Imperialism and the Indian Economy: Recent Trends

N. Bhattacharyya

After the end of the Second World War the international economic decision making process was handed over to the Transnational Corporations (TNCs) by the developed world so that the sovereign states of the third world countries became insignificant economically and politically. In the year 2000 out of the world’s top 100 economies, 54 were TNCs and 46 were countries, while just 3 years ago (1998) the TNCs were only 51. Globally out of the top 500 corporations listed by Fortune, the US dominates with 185 followed by Japan with 104 corporations. Together they account for 58 per cent of the total. They dominate 70 per cent of the world’s trade and 80 per cent of the world’s foreign investment. (Global Corporate Power, 2001, Public Interest Research Centre, Delhi). To help the TNCs to attain this objective the G-7 countries especially promoted three organisations viz. the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). To promote the interests of the Transnational Corporations this Trimurti (trinity) ordered the developing countries to dismantle and destroy all public sector enterprises as in India, which had been promoted and funded by governments.

In the developing economies the growth of the local private sector was entirely dependent on investment policies made by the government in the public sector. This was the advice given in the forties by the then champions of the private sector known as the Bombay Club to Pandit Nehru. Even today the capitalists of the world are demanding that the governments of the developing countries develop infrastructure as capital investments in these projects are relatively high and profits from infrastructure start pouring in quite late. The recent experience in India with TNCs like Enron in the power infrastructure sector is relevant to show that these organisations are not in the least interested in ‘proper’ business dealings. They merely wish to exploit the hungry people of the third world. They bribe the politicians of the mainstream political parties to get sovereign guarantee (in the case of India this was given by a government which resigned before the ink of its signature on the guarantee paper dried) and by selling the product at an astronomically high price after jacking up costs artificially. Let us see how many skeletons the Justice Department of the US will bring out from the cupboards of Enron!

The main theme propagated by the G-7 countries in the 21st century is ‘globalisation’ as is exposed nakedly in the ‘war on terrorism’. The destructive activities of the US were globally challenged from the very beginning, though in an unorganised form. In Seattle the WTO meeting had to be cancelled and subsequently protesters in larger numbers followed these capitalist gangsters wherever they went – Washington, Bangkok and in Genoa. In the last city one Italian student was shot dead by the police and several hundred protesters were wounded, but none of these seven gangsters (G-7) who are paid fabulous commissions by the TNCs, condemned the brutal use of force by the Italian government on unarmed civilian protesters. Rather they resolved to continue to support the policies of the TNCs and so promote and strengthen the destructive agenda of world capitalism. They selected Doha, an island in the Gulf ruled by an oil rich autocrat as the safe venue of the latest WTO ministerial meeting in November 2001. They sent a clear signal that in future such important meetings, whose decisions affect the world’s population would take place either on the high seas under the supervision of the US Marines or in spaceships piloted by the Pentagon. Nobody knows how Mexico can be a safe haven for the next meeting of WTO in 2003!

They refuse to see the writing on the wall. It clearly reads that the day is not far off when militant mass protests both north and south of the equator will compel these shortsighted world exploiters to wind up their destructive economic policies. What is unfolding in the backyard of the US in Argentina cannot be ignored. A country moulded, structured and run by the TNCs under the direct supervision of the US and its Trimurti (WB, IMF and WTO) with an average per capita income of around $ 8000 per annum is declared bankrupt at the end of 2001. The US president is not in the least bothered about the 36 million people of the devastated economy of Argentina. It is the US which ordered the privatisation programme in Argentina over the last decade. Now more than 50 per cent of its population is economically devastated and those who were rich yesterday are now on the streets beating pots and pans because their peso and US dollar accounts have vanished overnight. The consecutive four years of recession has sent around twenty per cent of the workers home. A forty per cent devaluation of the peso in one stroke after maintaining an artificial parity of one peso equal to one US $ over a decade has created nervousness among the TNCs and affluent people of Argentina.

