Emily Parker, in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) laments India’s tortuous path towards economic reforms
Congress Party Member of Parliament Jairam Ramesh makes it abundantly clear that if you’re waiting for change, it’s probably better not to hold your breath…. “Given our political system, reforms have to be the result of compromise, discussion,” he says cheerfully. “It can take 3 years, 4 years, 5 years.”
And of course, when it comes to Indian economic reforms, there’s the the obligatory genuflection to politics trumping economics.
Mr. Chidambaram may be pro-market at heart, but his words suggest that economics take a backseat to politics in New Delhi. On the issue of privatizing profit-making enterprises, he says, “One could make a strong economic argument in favor of some profit-making public-sector enterprises in some sectors, not all. But I think given the situation in India, it is virtually impossible to make out a political argument.”
Is that really the case, Mr Chidambaram? Just how insuperable are these so-called “political obstacles”? After all, how many reform-minded politicians have really made a broad-based case for reforms? .
Quote of the day
.. I have newfound respect for any journalist who dares to try to make sense of the Indian economy. There is no shortage of articulate and well-informed opinions, but good luck finding two people who tell you the same thing.
Heh. That’s why IEB’s a group blog, Ms Parker.