Countries reform fastest during crises. India is no exception. In a six-part series starting tomorrow, India Inc. Group Founder and CEO, Manoj Ladwa explains how COVID-19 presents India with an opportunity to push through reforms that can herald a new economic renaissance.
The current government has the political capital to push through necessary, but politically contentious, measures to ease processes, cut down bureaucracy and eliminate corruption.
It is planning to prepare a stimulus and reforms package to revive the economy and position India as an alternative to China.
The time is now right to grab the chance provided by the COVID-19 pandemic to change the factors that are holding India back.
India's GDP will certainly contract in this current quarter, the Government of India's Chief Economic Advisor K. Subramanian has said. He added that despite this, the economy will grow, albeit only marginally, during the full financial year.
Such a prognosis would normally be considered devastating in a young and highly aspirational country like India. But it's a sign of the times we live in that this statement actually provides some comfort to foreign and domestic investors, and pretty much everyone else with a stake in India's well-being, that the country is not (so far) staring at a recession.
This, however, doesn't lessen the pain that almost all sectors of the Indian economy are feeling. The Modi government is busy preparing a stimulus and reforms package to revive the economy and position India as an alternative to China for US, European, Japanese and Korean companies looking for alternative investment destinations.
This is also the right time to implement deep and far-reaching systemic reforms, a la 1991. India now has a government with a parliamentary majority and a Prime Minister with unprecedented personal popularity. The government, therefore, has the political capital to push through necessary, but politically contentious, measures.