In India one US $ was equivalent to Rs 25 in 1990-91 and after the successful implementation of the Structural Adjustment Programme supervised by the IMF the rupee has depreciated by around 100 per cent to more than Rs 48 per $ today and our rulers have advised people to accept this devastation as a simple fait accompli. In the sixties the then Finance Minister was asked to quit for devaluing the Indian currency. Our present Finance Minister refuses to give up his chair though he is at the centre of many financial scams. This is the democratic accountability of the BJP brand! Our honourable prime minister being a faithful supporter of the hindutva of the RSS brand first visited Pasupati Mandir, a hindu siva temple at Kathmandu, before attending the SAARC meeting and after its conclusion he expressed his government’s complete faith in the autocratic monarchy.

Supporters of ‘globalisation’ understand clearly that today only finance capital is fully ‘globalised’. In a fraction of a second the ‘capital’ of International Financial Institutions (IFI) can fly from one continent to another and has the power to make or destroy any region or any single country. It happened in Latin America a number of times and in 1997-98 it was repeated in South East Asia and this may happen any moment in South Asia too. But what about the millions of unskilled rural labour? Can they move an inch freely beyond their respective territorial boundaries? Rather they are tortured if they try to enter any country without permission. Surplus labour is bottled up in respective underdeveloped economies. Wealth too is not globalised; rather it is more and more concentrated in the hands of the few. Three men – Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Warren Buffet – own assets equivalent to those owned by 600 million people in the world’s 48 least developed countries. The ratio between the income of the top fifth and bottom fifth of humanity is 74 to 1 compared to 30 to 1 in 1960.

90 per cent of the world’s patent rights are held in the richest countries and poor countries are heavily charged for their use. Described as ‘patent king’ by Fortune, Jerome Lemelson, a US citizen, owns a staggering portfolio of 558 patents, with companies paying him nearly $1.5 billion in licensing fees (Fortune May 14, 2001). Pharma TNCs have already expressed their strong resentment of the recent WTO decision to discuss whether patent rights on medicines can be waived for diseases like HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria if individual countries need it in national emergency and for public health. Recent nervousness on the anthrax epidemic in the US and the high prices charged for Cipro by Bayer of Germany created lot of protest in Canada and the US. Canada was forced by public opinion to ignore this patent right in the interests of her own people.

Elementary seeds traditionally used in the developing countries from previous years’ crops are banned now under the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) rules of WTO. The farmers’ right to use old seed can’t be denied by any order of WTO or any other organisations, they are accustomed to it since the days of their forefathers. The US government permission to TNCs to produce and sell ‘terminator’ and other genetically modified seeds (GMS) will cause disaster to the third world’s agricultural economy Two thirds of our population till today depends alone on cultivation as the main source of livelihood. The United Nation’s Development Programme reports that the richest 20 per cent of the world’s people account for 86 per cent of global consumption, the poorest 20 per cent receive only one per cent. Naturally the children of the poor have to die due to acute malnutrition. The G-7’s armoured tank of global capitalism is marching ahead ruthlessly. The number of protesters at Seattle was much smaller than those at Genoa and the day is not far away that a new united and well organised powerful resistant group will emerge throughout the world as history is the witness that militant working class trade unions emerged and flourished with the increasing exploitation of labour as the destructive face of capitalism kept on unfolding.

Graveyard of Capitalism – India’s Lead Role

The approach paper to the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-07) prepared by the Hindu fundamentalist party – the BJP admits that ‘the economy is currently in a decelerating phase and urgent steps are needed to arrest the deceleration and restore momentum. This reversal is all the more difficult because it has to take place in an environment where the world economy (led by USA) is slowing down.’ (p. 2). The USA Labour Department reports that unemployment in the US in December 2001 reached 5.8 per cent against 5.4 per cent in the previous month. The rough estimate is that since 11th September 2001 more than one million people have lost jobs in the US. Ford recently declared the retrenchment of 35,000 of its workers in different factories of the world. Daily reports in the media of retrenchment and layoffs in the US are no longer news. The US President’s plan to reduce tax rates and increase government spending are opposed vehemently by the opposition Democrats but they fully endorsed the war on Afghanistan. It is known that during the last 11 years Japan has failed to revive the ‘market’ after using all types of both conventional and non-conventional tools to revive it.

