Global news of industrial policy’s demise was vastly exaggerated
Much free-trade advocacy is done by rich countries that have long had policies of industrial promotion behind tariff walls
The only significant policy initiative that the post pandemic Indian economy has seen from the Government has been an openness to use Industrial Policy as a tool for economic development. This has predictably elicited howls of protest and indignation from Economists who have classified this “inward" view of the economy as a violation of the Washington Consensus which recommends free trade, strong institutions and a mildly indifferent government as the only cure to poverty and destitution in less developed economies. India’s policy initiatives, radical by historical standards, have been criticized on three main grounds. One, Industrial Policy has historically failed. Second, Industrial policy fails because bureaucrats can not allocate resources as well as markets can and hence can’t pick “winners". And, lastly, because of the above two reasons Industrial Policy is essentially a “Freebie" scheme that allows large industrialists/monopolists to extract rents from the state.