in category History

How much did Britain extract from India during its colonial rule?

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Britain ruled India for about 200 years, a period that was marred with extreme poverty and famine. India's wealth depleted in these two centuries. Renowned economist Utsa Patnaik, who has researched fiscal relations between Colonial India and Britain, has tried to answer "how much money did the British stealfrom India?" Patnaik, in her essay published in Columbia University Press recently, said Britain drained over £9.2 trillion from India, which to date has hampered the country's ability to emerge from poverty.

Patnaik said the scars of colonisation remain despite Britain leaving India over 70 years ago. "Between 1765 and 1938, they drain amounted to £9.2 trillion, taking India's export surplus earnings as the measure and compounding it at 5% interest," Patnaik said during an interview with Mint.

She added Indians were never given due credit for their resources.

As per Utsa's research, the country's per capita income was almost steady during the period from 1900 to 1945-46. In 1900-02, India's per capita income was Rs 196.1, while it was just Rs 201.9 in 1945-46, a year before India got its independence. During this period, the per capita income rose to maximum Rs 223.8 in 1930-32. All this happened when "India registered the second largest export surplus earnings in the world for three decades before 1929."

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