The Indian brokers of international capitalism use the words ‘growth’, and ‘development’ to prove that the Indian economy is moving in the right direction and that foreign investors should bring in more US dollars as purchase consideration of our economy plus the agreed commissions due to politicians and bureaucrats. From the early fifties we are having a conventional ‘Hindu’ rate of growth of 3.5 to 4 per cent per annum, since the 1980s when India started contracting more foreign loans it crossed 5 per cent growth rate with the help of an artificial invisible sector called the tertiary sector or services. The GDP growth rate during the pre-reform period (1980-81 to 1990-91) was 5.6 per cent and in the post-reform period (1990-91 to 2000-01) it went down to 5.1 per cent. In 1950-51 services contributed only 27.5 per cent of the GDP, in 1990-91 its share was increased to 40.6 per cent and by 2000 it was virtually half (49 per cent) of the GDP. The democratically elected government’s only concern is to satisfy the demands of the elite section of the population by providing them with the latest technology in communication systems, digital stock exchanges, modern five-star hospitals, five-star hotels, cable T.V., credit and debit cards, telebanking facilities and other services. The same government has no time to attend to the problems of the majority of the population without whose vote these people cannot capture the seats in either states’ capitals or at the centre. Starvation deaths take place despite 60 million tons of food rotting in the government warehouses. The governments at the centre and in the states take their own time to fix the selling price of this grain. The governments know that the people will never purchase this grain at ‘below the poverty line’ (BPL) price because it is higher than the local market price.

At the same time the well-to-do cultivators in increasing numbers are committing suicide year after year in different states due to the failure of crops and the heavy outstanding loans taken from moneylenders at huge interest rates, though the financial institutions are flooded with idle funds. In such a situation it is a cruel joke that the same corrupt, inefficient and insensitive government tries to show to the world India’s military power, of course, subject to approval of world’s ‘peace keeper’ – US, to take revenge on Pakistan for attacking India’s legislatures and parliament buildings. The mainstream political parties have no political will to provide services for compulsory education for children, pure drinking water and modern hospital facilities for the vast millions without whose vote they can’t enter into the legislatures.

In the pre-reform period 1980-1991 growth in commodity production was around 5 per cent per annum and in the post-reform period 1991-2001 it went down to 4.3 per cent per annum. It is peculiar that the share of service sector in the GDP is increasing but widespread retrenchment is also carried out mercilessly in this area. Retrenchment in the banking sector is very successful without any protests; rather people went to court complaining why they were not considered for retrenchment (State Bank of India employees and now Corporation Bank employees are also demanding retrenchment). The trade unions run by the revisionist political parties can’t explain why they failed to politicise their workers, rather they taught them all these years only to extract an extra penny from the employers. Real growth of commodities both in agriculture and in industry instead of increasing during this period of reform declined and this downhill journey is still continuing. In real terms this is called ‘structural adjustment programme’ and is dictated by the World Bank and the IMF and was introduced by Narasimha Rao and now has been taken up by Atal Behari Vajpayee. The G-7 masters are more than confident that Mr. Vajpayee’s ‘nationalist’ government will fulfil its obligation to hand over the economy to foreigners.

