Economy of West Bengal, a state in eastern India, is highly dependent on agriculture, although services and industries play an increasingly significant role in the economy of the state. A significant part of the state is economically backward, namely, large parts of six northern districts of Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Malda, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur; three western districts of Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum; and the Sundarbans area. Years after independence, West Bengal was still dependent on the central government for meeting its demands for food; food production remained stagnant and the Green Revolution bypassed the state. However, there has been a significant spurt in food production since the 1980s, and the state now has a surplus of grains. The state's total financial debt stood at 191,835 crore (US$34.91 billion) as of 2011.
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“Even the poor student studies and is taught only political economy, while that economy of living which is synonymous with philosophy is not even sincerely professed in our colleges. The consequence is, that while he is reading Adam Smith, Ricardo, and Say, he runs his father in debt irretrievably.”
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“I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical terms.”
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“The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day.
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