The Indian economy has entered a difficult period over the past eighteen months with the rate of GDP growth having halved, inflation still stubbornly high, and deficits remaining substantial. Economists are asking whether India’s rapid growth of the last decade was more a credit-fueled aberration than a result of structural reforms. To complicate matters, economic concerns are increasingly secondary to political debate as India prepares for critical state elections this winter and parliamentary elections in spring 2014.
Jahangir Aziz and Ila Patnaik assessed the state of India’s economy in the context of India’s growing election fervor. Edward Luce moderated.
Jahangir Aziz is senior Asia economist and India chief economist at JP Morgan. He was previously principal economic adviser to the Indian Ministry of Finance and head of the China Division at the International Monetary Fund.
Ila Patnaik is a nonresident senior associate in Carnegie’s South Asia Program and a professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy in New Delhi. She writes regular columns in the Indian Express and the Financial Express and recently co-led the research team for India’s Ministry of Finance Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission.
Edward Luce is the Washington columnist and former Washington bureau chief of the Financial Times. Earlier he was their South Asia bureau chief based in New Delhi. He is the author of In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India (2006) and Time to Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Decline (2012).