India: Toward a Freer Economy

When World War II ended, most non-Communist nations began dismantling the intricate economic controls that had been necessary to cope with the military emergency. India was a major excep tion, for tight regulation of the economy fitted neatly into Jawaharlal Nehru's doc trinaire socialist blueprint for his newly independent nation. Many of the con trols on business survive to this day, and they are charged with retarding In dia's growth in the past two decades.

Of late, however, things have begun to change. In his last months as Prime Minister, Lai Bahadur Shastri took a few steps toward a...