The two-decade-old history of economic reforms in India is uneven. Reforms were undertaken in 1991 under duress and this has been the story since then. Though every government since 1991 has embraced economic reforms, the impression that national consensus has backed economic reforms is erroneous. The fact of the matter is that there is no consensus on economic reforms within the various political parties and across the political spectrum; the Left parties remain stubbornly opposed to them and the people at large are completely indifferent.
Every government, therefore, adopts a minimalist approach and does only what is pressing and unavoidable. There is no doubt that India has travelled far as an economic power after the initiation of economic reforms. The new normal for GDP growth is 8-9 per cent; anything less creates the impression of a crisis. In the economic field, reforms have definitely succeeded, but in the political arena they have been a total failure. Finance ministers ofRead More »from Reforms and the Great Divide