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How to get the next set of reforms right

Second-generation reforms require careful deliberation, effective implementation, and accommodative politics

The government has the willingness, intent and numbers to push reforms. But whether it is able to take everyone along, frame policies factoring in socioeconomic complexities, and stay the course will determine India’s economic trajectory (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
The government has the willingness, intent and numbers to push reforms. But whether it is able to take everyone along, frame policies factoring in socioeconomic complexities, and stay the course will determine India’s economic trajectory (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 02, 2021 12:00 PM IST
ByR Sukumar

Don’t turn the clock back on investment norms

As an integral element of these structural economic reforms, India adopted measures aimed at liberalising foreign investment, both direct and institutional, to overcome the problem of over-dependence on debt three decades ago

Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao talking to his Cabinet colleague Manmohan Singh in 1994. (Sanjay Sharma / HT Archive)
Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao talking to his Cabinet colleague Manmohan Singh in 1994. (Sanjay Sharma / HT Archive)
Updated on Jul 08, 2021 07:49 PM IST
ByPrabhash Ranjan

Trade dilemma in a populist world

India’s foreign exchange reserves were valued at $598 billion in May 2021, more than 15 times the value of India’s imports that month.

India’s foreign exchange reserves could have paid for just two weeks of imports when the balance of payment crisis erupted in 1991.(HT file photo)
India’s foreign exchange reserves could have paid for just two weeks of imports when the balance of payment crisis erupted in 1991.(HT file photo)
Published on Jul 07, 2021 01:07 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Return of India’s poverty challenge

The first two decades of economic reforms delivered gains in terms of poverty reduction front.

Fruits of economic reforms had not been shared equally across class and region.(Mint File Photo)
Fruits of economic reforms had not been shared equally across class and region.(Mint File Photo)
Updated on Jul 06, 2021 08:26 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

3 decades of reforms: Cup is only half-full

As India completes three decades of economic reforms, the question is not whether economic reforms were good for the economy. It is whether the best of the reform years are already behind us and what this means for India’s per capita incomes, which are still very low.

The 1960s and the 1970s were worse in terms of economic growth than the 1950s.(HT Photo)
The 1960s and the 1970s were worse in terms of economic growth than the 1950s.(HT Photo)
Published on Jul 05, 2021 12:51 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Economic reforms: Why 2021 must surpass 1991

The 1991 reforms changed things for the better. But were they delayed, half-hearted and incomplete? In driving the next set of changes, conviction, not compulsion, must be our motto

In improving the overall competitiveness of the economy, the quality of social and physical infrastructure, along with following through with the important changes which have been initiated over the last two years, will be crucial. We need to make exports an engine of growth and ensure abiding changes in trade logistics. We need to shed the hesitation in becoming a driver of, not a reactive agent to, preferential trade arrangements. (HTPhoto)
In improving the overall competitiveness of the economy, the quality of social and physical infrastructure, along with following through with the important changes which have been initiated over the last two years, will be crucial. We need to make exports an engine of growth and ensure abiding changes in trade logistics. We need to shed the hesitation in becoming a driver of, not a reactive agent to, preferential trade arrangements. (HTPhoto)
Published on Jul 03, 2021 06:39 PM IST
ByNK Singh

Keeping people, not profits, at the centre of reforms

Wealth is the monetisation of value created by the working class with their toil. Respect these value creators first

Farmers’ supporters protest against the three farm laws outside Raj Niwas on completion of seven months of farmers’ agitation in New Delhi on June 26. (ANI)
Farmers’ supporters protest against the three farm laws outside Raj Niwas on completion of seven months of farmers’ agitation in New Delhi on June 26. (ANI)
Updated on Jul 02, 2021 04:40 PM IST

Three decades of liberalisation: Banking highs and lows

Both the body and the soul of the industry have changed. The sellers’ market of the 1990s has become a buyers’ market. From addressing the cycle of life, the lifestyle of the customers is on banks’ radar now.

