India won’t be able to achieve its long-term goal of hitting a 9% growth rate with a “business as usual” approach. That would qualify as the under-statement of the year if it came from anybody else. But since the Prime Minister of the nation himself delivered this message on Monday in Kolkata, can it be read as a measure of intent?
Given that domestic growth is slowing and the global scenario looks so gloomy, the government will need to make a breakthrough on the policy front to energize the economy. That looks difficult, with the arm-wrestling match going on in Parliament. Outside the House, the government has to contend with an anti-corruption movement that doesn’t look it is losing any steam. Manmohan Singh described reversing the slowdown and getting the economy to speed up again as an ambitious task. He may well have meant impossible.