INDIA'S NEXT CHALLENGE: SUSTAINING ITS GROWTH
Alan Wheatley (Reuters)
The New York Times, February 28, 2011
BEIJING — Twenty years ago, India was in the throes of a balance-of-payments crisis that forced it to airlift 47 tons of gold to London to pledge with the Bank of England as collateral for an emergency $400 million loan.
Since that national humiliation, nearly 200 million people have climbed out of extreme poverty and India’s share of global output has more than doubled. Per capita gross domestic product, measured in dollars at purchasing power parity, has risen more than fivefold.
The architect of India’s renaissance is the current prime minister, Manmohan Singh, who took over as finance minister in June 1991 and lit the fuse for growth by dismantling the “License Raj” system that had India tied up in red tape.
As prime minister, however, Mr. Singh has disappointed those who seek change. He has failed to overcome opposition to market opening in sectors like retailing and financial services; infrastructure, the sinew of any economy, is woeful; and a long-awaited goods and service tax has not been introduced.
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