Indian Economics and Politics
In short, the fiscal situation of India is pathetic. Over a third of the population live in dire poverty and India still needs to collect huge donations from outside aids such as the United Nations, and the United States. Anyone who has been to any of the nations major cities will attest to the fact that poverty is everywhere. Over 45% of Bombay (Mumbai), the nations wealthiest city, is comprised of dirty and impoverished, slums. Calcutta and other Eastern cities are condemned to complete economic failure, by an inefficient Communist state government.
Fifty years ago, India was held up as a model Asian nation. It was expected, at least by Europeans, to become a major economic force. With a world class railway system, the infrastructure of the country was poised to make such economic dreams into reality. Unfortunately this never occurred. Japan, and the east Asian economic "Tigers" have made quite the mockery of Indian economics. Even China, which in 1949, was poorer than India, has surpassed it in wealth, as well as per capita income.
However, recently, progress has been made in the Indian market. Foreign investors have started to return to the Subcontinent. Cellular phone services and Internet access are available in Delhi, Bombay, and even Calcutta. India's software industry is booming. It's now the second largest Software industry in the world. The emergence of the middle class, has been the key to India's recent economic gains. With over 900 million people, the world can hardly afford (literally) to ignore India, as an economic power, for much longer. In fact, it was reported in Newsweek magazine, that India will have the fourth largest economy, in the world, after the United States, Japan, and China, by the year 2020. However, the fact remains that, even in 2020, India will still have hundreds of millions of people living below the poverty line, in addition to that, the disparity between the Indian poor and the Indian rich, continues to grow. While the previous two Indian Governments have encouraged economic growth, Politics is at the center of India's economic failure.
Needless to say, the political situation in India, is desperate. Politicians have been corrupt since the liberation of the Nation, fifty years ago. Recent investigations have exposed several politicians, who have accepted bribes. And apparently corruption runs right up to the top of India's largest political parties. A recent study, published in India Abroad, reported that India has the 8th most corrupt government in the world.
In addition to it's unusually high level of corruption, the government, and it's institutions seem to run at a very inefficient pace. Now, I can use myself as a source in this subject. During my last trip to India, I had the privilege of landing in Bombay's beautiful Sahar international airport. (Please note my sarcasm). At Sahar, we were made to wait in extremely long lines, in extremely humid weather. Here's a tip to the government of Maharashtra: Before you go around changing the names of all the British-built monuments, in your British-built city, BOMBAY, how about you install some freakin' air-conditioning, in that damn, dirty, hot, airport of yours. As for Calcutta . . . my god, this has to be the only place in the world, where the entire city periodically shuts down. Beaurocracy is, without a doubt, one of the major reasons foreign investers have been so reluctant to take a closer look at India.