History and political economy of Bombay Plan of 1944…

Trying to read up little these days on Business history especially pertaining to India. HBS has done a great job by putting up papers on business history work of emerging markets including India. So this blog will have more of such stuff on India’s business history.

Came across this paper  by Prof. Medha Kudaisya of National University of Singapore. It provides this fascinating account of Bombay Plan of 1944. The plan was formed by leading industrialists of that time to boost India’s industry post independence. What is interesting is how each of these industrialists were connected highly to the political class at that time but still the plan was largely ignored. Infact none of them were called when Planning Commission was finally floated and India moved onto planning:

This article recounts the story of the Bombay Plan of 1944, a bold vision of economic transformation for postwar India put forth by business leaders. The Plan represented a turning point in the history of Indian business. It marked the institutionalization of a long relationship between business and nationalist leadership as well as a historic moment when business groups, for the first time, unhesitatingly aligned themselves with nationalist aspirations. Underlying the Bombay Plan was the idea of a close partnership between business and the state. Yet, within a decade, this optimism died out as the autarchic features of economic policy became increasingly pronounced in independent India. The story of the Bombay Plan provides an insight into the relations between business and state in the context of development planning in India.

Though the Bombay plan was largely ignored, its format and presentation was used by Plan Com in designing of its plan..

Nice stuff..


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