Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Problem of Indian Economy

The problem of Indian Economy needs to be explained better.

Imagine the economy as a car (favourite of economists). The car has an engine of 4 cylinders (say). Then process of policy development adds cylinders to the engine. Thus, with prudent reform and policies the 4-cylinder engine economy can grow to become 6-cylinder engine economy. This is achieved while the 4-cylinder engine is still working and therefore is a complicated process.

First set of problems
Indian Economy is a car with 4 cylinder engine (as against US economy which could be 16 cylinder or China could be 12-cylinder etc). This engine is capable of growing at ~7% steadily. But to grow at 9-10% we need a bigger engine. Sadly, the Indian politician has no inclination to undertake these reforms.

Second set of problems
To add to our woes, the 4-cylinder engine itself is not running to its capacity. Not all cylinders are firing, brakes are engaged slowing the economy and there isn't enough lubrication to transmit all the engine power to the wheels. As a result we are finding it difficult to hold on to 6% GDP growth. Here again the problems are created by political class.

In times of global macro-economic distress, one expects politicians to at the very least avoid second set of problems. In corporate lingo, these can be solved by "de-bottlenecking". In other words just simplify the procedure and keep policy clear and simple and you will have solved second set of problems.

Tackling first set of problems is going to be difficult and will need decisive political leadership that sadly is not even available on the far horizon.