22 January, 2021

Are We Missing The Bus?

No point offering a trip to the moon when the fuel tank is empty. It's better to be realistic.

Are We Missing The Bus?
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

OF late, there has been a change among New Delhi's economic policy-makers. Until recently, there was much crowing about how India had escaped the East Asian contagion. Nowadays, one hears privately-voiced concerns about whether India is missing the bus. By not reforming fast enough, have we shut the tiny window of opportunity opened by the East Asian crisis? Will we continue to wallow up to mid-1999, when China, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea claw back to export-driven growth?

Have we missed the bus? Not yet. But we've shown such reluctance to convert this East Asian opening into a goal that we are very close to blowing our chances. East Asia was in the worst throes of its crisis when the BJP-led coalition assumed power in March 1998. In comparison, on March 19, when Atal Behari Vajpayee became the prime minister, the Sensex was at 3821 and rising. Despite Jayalalitha's shenanigans, it continued to rise, peaking at 4281 on April 21. Clearly, industry, foreign investors and the capital market had huge expectations from the new order. In...

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