Election May Dictate Pace Of Economic Policy Changes

06 March 2012 - Which Way to Pay

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Election May Dictate Pace Of Economic Policy Changes

India’s ruling Congress party is lagging behind as votes are counted in an election that may dictate the pace of economic policy changes Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is seeking to boost growth. The Indian National Congress Party and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty suffered a defeat in a pivotal election in the country’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, leading many to question their political mandate at a time when the party and family were already struggling to advance their policy agenda in New Delhi.

Under the Congress party, the country’s gross domestic product grew by a measly 6.1% in the last quarter of 2011, its weakest in three years. Economic reforms have also been lacking since the party won the general elections in 2009.

Analysts are saying that the results in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere, just two years before the planned national elections, will make it more difficult for Indian policy makers to bolster a slowing economy and improve the productivity of an administration that has been under attack for corruption scandals and making decisions too slowly.

However, despite voters punishing congress for corruption and high inflation, fear of losing 2014’s general election might cause the party to take necessary action on urgently needed reforms. 

Congress still has two years in which to win over the Indian public.


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