31 October, 2020

A 5-Trillion Dollar Economy Is Like A Chubby Cow Learning To Skate On Thin Ice

The government betrays total ignorance about macroeconomics levers but no one dares to say so, writes journalist and author, Puja Mehra

A 5-Trillion Dollar Economy Is Like A Chubby Cow Learning To Skate On Thin Ice

Slumbering elephant, caged tiger, sleeping dragon, tortoise—metaphors describing the Indian economy combine promise and frustration. “India’s is very much the tortoise story in the fable—a story starter coming good over a time,” T.N. Ninan wrote in The Turn of the Tortoise (2015). The potential was never in question. The tortoise needed time. The droopy tiger needed unshackling. Observers had hung on to the faith that India will resolve the roadblocks and speed-breakers: an underperforming state, cloying cronyism, chronic graft, populist politics, retreating forest cover and the toxic air and water.

In the years following 1947, annual growth averaged 3.5 per cent, pejoratively called the ‘Hindu rate of growth’. The 1980s saw a few initial steps of economic liberalisation, and after the balance of payments crisis of 1991 led to a spurt in economic reforms, growth picked up dramatically, rising to 6 per cent and more—1991-2011 was the best period in India’s economic history, when the ‘miracle economy’...



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