Thursday, March 01, 2007

Goodbye growth ?

Finance minister P Chidambaram's latest budget has brought him brickbats aplenty from foreign observers and commentators. Joe Leahy in the Financial Times:

The window of opportunity for contentious economic reforms, the key to sustaining the 8-9 per cent growth rates India so badly needs, has now closed

There it is: no more reforms, no more growth. I would have bought this readily except for one thing. We weren't supposed to get to 8-9% growth in the first place. Through the nineties and especially after the Left-supported UPA government came to power in 2004, we were told that India's reforms had lost momentum, so we must bid goodbye to our hopes of attaining higher growth. Don't forget that the rating agencies placed us below investment grade until recently.

The sceptics have been proved dead wrong. We have clocked 8% or more for four years in a now. So, why should we believe them now?

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