sectors in

  which FDI is not permitted.

Thus most of the sectors fall under the automatic route for FDI.


5. Foreign Technology Agreement

           The automatic approvals for technology agreement are allowed to industries within specified parameters. Indian companies are free to negotiate the terms of technology transfer with their foreign counterparts according to their own commercial judgment.


6. Dilution of Protection to Small Scale Industries (SSI) and Emphasis on Competitiveness: SSIs enjoyed a unique status in Indian economy due to its diversified presence across the country and thereby utilizing resources and skills, which would have otherwise remained unutilized. Due to their potential to generate large-scale employment, produce consumer goods of mass consumption, alleviate regional disparities, etc., industrial policies protected the sector for its growth. The principal protective measures for SSI comprised: (i) Demarcating SSI from the rest of industry through a definition under the IDR Act, 1951, (ii) Concessional credit from the banking system, (iii)Fiscal concessions, (iv) Exemption from industrial licensing and labor legislations, (v) Preferential access to scarce raw materials, both domestic and imported, (vi) Market support from the government through reservation of products for government purchase and price preferences, and (vii) Reservation of products for exclusive manufacturing in SSIs and restrictions on the growth of output and capacity in the large-scale sector for products reserved for SSI manufacturing. These policy measures protected SSIs from both internal and external competition.


           However, since 1991 the protective emphasis of SSI policy has undergone dilution. In August 1991, government of India brought out an exclusive policy for SSI. The policy marked: (i) the beginning of an end to protective measures to small industry and (ii) promotion of competitiveness by addressing the basic concerns of the sector namely technology, finance and marketing. Subsequently, the number of items reserved exclusively for small industry manufacturing has been gradually brought down.  This policy has lost its relevance to a large extent because though these products could not be manufactured by large enterprises domestically, they can be imported from abroad due to the removal quantitative and non-quantitative restrictions on most imports by April 1, 2001 (Ministry of Finance, 2002). Concession element in lending rates for small industry has been largely withdrawn during the 1990s (RBI, 2003). The number of products reserved exclusively for purchase from small industry by the government has been reduced to 358 items from 409 items.  Measures have been adopted to improve technology and export capabilities of SSIs. Thus the overall promotion orientation of SSI has shifted from protection towards competitiveness.


Impact Of Industrial Policy, 1991

          The all-round changes introduced in the industrial policy framework have given a new direction to the future industrialization of the country. There are encouraging trends on diverse fronts. Industrial growth was 1.7 per cent in 1991-92 that has increased to 9.2 percent in 2007-08.The industrial structure is much more balanced. The impact of industrial reforms is reflected in multiple increases in investment envisaged, both domestic and foreign. This is due to encouraging response from the private sector. There has been dramatic increase in FDI since 1991. The foreign investment as a percentage of total GDP has increased from 0.5 percent in 1990-91 to 5.7 percent in 2006.Investments in infrastructure sector such as power generation have surged from players of various sizes in different states. The capital goods have grown at an accelerated pace, over a high base attained in the previous years, which augurs well for the required industrial capacity addition.



           The Government policies and procedures in the pre-1991 period aimed at industrial development of the country, but  the enactment of the IDR Act, procedures laid down for obtaining industrial licensing and various rules acted as a great deterrent to the growth of industries in the country. The bureaucracy acquired unprecedented powers and authority over all kinds of industrial activities. The NIP announced in July 1991, unshackle the industries from the cobweb of bureaucratic control to allow it to achieve international competitiveness. NIP encouraged foreign investment in the economy and opened it to greater domestic and international competition.




Concept-Check Question


Ø  What are the objectives of NIP, 1991 that distinguish it from pre-1991 policy?

Ø   Give the distinctive features of new public sector policy.

Ø   “The government’s SSI policy has shifted from protection towards competitiveness”. Comment on this statement and give features of new SSI policy.