Is India still Credible?

Just when it looked like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would make something out of his second term, he beat an ignominious retreat on opening up India’s huge retail sector to foreign companies. The stunning turnabout has a number of significant implications for the domestic economy and the political landscape. In particular, it confirms what many have increasingly suspected: Regardless of whether he manages to hang on through the Uttar Pradesh state elections early next year or miraculously serves out his allotted term, Singh is very much a lame duck presiding over a government that is hopelessly adrift and ineffectual. He and his long-time cabinet associates, once lauded as the “economic dream team,” have proven themselves incapable of making the tough decisions that are crucial for India’s future.

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