Destruction of Indian Agriculture

The Food Corporation of India warehouses are overflowing with around 60 million tons of foodgrains against the economic holding requirement of 16-17 million tons. This huge stock does not mean that everything is rosy on the agricultural front. The growth rate in agricultural production during 1980 to 1991 was 3.84 per cent but it declined to 1.24 percent during 1990-91 to 2000-01. Do we require the existing elaborate Agricultural Ministry to continue without any responsibility and accountability to the nation? Not only ‘food security’ is absolutely uncertain but also the supply of raw materials for the various industries cannot be assured when the government is bent upon destroying it. Its performance in the last decade is shameful in the entire country. The rainfall in 2001 was better and uniform throughout the country and kharif production was better than previous years. The same better performance is anticipated for the rabi crops too. According to the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) the growth rate in agriculture, forestry and fishing in the first and second quarters of 2000-01 was 0.6 and 0.5 per cent respectively but it increased to 2.3 and 3.4 per cent respectively in 2001-2002. The higher growth in the second quarter of this year is due to an increase of production of 2.7 per cent and 12.2 per cent in rice and pulses respectively. However, the poor man’s food, coarse cereals’ production declined by 0.4 per cent during the kharif season of 2001-02. Production of oilseeds and cotton has also gone up in comparison to last year. Without providing basic structural land reform and institutional financing arrangements for lakhs of small and marginal farmers, long-term agricultural production growth cannot be sustained. The government is bent upon introducing corporations into the agricultural sector. Already TNCs like Cargill, HLL, ITC and so on are in agricultural business and the days are not far off when even big landowners in the villages will work as paid labour under the TNCs. Today the small and marginal farmers have small assets in the form of land, a thatched house and may be one or two animals in the villages, but gradually this will be history unless people stop the corporatisation of farming as suggested in the agricultural policy of the government. Foodgrain production growth in the pre-reform period was 3.46 per cent per annum and in the post-reform period it went down to 1.22 per cent. With the population growing at slightly less than 2 per cent per annum, what will happen with such an insignificant rate of growth of foodgrain?

In this scenario in agriculture and allied activities, how long it will take us to assure the hungry millions of not one but two square meals a day? The government says that 26 per cent of the Indian population or 260 million people (equivalent to the total population of the USA) are below the poverty line and they don’t have the purchasing power to purchase grain from the Public Distribution System. Why should they not be mobilised to take control of the Food Corporation of India warehouses in scarcity areas? The World Bank’s ‘structural reform’ has virtually destroyed our rural economy. WTO’s insistence on removing restrictions on imports has resulted in unemployment for millions of cultivating families. The TNCs are dumping the Indian market with cheap edible oil, green coconut, milk, tea, fruit etc. Even the imported genetically-modified wheat and soya bean are cheaper than that of our own country. There is huge direct and indirect financial aid given to these TNCs engaged in agriculture by the developed countries which WTO tactfully ignores but it raises objections to our paltry subsidies. It is high time the ‘riyot coolie sangathans’ (peasants’ and agricultural workers’ unions) should organise the peasants and landless workers of the country to take over control in different parts of our rural economy.

Industry in India is in a Deep Coma

FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods) companies like Hindustan Lever, Proctor and Gamble, Nestle India etc. belonging to the TNCs are eagerly waiting for increased purchasing power in the rural economy. Their sales are below normal for months. In the same manner consumer durable producers who happen to be mainly from foreign countries are waiting for demand to grow and tractor and other agricultural equipment producers are all keeping their fingers crossed (A list of foreign companies in the consumer goods sector is given in the appendix). Indian and foreign industrialists are virtually going bankrupt due to the loss of India’s vast rural market. Share prices in the Bombay Stock Exchange refused to rise even after the ‘dream budget’ of February 2001. The big bull Ketan Parekh is in jail after looting public money from banks and mutual funds. Three big co-operative banks in Gujarat have gone bankrupt recently because the banks’ directors decamped with huge public funds. The largest government mutual fund chairman was sent to jail in 2001 and the 1992-share scam hero, Harshad Mehta, died when investigations restarted against him last year. Let us see whether the new Joint Parliament Committee (JPC) which is inquiring into the share scam finds fault with any of our respected politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats. It is already agreed that the fake Mauritius route is kept open for Foreign Institutional Investors to allow fraudulent transactions involving billions of US dollars. Many of our politicians are party to this organised fraud on the country. Our own long-term lending institutions like IDBI, IFCI, ICICI and so on are already in the sick list because of their shortsighted lending policies ordered on political and non-business considerations. After the collapse of the Dhabol project of Enron, no one speaks of the quantum of loss suffered by these lending institutions. In the same manner UTI, LIC, GIC and almost all the public sector banks have sunk more than Rs 60000 crores of public deposits in bad debts which were given to many top business houses and most of them are in the habit of committing such criminal activities as part of their business philosophy. Why not issue an ordinance to scrap the ‘secrecy’ clause in the Negotiable Instrument Act and let the people know the true face of these honourable members of the Bombay Club who are championing the cause of privatisation and development. If TADA can be brought back as the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, don’t these looters of public funds deserve to be in jail as terrorists instead of functioning as the advisers to the government to frame policies for the next budget?

