Gross Domestic Product and Growth Rates:
The rate of growth of the secondary and tertiary sectors has been more than double that of the primary sector, with the secondary sector having an edge over the tertiary sector during the first two decades. In the subsequent decade, the tertiary sector grew faster than either of the other two sectors. During the 1980s, when all the three sectors were growing at a faster rate, the secondary sector was the fastest. Subsequently, the tertiary sector has been growing the fastest.
The growth of services sector has imparted resilience to the economy, particularly in times of adverse agricultural shocks as also during cyclical downturns in industry. This pattern of structural change in Indian economy has deviated from the development pattern of the western economies. Those economies experienced first a shift from primary to secondary sector and only in their advanced stage did they experience a significant shift in favour of tertiary sector. That pattern of development enabled them to transfer growing labour force from primary sector to secondary sector. In India, this has not been possible because secondary sector has not expanded fast enough to absorb growing labour force. The unskilled and uneducated rural masses have continued to struggle in the primary sector and those who have been forced out by economic, social and political factors have joined the urban slum sector. This pattern of growth underlines the link between the growing poverty and unemployment and the inadequate growth of manufacturing and building activity in the country. If economic betterment of the masses of the people is our goal, there is an imperative need to promote manufacturing and allied supportive activities in the economy.