The Indian Election: A Rare Historic Opportunity for Coherent Investment Policies in India

© 2014 Prof. Farok J. Contractor, Rutgers University

For the past 30 years, India has been governed by a series of raucous coalition governments. At least some of the caution, vacillation, and even backtracking on investment and taxation policies that have dismayed foreign companies contemplating foreign direct investment (FDI) in India can be attributed to this. At the federal level (as well as in many states), coalition viewpoints had to be accommodated, often leading to legislative paralysis and lack of policy clarity. In my April 12, 2014 post What the Indian Election Means for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India, I described how India is a multicultural and multireligious pastiche, with more than 22 official languages (some say more than 780).[1] Every religion on earth has adherents in India, although India’s 2011 census shows six major religions dominating. Even within Hinduism, which includes 81 percent of the population, the worldview varies depending on which of the 3,000 subcastes a person belongs to. CONTINUED ON ARCHIVE

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