The tidal wave of growth carrying India for the past decades following the 1991 reforms has proven to be just that – a wave that is now subsiding, leaving the world’s largest democracy stranded on a barren beach. Time is cheap, poverty is plentiful, and growth has taken leave as the GDP annual growth rate plunged from 10.1 percent in 2010 to just above four percent in 2012. From a fiscal deficit growing alarmingly fast to a population growing even faster, India faces both problems and potential that, if addressed in time, can lead to a new and greater time of growth.
Based on our research and meetings with leaders in business, academia, politics, and social reform movements, we present recommendations in the areas of fiscal policy, infrastructure and resources, education, labor, governance, social inclusion, health, agriculture, monetary policy, trade, and foreign affairs. Ordered in this memo by both importance and political feasibility, these reforms, many of which will take years before all their benefits will be felt, cannot fix every problem India faces. However, they will begin carving out a path so that, what was a single wave of growth, can evolve into a steady current of change.