Growth in industrial production in the pre-reform period (1980-81 to 1991-92) was not bad, it was around 7.8 per cent but it declined to 6.0 per cent in the post-reform period (1992-93 to 1999-2000). The slowdown in the production of capital goods was particularly sharp, from 9.4 per cent to 5.9 per cent, which showed the unwillingness of industrialists to invest in the capital goods sector; rather they found imported capital goods more economical. This is the main strategy of the World Bank-dictated New Economic Policy – destroy all types of indigenous production capacity, specially the capital goods sector which is the backbone of any developing economy and make the developing countries permanently dependent on the developed ones. This is the road map of neo-imperialism. A new trend is visible among Indian manufacturers – not to make any fresh investment in plant and machinery in India; rather they are entering into joint ventures in China for its lower cost. They will produce their branded products in China and import them to India as their manufactured items. That is why they desire that Indian tariff rates should be reduced to nil to destroy our own industrial capacity for the sake of higher profit for the industrialists. In this way India’s industrial production capacity may go down in the near future and the country will be reconverted into a colony of the west.

In the economic advisory council of the present prime minister there are eminent industrialists and representatives of all of the three Apex Chambers of Commerce – FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM. Despite their presence Indian industry is getting weaker; there is no plan to strengthen our industrial base to fight against foreign aggression. The government thinks that the economy is of less importance, communal politics and the appeasement of the TNCs are of more immediate interest. The following Table explains how industrial production failed in two consecutive years.

Growth in Industrial Production
(in per cent)









Mining and Quarrying










Electricity, Gas and Water supply










Trade, Transport etc





Finance, Insurance etc





Community, Social and Personal Services





GDP at factor cost





(Business Standard 1.1.2002)

The above figures are from the estimate of the Central Statistical Organisation. Various organisations like the National Council of Applied Economic Research and the Institute of Economic Growth are confident that the growth of GDP for 2001-02 will be less than 5 per cent. GDP growth for the first half was 4.85 percent. The manufacturing sector has maintained a status quo over the first two quarters at 2.3 per cent with no visible signs of a pick-up against a high 6 per cent in the corresponding periods last year. Similarly construction, which grew at 8.4 per cent last year, reported growth of only 4.1 per cent this time. The mining sector also showed a sharp fall from 3.8 per cent last year to 0.6 per cent this year. However, electricity grew from 3 per cent last year to 4.8 per cent this year. The financial sector grew from 9.8 per cent last year to 11.0 per cent this year. The vocal Bombay Club of our industrialists, which demanded liberalisation and privatisation in the early 1990s and had doubts about globalisation, is finding it difficult to survive in the market. All attempts are made by it to retain control over their individual empires and save themselves from foreign acquisition. Buy back of their own company’s shares is going on at full speed. At the same time foreign companies are buying back the shares of their subsidiaries from the public and converting them to 100 per cent subsidiaries and withdrawing from listing in Indian stock exchanges. Our companies are going to foreign countries to collect capital by selling shares called by various names like American Depository Receipts (ADRs ) and /or Global Depository Receipts (GDRs). Joint ventures with foreign companies are being terminated and Indian partners are being asked to leave with some compensation. Mergers and acquisitions among TNCs are going on at full speed in the international market and new companies are coming up with more financial power and monopolistic controls. To give an example, Time Warner and America Online Inc. have merged and their the deal value is around $105 billion. Likewise two British giant pharmaceutical companies, Smith Kline Beecham plc. and Glaxo Welcome plc., have merged, the deal value is over $77 billion. In the automobile industry in 1998, the car manufacturing company, Daimler Benz AG of Germany merged with the Chrysler Corp of US resulting in the formation of a $40 billion corporation. It is rumoured that the Citibank group will acquire Standard Chartered Grindley Bank’s India’s business. Microsoft of US was charged with unfair trade practices and punished. The Justice Department of the US has taken up the Enron issue and many politicians who accepted bribes including the auditor’s firm Anderson are in the hit list. In this country we do not have any law against unfair trade practices, the sick Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission is dying a natural death. Politicians and bureaucrats who accepted bribes in India from TNCs including Enron must also be exposed in this investigation.

