Seventy Five Years of India’s Trade Policies With Special Reference to Agricultural Sector: An Overview
After seventy-five years of independence, trade policies play an important role in promoting commerce and integrating India with other countries. At the time of independence, India’s commerce was limited to the British and Commonwealth members. Imports from the United Kingdom accounted for 31% of overall Indian imports. The true impetus for the process of import and export liberalisation came from the 1980s onwards, when export and import policies were developed for three years at a time.The Alexander Committee’s (1978) and Tandon Committee’s (1980) suggestions were included into the succeeding long-term export and import policies from 1985-86 to 1990-91. A policymaker’s topics for framing trade policies were export stimulation on the one hand and import relations on the other. Major economic changes in India in 1991, the foundation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) all played critical roles in the further liberalisation of trade policy in India. Signatory nations to the Agreement on farm, in particular, must drastically cut their tariff rates in order to enhance farm commerce by eliminating trade distortion. This agreement, however, sets the path for both developed and developing nations to apply Non-tariff Measures (NTM) as a trade restriction instrument. In this framework, the current research attempts to explore India’s trade policy during the last seventy-five years, with a focus on the agricultural sector.
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