Our ministers are fearless reformers, at least when they’re abroad.
One current example of such behaviour is that of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and minister for commerce and industry Anand Sharma. The duo is in Washington these days. Mukherjee on Tuesday announced that foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance will be increased to 49% in the next one year. Sharma, not to be left behind, announced that there would be a calibrated increase in FDI in retail and defence.
This is a territory where even angels fear to tread. The political backlash, even for making pro-FDI noises, is severe. That, however, is in India. Abroad, these ideas are not heretical and are appreciated. But what the ministers probably forgot is that these ideas have to be implemented in India. Now that’s a different story.