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Big reforms unlikely until 2014 polls: top economic advisor

Basu said that relatively less important Bills might go through Parliament

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: April 20, 2012 1:15:10 am

Lalit K Jha

Major economic reforms in India are unlikely to happen before the next parliamentary elections in 2014,Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu said here today.

Addressing a meeting at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,a Washington-based think tank,Basu said that relatively less important Bills might go through Parliament.

He is here to attend the annual spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank.

Basu said decisionmaking had slowed down because of the series of corruption scandals that had spooked the bureaucracy into not taking risks,the coalition nature of the government,the battle against inflation,and the drop in agricultural production.

Post-2014,Basu said,there could be a “rush of important reforms” and after 2015,India would be one of the “fastest-growing” economies in the world. The new government,if in a majority,would start with reforms in a big way because there is a sense that it needs to pick up,Basu said.

However,some reforms like opening up the retail sector,checking subsidy leakage and building infrastructure need to be fast-tracked,he said. “We are going through a difficult year,” said Basu,who is accompanying Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to the United States.

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