chapter  3
24 Pages

A BRIC despite itself

Sustained growth versus neoliberalism in India
By Radhika Desai

In the summer of 2016 the Indian press was awash with a jubilant nostalgia. Exactly a quarter century before, Narasimha Rao’s Congress minority government had had taken major steps to liberalize the Indian economy with former World Bank economist, Dr Manmohan Singh, at the helm as Finance Minister. Rao’s government has been elected amid a concatenation of political and economic crises – the collapse of the previous coalition government of smaller regionally based parties, the assassination of former Congress Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, on the campaign trail in the general election that ensued, the minority Congress government that was its verdict and a full-blown balance of payments crisis, complete with resort to an IMF loan with its attendant conditionalities.