There seems to be a newfound urgency in government—at last.
Consider the evidence. The ministry of rural development on Friday unveiled the draft Bill on land acquisitions, one of the most contentious issues in India right now. Earlier, we have seen a modest increase in fuel prices, clearances for two major deals involving multinational investment (Reliance-BP and Cairn-Vedanta), a fresh push towards foreign investment in modern retail, and getting in Bihar finance minister Sushil Modi to head the panel on the goods and services tax. There was also no public pushback from the finance ministry when the Reserve Bank of India raised interest rates by a stiff 50 basis points this week to fight high inflation.
These are positive signals, but amount to tentative moves that kept getting postponed at various points of time since 2004. The policy paralysis is costing India dear.