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India: Priorities for the Future
By Bimal Jalan
Bimal Jalan’s formidable analysis of the last 4 decades of India’s economic journey illuminates the nation’s transition from a strictly regulated, slow-growth state enterprise to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
Dr. Bimal Jalan has had a ringside view of financial governance during his long and distinguished career, which included Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and stints as Union Finance Secretary. Drawing on this vast experience he compares two distinct periods: 2000–15 and 1980–2000, to examine the core changes and their significance and considers their lessons for the immediate future.
Dr. Bimal Jalan suggests six critical issues where change can make a difference: revisit the anti-defection law so parties that join a coalition cannot defect without having to seek re-election; establish rules to make Parliament’s proceedings orderly and purposeful; ensure a stable and competitive economic environment; make the states—rather than the centre—responsible for financial development programmes and poverty-alleviation schemes; make sure ministries are accountable for actual performance; and, finally, rationalize the system of delivery of public services to persons below the poverty line.
With such measures, India can become one of the fastest-growing emerging global powers and ensure that the benefits of such growth reach all her people.