On the demand of Indian industry for a ‘level playing field’ the government is reducing the interest rate at a faster speed than expected but nevertheless unsold stocks continue to pile up in the warehouses as demand has dried up. In the US, whom we are imitating, the Federal Reserve Authority during the last one year reduced the bank rate eleven times from 6 per cent to 1.75 per cent. Even then they required a full-fledged war to try to revive their decaying capitalist economy. Companies are offering various allurements to sell their products. Costly advertisements say: one extra shirt or one extra soap if one purchases two shirts or two soaps. The selling and advertisement cost is rising higher but the wages bill is being reduced every day by retrenchment and layoffs. The loss of employment is reducing further the demand for goods and services. Business liquidation is going on at a fast speed. The government is directed to amend labour laws and give up all the protection now assured to organised industrial labour, which accounts for less than 10 per cent of total labour, and to make closures an easy task. Senior citizens, widows and the poor who kept money in post offices and whose only source of income is from interest on past savings find it very difficult to meet minimum requirements when the interest rate is going down every day to help the rich. Some of them have already started starving and many of them may be compelled to commit suicide in future. Labour is threatened with reduced interest income on their long-term saving in their Provident Funds lying with the Government. Before the economies of the G-7 countries caught cold, the Indian economy was already flat with severe pneumonia. This is the infection injected by the WTO and we have already destroyed the inbuilt immunity system by demolishing the public sector at the insistence of our foreign lenders now ruling as masters to whom we owe more than US $100 billion. In this crisis hour our public sector could save us from the onslaught of world depression. A similar economic situation happened with Argentina, which was forced to privatise its public sector, allowing the TNCs to rule the country. The Vajpayee government faced great criticism when it sold public sector units like Modern Foods and BALCO, but it hardly respects public protest because it is a fascist regime. It is moving very fast to sell both the airlines of the Indian public sector. Rs 12000 crores have to be realised by the sale of the public sector units to meet the budget deficit. This is more important to this government than the security of the nation’s economy.

Workers are the Worst Sufferers

Our worry is that in such a devastating situation with declining production and loss of job opportunities, where will the millions of unskilled and semi-skilled workers go and earn for their family members one square meal a day? According to the Economic Surveys the annual growth rate of jobs in the organised sector, which never employed more than 10 per cent of the total workers, during 1990 to 1999 was only 0.77 per cent. In terms of absolute increase in the number of employment during the above period, it was around 1.96 lakhs per year against 70 to 80 lakh new job seekers every year assuming a 2 per cent growth in the labour force per annum. During 1998 and 1999 there was no increase in employment in the organised sector, rather through various schemes there was competition to hand over pink retrenchment slips to the workers. During the last three years four public sector units have retrenched, through the Voluntary Retirement Scheme, more than 12,00,00 employees. The break up was as follows: Bharat Heavy Electricals 10,712, Coal India Ltd. 90,000, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, 1,443, Steel Authority of India Ltd 20,000 (Business Standard 25.8.01). Every day these figures become stale as fresh batches are given marching orders. The railways are asked to retrench 30,000 employees every year. The Fifth Pay Commission was ordered by the government to recommend a 10 per cent reduction in the central work force. Since the early nineties all vacancies created due to retirement and resignation in central government offices were not filled up and from the current year, the Finance Minister announced in his Budget speech, out of 3 per cent vacancies in government departments each year due to retirement, only one per cent will be filled up and thus in the next five years a 10 per cent reduction in government employment will take place. At the same time every day Cabinets both at the centre and in the states are expanding to provide berths to new political criminals, shamelessly unmindful of the fact that each minister is provided with a large team of officials just to serve and wait.


