Seventy-five years ago, on January 17, 1944 and on December 17, 1944, two slim volumes with far reaching consequences for India were published. They were A Brief Memorandum Outlining a Plan for Economic Development of India Part I and A Brief Memorandum Outlining a Plan for Economic Development of India, Distribution-Role of the State Part II. The first was authored by Sir Purushottamdas Thakurdas, J.R.D. Tata, G.D. Birla, Sir Ardeshir Dalal, Sir Shri Ram, Kasturbhai Lalbhai, A.D. Shroff and John Mathai and the second was authored by the same group, except for Sir Ardeshir Dalal, since in the interim he had been inducted into the Viceroy’s executive council in charge of planning.
The plan by India’s leading businessmen came to be known as the ‘Bombay Plan’, perhaps because it was discussed, drafted and finalised in Bombay, as a matter of fact in the Bombay House, the headquarters of Tata Group. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Bombay Plan, also called Tata-Birla plan by the media, guided the course of post war and post-colonial economy of India from 1947 to 1991.