The government is now working on 32 reform laws; 21 of them relate to the economy and the financial sector. That’s what trade minister Kamal Nath has told a German newspaper in an interview.
That’s good news. Reforms were buried by the Manmohan Singh government till now—partly because of the roadblocks put up by the Left, but also partly because of internal opposition. There are now growing hopes that India could see a welcome burst of reforms in the final months of this government.
But there will be several obstacles. The most obvious one is that the proposed laws will have to be navigated through the legislature, during a winter session that may see heated debates about the nuclear deal with the US. But even before that, the proposed laws need to be drafted and the relevant ministers need to sign off on them.
How long can it take? The new Companies Bill that is to be introduced in the next session of Parliament has been five years in the making. So, many of the 32 reform laws in queue will need to be pushed through by the next government. Perhaps a bit of bipartisan maturity is called for at this juncture.