ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Indian Economy at the Crossroads

DEEPAK NAYYAR ('Indian Economy at the Crossroads: Illusions and Realities', EPW, April 10, 1993) raises a number of issues about the economic policy reforms which require further discussion. Nayyar himself has, with characteristic modesty, described his lecture as providing "a modest beginning for a meaningful debate, which is essential at this critical juncture in our economy". In what follows, I propose to show that the conclusions which Nayyar has drawn do not follow from the evidence he has cited about the impact of the policy reform in India or indeed from the experience of other countries which had embarked on similar reforms. At best, Nayyar succeeds only in pointing to the risks which are inherent in any major and wide-ranging reform. He has, however, been unable to assign any probability to the prospect or failure. And yet all through the lecture there seems to be an implicit assumption that the new policies will fail. Nayyar is careful in his expression of doubt. Each individual remark is made with appropriate caveats. But the overall thrust of the argument is that the country is on the brink of disaster.

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