China vs. India Again

As reported, an article ahead of the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic, The Sunday Times mentioned: “Not everyone in Beijing speaks in the silky language of the foreign ministry. Curiously, the enemy most often spoken of is India.” I am sure, though Indians are more liberal and not so nationally sensitive in peace time, may be having restrained opinion about China. With changing time and context of global power balance, most of Indians even intellectuals, wish to focus on trade and improving the relations with China that is though very much vulnerable but is still fast moving to overtake USA in economy.

I do feel the same after writing so many times with the same caption in last four years in this blog. But I still remember of early 60s. I didn’t allow my friends to have any celebrations in the flat where we six were living in group. I did pen down a poem too.
यह लाल चीन
जन के लोहू से लाल चीन
यह शिष्य देश, कृतघ्न देश
Even according to Kaushik Basu is Professor of Economics and Chairman, Department of Economics, Cornell University, ‘for India, this is a time of great opportunity, and the possibility of India out-performing China is no longer the impossibility that it once seemed.” And he has some prescriptions too. “Instead of basing our policies on some grand theory of growth, we must work on the “small things”. We need to work on increasing government efficiency. India takes too long to clear the permits needed for an entrepreneur to start a business, it takes too many days to enforce a contract when one party reneges and it takes us longer than virtually any other country to allow a firm that has gone bankrupt to close down.”

India had an opportunity in Manmohan Singh, the economist Prime Minister, perhaps the only one to get Mr. Basu’s prescription acted upon, but unfortunately he has failed. Many including me are not very hopeful of his attaining that goal during the next four years of his tenure. India lags really pretty much behind on the index related to “doing business”.

According to Prof. Kaushik, “This does not happen because of any individual’s fault but because of the rules and regulations that history has handed down to us. To be able to cut down on these inefficiencies is to allow enterprise to flourish. It is important for government to work on this. This should be viewed as much as an investment as building bridges and roads.” Interestingly, according to report, Prof Kaushik will be joining the advisory group of Manmohan Singh. Can the country men hope to get his prescription administered?

Interestingly, it is not only IT and Pharma where India is considered superior to China. There is possibility of India getting ahead of China in many other areas today. I had written about it in one of my entries however, Aiyar also wrote about India doing better than China in the exports of cars in Sunday Times of India.

However, the biggest threat from China is its money power and India’s corrupt decision makers and business groups, who are making and will further facilitate the Chinese invasion of India market by flooding Chinese products of daily uses or high tech without any endeavour to get them manufactured in our country benefiting millions of people in employment and provide hundreds of excuses. I have been giving just one example time and again. Why and how can because of the inefficiency of one PSU BHEL, the Chinese power equipment manufacturers have entered power sector in that big way? Should not the country be ashamed of it? And I bet the Chinese will enter every sector. American may get up to resist the Chinese entries but not Indians.

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