New modes of industrial manufacturing: India’s experience with special economic zones

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Abstract

Special economic zones in India have gained prominence among the policy making circles in recent years. The argument by the policy makers was that these zones will allow industrialisation in India. This article reviews the emerging geography of SEZs (special economic zones) in India and the Indian government recent experiment with the SEZs as models of economic development. The article argues that current SEZ policy in India is designed along the lines of mainstream economic strategy for industrialisation of Washington Consensus, i.e. open economy with greater market freedom coupled with minimal government intervention leads to rapid economic growth and rising incomes. The evidence suggests that these zones are giving rise to uneven geographical development in India with certain regions, sectors and classes are deriving the benefits from this policy.

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