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What If Reforms Had Taken Off 13 Years Earlier?

What If Reforms Had Taken Off 13 Years Earlier?

It wouldn't have made us a developed country by now. But from refusing-to-develop country (RDC) we would have moved to the willing-to-develop country (WDC) category.

What If Reforms Had Taken Off 13 Years Earlier? Madhu Kapparath

China started liberalising in 1978. What if India had liberalised then, since increasingly in the late ’70s, it was becoming clear that costs of state intervention exceeded the benefits? And there was the Alexander committee in 1977, the Dagli committee in ’78, the first Tandon committee in ’80 and the second Tandon committee in ’81, all wanting liberalisation. What if we had followed those recommendations then? Beyond ibm and Coca Cola not exiting, what if we had liberalised 13 years earlier than we did?

One must be careful. In asking this question, there is a presumption that reforms began in 1991 and everything before that was a deluge of state intervention. That’s not really true. Reforms did begin in the second half of the 1970s and gathered momentum in the second half of the ‘80s. There is continuity to the reform exercise, although what has happened since 1991 is undoubtedly more comprehensive.

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