The Indian government finally approved a plan last week to allow international firms such as Wal-Mart to own 51 percent of multibrand retail stores. In an email interview, Pravakar Sahoo, an associate professor at the Institute for Economic Growth in India, discussed India’s retail opening. WPR: What concrete changes will the retail opening bring to India’s economy? Pravakar Sahoo: The approval of 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multibrand retailing, which was initially approved by the Cabinet in November 2011 after two years of deliberation but suspended due to the ensuing political furor, is a big step. It will […]
In India, a growing number of political leaders are threatening to withdraw their support for the governing coalition of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the face of new economic measures that, among other changes, allow for greater foreign investment by global retail giants in India’s heretofore protected domestic retail sector.* The New York Times reported Wednesday that Mamata Banerjee, the populist chief minister of West Bengal, announced that her party, the Trinamool Congress, would formally leave the government. Meanwhile, Kunal Ghosh, a member of the Indian Parliament from the same party, suggested that Singh should resign. “India is passing through […]
One hot day last July, India — one of the world’s largest, fastest-growing economies — suddenly and unexpectedly ground to a halt. Unable to handle soaring electricity demand, much of the country’s electrical grid collapsed, leaving more than 600 million people without power. Observers abroad reacted in disbelief. At home, exasperated residents responded in a manner that tells us much about what electrical service has come to signify in emerging economies. A common joke asked, What do you call a power failure in Delhi? Answer: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In other words, an electrical failure is a power failure — […]
The ongoing Shiite-Sunni cold war that is manifesting itself throughout the Middle East may be beginning to spill over into India. Home to a large Muslim minority consisting of both major sects of Islam, India has recently found itself forced to deal with increasing fallout from the intra-Islamic struggle. At one of the end of the spectrum was the attack against an Israeli diplomat possibly orchestrated by Iranian proxies; at the other were the recent violent protests by a Saudi-funded seminary in the heart of Mumbai. Given India’s dependence on energy exports from the wider Islamic world and the nation’s […]
India and Tajikistan elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership last week following discussions between Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. In an email interview, Meena Singh Roy, a research fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, discussed India-Tajikistan relations. WPR: What is the recent trajectory of the India-Tajikistan relationship, and how does Tajikistan fit into India’s broader engagement with Central Asia? Meena Singh Roy: Tajikistan figures very high in India’s foreign policy priorities and remains a significant partner for India in Central Asia. India has excellent political and strategic relations […]
The Indian financial capital of Mumbai is struggling to realize its dream of becoming the South Asian nation’s version of China’s Shanghai. Ill-equipped and underpaid, laborers working on the expansion of Mumbai’s infrastructure face the greatest risks.
After talks in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony announced an agreement to resume joint military exercises, a move that signaled “a thaw in relations.” The two countries had suspended joint military exercises two years ago. But while this latest agreement seems to signal a renewed effort to improve ties, serious strains remain in the relationship between the two emerging Asian powers. For Jagannath P. Panda, a research fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, the major points of contention in the defense and security realm between China […]