[caption id="attachment_632" align="alignright" width="343" caption="Precolonial national income of India(1857-1900)"][/caption]
About a quarter of Indians still live below the poverty line, a large middle class (more than 300 million strong) has now emerged promising a more growth in the industry.
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Agriculture-dependent Indian economy contributes it to less than 25% of the GDP. Mining, petroleum, films, textiles, information technology services, and handicrafts are some of the other important industries. India has emerged as one of the largest players in software and business process outsourcing (BPO) services. Capitalizing on the large numbers of well-educated people skilled in the English language, India has become a major exporter of software services and software workers. Economic expansion has helped to make progress in reducing its federal fiscal deficit. Strong growth combined with easy consumer credit and a real estate boom fueled inflation concerns in 2006 and 2007, leading to a series of central bank interest rate hikes that have slowed credit growth and eased inflation concerns. The huge and the ever growing population is India’s fundamental social, economic, and environmental problem. Small-scale industries and tourism sector also provides steady employment to many of its citizens in small towns and villages.
Japan, China and the United Arab Emirates are India's major trading partners with the United States of America as being the largest. The United States is also India's largest investment partner, with a 13% share. India' exports some of the items that include agricultural products, textile goods, gems and jewellery, software services and technology, engineering goods, chemicals and leather products while it imports commodities such as crude oil, machinery, gems, fertiliser, chemicals.
India's external debt was $155 billion in 2006-2007, up from $126 billion in 2005-2006. Foreign assistance that India got was approximately $3 billion in 2006-2007, with the United States providing about $126 million in development assistance. The World Bank in its expansion programme for India plans to double aid to India to almost $3 billion a year, focussing on infrastructure, education, health, and rural livelihoods.