Patralekha Chatterjee's Blog

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The welfare story

DC | Patralekha Chatterjee | May 08, 2014, 01.05 am IS
 

In more tranquil times, one might have trilled “Que Sera Sera, whatever will be, will be.” But in frenzied, election-mode India, the words have changed. The impatient are demanding: What will be?

If you go strictly by the ill-tempered spats between various ideologues in public over the past few months, India’s future is teetering precariously between two trajectories — the growth economy and the welfare state. But is it?

As the parliamentary elections draw to a close, and one awaits a new government, this nagging question does not lend itself to easy answers. Fiscal hawks have been setting off alarm bells about the United Progressive Alliance’s social welfare policies for long. They argue that India, with its economic slowdown and crumbling business confidence, can ill-afford freebies, and that when a business-friendly…

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