The global economy is going through an upheaval and there are great uncertainties ahead. The global economic recession and crisis has, quite expectedly, impacted India, too. It is a moot point today whether the Indian economy is affected more by the global economic ups and downs or by India’s structural and political problems and economic management or mismanagement.
Things do look bleak in the short term. The Rupee is passing through one of its worst crisis in recent times. The fiscal deficit is rising and there has been a steady decrease in corporate investments with Capital inflows to India receding like the proverbial chimera in the desert. Some might even add that the institutional and structural weaknesses of our nation – bloated government, crony capitalism, corruption and other problems might mean that the sleeping giant who had only just awakened have been found to have feet of clay.
But the pessimism in the press about current growth trends in the economy not withstanding there are many reasons to feel optimistic about the future too.
We therefore decided to do a ‘Sancho Panza’ and tip at the proverbial windmills by telescoping into the future. We asked two of our resident experts, Ajit Ranade and Ashish Chauhan to give us their views on India at 2061. While Ajit takes a larger Macro economic view on the Indian Economy in 2061, Ashish’s gaze is more firmly fixed on Capital markets.
Our attempt is in no way to suggest that there’s a built-in determinism to our growth path. National economies have their own peculiar growth dynamics. We do not have a crystal ball and cannot predict if India does stand a chance of becoming a robust and resilient economy and polity capable of addressing the massive issues that this nation of 1.2 billion (projected to grow to 1.5 billion) people faces in the next few decades. It might seem that we as a nation are always muddling through – often coming back from the brink. But let us not forget that from a historical perspective the changes that the nation has seen in the last 60 years are truly transformational on many fronts. Let us as a nation be less interested in global leadership positions and more on how to make all sections of India’s population thrive.
Will the Indian elephant dance? Only time will tell.