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India: Back to the Past?

May 25th, 2006 · No Comments

WSJ raises doubts about India’s reforms process given Sonia Gandhi’s influence on the government:

To her supporters, Ms. Gandhi is a voice for the dispossessed, stoking a long-overdue discussion about the inequities that come with economic liberalization. But detractors see her as a throwback to the days when her family’s socialist nostrums and quirky populism doomed India to fall behind another Asian giant, China, in economic growth.

In reviving her own moribund Congress Party, the 59-year-old Ms. Gandhi has emerged in the mold of her late mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi, a socialist icon passionate about the poor and deeply suspicious about the benefits of global trade.

“We have changed the manner in which economic reforms were perceived,” she told a conclave for senior Congress Party leaders in January, according to a transcript of the speech, “from an excessive preoccupation with [foreign direct investment] and privatization to an overriding emphasis on employment, education, agriculture and health.”

Tags: Emerging Markets

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