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SHINING, BUT NOT SO FREE: India has one of the fastest growing economies and is on path to becoming an economic superpower.

But, the 2004 Index of Economic Freedom, published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, ranks India at a lowly 121st in economic freedom.

The ranking is based on the scores garnered in 10 categories: trade policy, fiscal burden of the government, government intervention in economy, monetary policy, capital flows and foreign investment, banking and finance, wages and prices, property rights, regulation, and black market activity.

The rankings do not take 'political freedom' into account.

India's score is 3.53 (the higher the score the lesser the economic freedom) and it figures in the 'Mostly Unfree' category. China finds no mention in the rankings as information for the country was not available.

Notably India is behind nations like Botswana (39th), Bolivia (41st), Lebanon (83rd), Swaziland (89th), Mozambique (95th), Rwanda (103rd), Pakistan (109th), Lesotho (118th) and Zambia (also 118th).

So which are the world's 10 freest economies? Read on...

Indian children dressed in the uniform of the Sikh Army, raise their tiny kirpans and swords during a parade in Amritsar. Photo: Str/AFP/Getty Images

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