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India’s economic reforms, 1991 and after, were an investment in freer markets, domestic as well as global. The reforms were influenced by the ideas of the Reagan-Thatcher era on a reduced governmental role in the economy. The domestic initialisation for this was LPG: Liberalisation, privatisation, globalisation. Though implemented in stages and only partially, the belief was that greater market orientation would work to India’s benefit. And it did, delivering faster economic growth, lower inflation, a better trade balance, and external economic viability.
But disenchantment has grown because of the failure to boost manufacturing, creating a scarcity of quality jobs and an increase in inequality. In addition, there has developed a vulnerability to China on systemically important products and materials, in