Trade Union Forum


General overview

India is a developing agricultural and industrial country. In 2020, India had the 7th highest GDP in the world. The nominal GDP is 2.7 trillion US dollars. According to the International Monetary Fund, in 2020 Indian GDP per capita was 1877 US dollars. The Indian rupee (INR,₹) is the official currency of India. In 2020 the inflation rate in India was 4.95%. An independent period in India's economic development began in 1947 with the end of British administration.

The Government created Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to achieve different goals in India's economic development successfully. The performance of SEZs is regulated by Special Economic Zones Act. Usually, there are several different SEZs in each state. In SEZs, Indian workers produce various goods and services, oil and gas products, medicines, clothes and shoes, etc. The states with the largest number of SEZs are (as of 10 January 2020):

  • Andhra Pradesh; capital in Hyderabad, 27 SEZs;
  • Gujarat, capital in Gandhinagar, 22 SEZs;
  • Tamil Nadu, capital in Chennai, 54 SEZs;
  • Maharashtra, capital in Mumbai (the financial capital of India), 45 SEZs;
  • Telangana, capital in Hyderabad (shared with Andhra Pradesh), 56 SEZs;
  • Kerala, capital in Thiruvananthapuram, 25 SEZs;
  • Karnataka, capital in Bangalore, 52 SEZs;
  • Haryana, capital in Chandigarh, 20 SEZs.

In 2020 India had 358 SEZs.

Economic branches

India's economy is dominated by services. This sector accounts for 66% of GDP. India is one of the main provider of IT services in the global market (India makes about 20% of the total volume). Technology parks exist in India in many cities, e.g. in Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Allahabad, Mumbai, etc. Financial, banking, insurance, accounting and auditing services are very popular, as well as freight, tourism, education, healthcare, sports, real-estate transactions, and market research services.

Industry accounts for about 20% of Indian GDP. The most developed industries include the energy sector, ferrous metallurgy, mechanical engineering, chemical, and light industry. The country's traditional light industry is represented by leather, textile, and garment industries. The oil industry in the country is poorly developed.

Agriculture and related forestry and fisheries sectors account for 15% of the country's GDP. India is a country of economic contrasts, especially taking into account agriculture and cattle breeding. Agriculture in India includes not only large plantations but also small family farms, the owners of which often do not own land. Globally, India is the first in terms of the number of cattle, but one of the last in terms of meat consumption, due to religious beliefs that dominate the country. India is also the first in terms of irrigated land area (54,800,000 hectares). India is known for the cultivation of rice, wheat, legumes, sugar cane, cotton, and peanuts, as well as vegetables (11% of world production) and fruits (9% of world production). Besides, India is the world's second-largest producer and the largest consumer of silk (more than 70 million tons annually).

Export and import

The main exported goods are wheat and rice, machinery, aircraft, petroleum (oil) products, fabrics and clothing, medicines, some precious metals, and cattle. India also exports trout, mackerel, flatfish, tuna, cuttlefish, crabs, lobsters, octopus, and more than 20 other species of low-bone fish.

Major export partners are the US with 17.9% (US $ 49,000,000,000), China with 6.89% (US $ 19,000,000,000), the UAE with 6.51% (US $ 17,900,000,000), Hong Kong with 3.46% (US $ 9,530,000,000), Singapore with 3.01% (US $ 8,290,000,000), Bangladesh with 2.87% (US $ 7,910,000,000), the UK with 2.81% (US $ 7,760,000,000).

Total country's export in 2020 amounted to 275,000,000,000 US $.

The main imported goods are heavy crude oil, computers, phones, microchips, plastics, some minerals, fats and oils, and various fertilizers.

Major import partners are China with 5.9% (US $ 58,000,000,000), the US with 7.23% (US $ 26,000,000,000), the UAE with 6.49% (US $ 23,000,000,000), Saudi Arabia with 4.81% (US $ 17,700,000,000), Iraq with 4.39% (US $ 16,100,000,000), Hong Kong with 3.96% (US $ 14,500,000,000), Singapore with 3.34% (US $ 12,300,000,000), South Korea with 3.3% (US $ 12,100,000,000), Indonesia with 3.26% (US $ 12,000,000,000), Switzerland with 3.07% (US $ 11,300,000,000).

Total country's import in 2020 amounted nearly to 368,000,000,000 US $.

Labor force

According to the UN (12 March 2021), there are 902,000,000 workers in India (65% of the total population). Only 40% of workers have an official paid job. In January 2021, the unemployment rate in India fell to 6.5%.

Most of the population (60%) works in agriculture. In 2017, the government set the minimum wage per day, i.e. 176 rupees (US $ 2.43). In 2019, the average pretax salary per month was 13,560 rupees (US $ 194).