India strangles Reform.

More evidence that the prescence of the Communists who hold India’s puppet Government hostage, is severely hurting both investor sentiment abroad, and denting India’s image internationally.

Part of an editorial in the Financial Times:

The slow progress of Mr Singh’s reform agenda has been blamed on the presence of Communist allies from Calcutta within the ruling coalition. They have resisted labour market reforms and they are hostile to threatening the livelihood of small shopkeepers by opening retail trade to giant supermarkets. Yet increasingly it looks as if Mr Singh’s own Congress party is dragging its feet on the vital process of deregulation and liberalisation needed to free India’s economic potential. There are few votes in reform, the party barons argue. They appear to have the backing of Sonia Gandhi, the party leader.

Political resistance is one side of the problem. The other concerns the mass of business-unfriendly regulation that still afflicts the Indian economy. It is all very well declaring new sectors open to foreign investment if red tape still hobbles new ventures, with excessive demands for registration and licensing, as well as highly restrictive labour laws. According to the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, India ranks 116 out of 155 countries in terms of the ease of doing business – between Indonesia and Albania. There is much reform to be done at the micro-level, as well as the macro.

That explains why India attracted only $5.5bn (£3.2bn)in FDI in 2004-5 – less than 10 per cent of China’s total. Yet the government needs $150bn in infrastructure investment alone over the next 10 years. If the door remains half shut, both India and those eager foreign investors will be frustrated.

Here’s a related article.

Too bad this Congress-led Government is so hungry for power, that it refuses to say “enough is enough” and call a mid-term poll. I can’t believe how the entire Union Cabinet can bow, wilt, bend and capitulate to every single whim and fancy of the 60-odd Communists who, by providing “outside support” to the Government, weild Power without Accountability, who put Ideology about Practicality.

India, quite simply, is Fed Up with this sorry state of affairs.