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Amrit Kaal of the Indian Economy

Today, India is classified as a lower middle-income economy. In 2047, India will move to the upper middle-income category. Once one approaches a per capita income of 13,000 US dollars, the status becomes high-income. That’s when India can be said to be “developed” writes Bibek Debroy.

Image for representative purposes only.

Recently, India celebrated 75 years of Independence.  The idea of Amritkaal 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, 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.

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