Settling India's Growth Potential

Atul K Thakur, Senior Associate Editor, INCLUSION

Book Review: Non-fiction/2014: India’s Growth Resurgence by Yerram Raju, M Sitarama Murty and Subbaiah Singala, BS Publications, 329pp; Rs895 (Hardback)

India’s Growth Resurgence: Sectoral Issues and Governance Risks, jointly authored by Yerram Raju, M Sitarama Murthy and Subbaiah Singala looks into detail on the frontal sectoral issues and governance risks, India is facing as a leading emerging economy.

Yerram Raju is a well-known economist, Sitarama Murthy was former managing director of State Bank of Mysore and Subbaiah is General Manager, RBI – and in their collective efforts, the book comes out in realistic terms with the issues delved.

In the post economic reforms times, India’s experience has been varied when it comes to the sectoral and governance performance. The book highlights the grey areas, where much more is need to be done – besides, it also recount the achievements, which were attained through the positive shifts in policies started way back in 1991.

The book has focus on the structural issues of Indian economy and brings on fore, the macroeconomic challenges, haunting at both domestic and global front and making dent to the actual prospects.

Further, where the concentration is put on the emerging challenges before the Indian economy, the authors seem to have researched thoroughly – however, while sharing those insights, the rambling fails to wither away in their expression. On the productive side, this book has to offer valuable documentation of facts and perspectives in the key areas like, manufacturing, services, energy and water & environment.

In the concluding part of the book, the challenges and options of governance are dealt through the passionate accounts of political system, civil services, local governance and corporate governance. Together, these allow the readers to reckon the fundamentals on ground – and without assaulting on their patience.

The book holds value from policy perspectives, as often the consensus forged about lack of too many standard books in policy domain. Here, it is attempted earnestly to not only unearth the challenges but also provide with the solutions to overcome the blockades.

It is quite interesting that the policies are being discussed at unprecedented scale in India – this signifies how the policy discussions are being democratized now. Moreover, it is a telling example of prominence that ‘economic sphere’ has secured in the last two decades.

The polity and economy has really moved up to a new horizon in India – the glaring signs of changes are mass-scale shifts, which these most important components are witnessing within and outside. Irrespective of how erroneously the growth agendas have shaken up the fair chances of ‘inclusive development’ in recent few years, a certain sense of exuberance is not missing even among those economically depressed sections.

Why such unfounded exuberance? Possibly it is linked with the new consumption tendency that converges people for mass euphoria – and reduces them back at individual level once the ‘deprivation quotient’ fixated at relative rather on the absolute term. More than the ‘trickle down’, the buoyancy of the Indian economy could be better understood through the changing psychological profile of consumption in India that today shapes the politics, economy and social culture.

Even though, this book has closer bearing with the policies – it mistakenly gives political leadership far more share than required in realistic evaluation of the situation. It is imperative that the policy debates should be delinked from the ‘pure politics’ that otherwise has too heavy compulsions to look on the issues in shorter frames.

Precisely, it is wishful that politics should give proper breathing space for policy-making and implementations. Despite it is gripped through the basic limitations, the book offers many reasons to be read by the policy enthusiasts.  

(Atul K Thakur can be reached at atul@skoch.in)

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