China and India in the Age of Globalization by Shalendra D. Sharma

By Shalendra D. Sharma

This publication explores how the interaction of socio-historical, political, and monetary forces has reworked China and India into fiscal powerhouses.

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The aim was to restrict land concentration by distributing “excess” land to the actual tillers and maximize “efficiency of production” by consolidating small and fragmented holdings (GOI 1956, 175–80). Buttressing these measures was the Community Development Projects (CDPs). Launched in 1952 under the joint supervision of the Planning Commission and the newly established Ministry of Community Development, the aim of the CDPs was to stimulate community-centered development projects based on the Gandhian principles of cooperation and self-help.

The Constitution gives the central government considerable powers over the collection and distribution of revenue. The complexities of India’s “fiscal federalism” are discussed in the next chapter, but suffice it to note here that a lucrative income – corporate as well as import and export duties – is collected exclusively by the Center. However, the states depend on rural and agricultural income tax, which is extremely difficult to administer and collect (Rao and Singh 2005). Thus, through the financial resources its controls, the Center is 8 The national government is called the Union Government in the Constitution but is popularly known as the Center.

Although the BJP won 182 seats, the BJP-led coalition won 299 of the 537 contested seats. In contrast, the Congress won its lowest ever 114 seats, and the Congress-led alliance won 134 seats. The BJP-led coalition was able to form a relatively stable government at the Center from 1999 to 2004. However, the tables were turned following the 2004 national elections. That year, the Congress won 145 (27 percent) of the 543 parliamentary seats, just ahead of the BJP, which won 138 (25 percent). However, by forming a broad “alliance” with nineteen other parties under the banner of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), and coalition with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which agreed to support it “from the outside,” the Congress-UPA, with 219 seats (40 percent), was able to form a majority in Parliament.

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