The above analysis of the Indian economy after 10 years of experience of the New Economic Policy tries to focus on how a constitutionally formed central government can treat with contempt the thrust area of the Indian Constitution: to keep India as a sovereign democratic republic. The mainstream political parties have colluded with the G-7 countries to follow steadfastly a single point agenda – to expand the horizon of capitalism and make the one billion people’s market in India an exclusive protected area for their selfish exploitation. Our freedom fighters are feeling restless in their graves. This is probably the price one has to pay for an independence bargained by negotiations by politicians at the back of the people and not gained by a fierce fight and sacrifices like that of China and Vietnam.

Foreign controlled firms in consumer goods

1. Infant milk foods and malted milk food: Nestle India, Glaxo Smithkline Beecham, Cadbury etc.

2. Bread and Biscuits and Confectionary: Britannia, HLL, Nestle India, Cadbury etc.

3. Vanaspati: HLL

4. Tea and Coffee: HLL and Nestle India

5. Fast food, Atta etc: HLL, Pfizer, Reckitt and Colman, MacDonald's, Kentucky Chicken, Pizza Hut, Cargill and many others.

6. Cigarettes: ITC, Godfrey Phillips and VST Industries

7. Footwear: Bata India, Reebok etc.

8. Drugs and Pharmaceuticals : Glaxo Smithkline Beecham, Hoechst India, Pfizer, Burroughs Wellcome, Boots, Park-Davis India, Rhone-Poulenc, Hindustan Ciba-Geigy and German Remedies etc.

9. Paints: Goodlass Nerolac, Berger Paint and ICI etc.

10. Soaps and detergents: HLL, Proctor and Gamble, Reckitt and Coleman, Hankel etc.

11. Cosmetics and toiletries: HLL, Proctor and Gamble, Reckitt and Colman, Johnson and Johnson etc

12. Dental Hygiene: Colgate Palmolive, HLL, Geoffrey Manners etc.

13. Floor and Wall Tiles : H&R Johnson

14. Glass: Indo Asahi Glass, Ashi India Safety Glass

15. Refrigerators and Washing Machines: Whirlpool, LG, Electrolux, Kelvinator, Samsung, Aiwa, Daewoo and others.

16. Air-Conditioners: LG, Carrier Aircon, Blue Star, Amtrex-Hitachi, Samsung and others.

17. Television and Audio Equipments: Philips, LG, Samsung, Aiwa, National Panasonic, Canon etc.

18. Computers: Microsoft, HP, Philips, IBM, Compaq etc.

19. Photo copying: Modi-Zerox, Gestetner, HP, Canon etc.

20. Cars and two wheelers: Ford, GM, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Hero Honda, TVS Suzuki, Maruti-Suzuki, LML Ltd., Kinetic Honda, Toyota etc.

21. Medical Equipments: Philips, Siemens, Infar India, Abbott Labs etc.

22. Watches: Timex, Citizen etc.

23. Soft Drinks: Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola.

24. Water (May not be hygienic): Pepsi, Coca Cola, Nestle etc.

This is an incomplete list and an enlightened reader should supplement it with his/her information. These firms are constantly changing through merger and amalgamation. One can go into Aspects of India’s Economy, Bombay (No. 25, January–March 1998) for detailed information.

Note: Data used is mainly from various Economic Surveys, Government of India.

Click here to return to the April 2002 index.