While the rest of the world is shuddering at the debt pile mounting up on its balance sheets India is the elephant in the room as one of the few regions to have had a “good crisis.” “When Pranab Mukherjee, the finance minister, presented his budget last week he noted that a year ago, India confronted a double challenge: the global crisis, and a poor monsoon. Now, ‘I can say with confidence that we have weathered these crises well.’ As the Indian government’s Economic Survey put it: ‘A variety of stimulus packages were put in place in the second half of 2008-09, in the Interim Budget 2009-2010 and, again, three months later, in the main Budget 2009-2010. By the second quarter the economy showed signs of turning; and now, close to the end of the year, India seems to be rapidly returning to the buoyant years preceding 2008.’ In the 2008-09 financial year, India’s gross domestic product expanded by 6.7 per cent. This year it is forecast to grow by 7.2 per cent. If the Indian economy has succeeded in surviving this test with so little damage, even cautious analysts must be more optimistic about the future.”
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