Here is the story of Indian banking since economic liberalisation.(Reuters)
Here is the story of Indian banking since economic liberalisation.(Reuters)
Updated on Jul 02, 2021 12:57 AM IST
ByTamal Bandyopadhyay

Thirty years down memory lane

The captain was PV Narasimha Rao, and the star striker was Manmohan Singh, whose tenure was marked by courage of conviction

The new Industrial Policy Resolution was tabled in Parliament on the morning of July 24. In the afternoon, at 5 pm, the finance minister presented his first, and path-breaking, budget. The rest is history (HT Archive)
The new Industrial Policy Resolution was tabled in Parliament on the morning of July 24. In the afternoon, at 5 pm, the finance minister presented his first, and path-breaking, budget. The rest is history (HT Archive)
Published on Jul 01, 2021 12:56 AM IST
ByP Chidambaram

Reforms and Indian capitalism

Crony capitalism is entrenched, regulation is weak, and inequality is high. Reforms need a new imagination

Representational image. (AFP)
Representational image. (AFP)
Updated on Jun 29, 2021 04:21 PM IST
ByYamini Aiyar

Reforms for a new India in the 21st century

What India needs is transformational, not incremental, changes. The Modi government is committed to the deregulation of the economy and ushering in systemic reforms

A host of measures, carefully planned and executed with no discrimination, built the necessary environment for the poor to feel included without having to beg for it (PTI)
A host of measures, carefully planned and executed with no discrimination, built the necessary environment for the poor to feel included without having to beg for it (PTI)
Updated on Jun 28, 2021 09:52 PM IST
ByNirmala Sitharaman

Soft infrastructure, and a tablet for all, can catalyse India’s development

Addressing the digital divide, providing equal access to education, ensuring seamless health care delivery, water management, and unclogging the justice system should be prioritised in the next phase of reforms

The biggest enabling reform for the future has to be the JAM trinity — opening bank accounts for all Indian households, getting 1.2 billion Indians enrolled onto Aadhaar and getting almost all Indians a mobile phone (Hindustan Times)
The biggest enabling reform for the future has to be the JAM trinity — opening bank accounts for all Indian households, getting 1.2 billion Indians enrolled onto Aadhaar and getting almost all Indians a mobile phone (Hindustan Times)
Published on Jun 26, 2021 06:23 PM IST
ByJanmejaya Sinha

India needs a third generation of reforms

In India’s development journey, two major policy departures in its approach to growth and development stand out. In each case, there was an acceleration in growth, which then started petering out. We are at a similar crossroads

An equity advisor watches share prices at a financial consultants' firm in Mumbai. (File photo)
An equity advisor watches share prices at a financial consultants' firm in Mumbai. (File photo)
Updated on Jun 23, 2021 05:25 PM IST
ByRakesh Mohan

The 1991 reforms: The right people at a tight time

The reforms were a product of an objective economic crisis, the presence of bureaucratic and technocratic talent in key positions, and an available blueprint on how to proceed

Finance minister Manmohan Singh brought in intellectual and technocratic heft, backed up by his long experience in all the highest organs of economic policymaking. (HT archive)
Finance minister Manmohan Singh brought in intellectual and technocratic heft, backed up by his long experience in all the highest organs of economic policymaking. (HT archive)
Updated on Jun 22, 2021 06:14 PM IST
ByRakesh Mohan

From 1991, the lessons for the India of 2021

Thirty years ago, reforms energised the Indian economy and lifted millions out of poverty. As India grapples with a post-pandemic economic crisis, there are lessons on what to reform and how

The 1991 reforms helped the economy stave off a crisis and then bloom. It is time to outline a credible new reform agenda that will not just bring GDP back to pre-crisis levels, but also ensure growth rates higher than it had when it entered the pandemic. (AFP)
The 1991 reforms helped the economy stave off a crisis and then bloom. It is time to outline a credible new reform agenda that will not just bring GDP back to pre-crisis levels, but also ensure growth rates higher than it had when it entered the pandemic. (AFP)
Updated on Jun 19, 2021 09:41 PM IST
ByMontek Singh Ahluwalia
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