Last March I had to answer an analysis question on whether or not India can keep up its 8.5-10% growth. With inflation then raching 7.5%, its deficit 6% of GDP, its national debt close to 80% of GDP, the Government’s lack of infrastructure spending, excessive transfer payments for populist schemes and with a vast majority of the population earning less than $2 a day, I took a stand that the current growth was not sustainable and expected a slowdown. I compared it with China which despite its high inflation could control it by letting its currency float freely and with its National Debt just 15% of its GDP had lots of room to fund its growth.
Business Week writes
Most economic forecasts expect growth to slow to 7%—a big drop for a country that needs to accelerate growth, not reduce it. “India has gone from hero to zero in six months,” says Andrew Holland, head of proprietary trading at Merrill Lynch India (MER) in Mumbai.
A Goldman Sachs report released in June a report on India’s potential to grow 40 times by 2050 and the 10 things it needs to do to get there. For the record that would be 3-4 times current US economy. Those are steps the Government should have taken 5-10 years ago, when the economy was still healthy. Now we are in a ER room and looking at triage. Let alone quadrupling, if India wants to prevent social unrest and save its millions from starving, it needs some drastic steps now.
I would start with improving tax collection and re-purposing Government spending. But with elections around the corner, the Government may not have the courage to act. The problem is inaction is not enough in the ER room when the patient is bleeding.