February 3, 2023

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Amrit Kaal of the Indian economy

2 min read

Recently, India celebrated 75 years of independence. The idea of Amrit Kaal extends that forward to the next twenty-five years, to 2047, when India will celebrate 100 years of Independence. The India of 2023 is different from the India of 1947, and the India of 2047 will be different from the India of 2023 in ways few can anticipate and project today.

If one casts one’s mind back, how many would have guessed changes wrought in India in the last twenty-five years? The world is uncertain, and the long run even more so. While the future is always uncertain, the current state of the world has been permeated with an additional dose of uncertainty: COVID-19, geo-political tensions, collapse of the multilateral system and regionalism, retreat of advanced countries from globalization, and the dreaded expression of “recession” in some of those countries. These are external shocks that have been thrust on India, as they have on many emerging market economies and underline collapse of institutions that provide global public goods, Bretton Woods Institutions included. In passing, global governance has yet to accept rise of economies like India. Lord Keynes is often quoted, usually out of context. A cliched quote is, “In the long run we are all dead.” If one reads the complete text (The Tract on Monetary Reform, 1923), one will find the intention wasn’t quite what out-of-context quotes convey.

There is much that is uncertain in the present and in the long run. But there is much that is also certain. Within that band of certainty, it is impossible to dispute India’s inexorable economic rise. At one point, much was made of the Goldman Sachs report, on dreaming with BRICS and path to 2050, authored in 2003.

In that report, the average real rate of GDP growth for India was around 5.5%, the explosion in aggregate GDP and per-capita GDP by 2050 explained by the nature of the exponential function.

That report didn’t have a figure for 2047, but did have one for 2045….

Erika Mioten

2023-01-25 20:00:39

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