India has chance to get good FM
Mukherjee's political skills are top notch. But he has allowed the fiscal deficit to balloon to 5.9 percent of GDP; he hasn't tackled subsidies for fuel, fertiliser and food; nor has he embarked on any major economic reforms, for example in banking, insurance or pensions. Meanwhile, India's growth rate has slumped to around 7 percent. A big worry is the decline in investment. Foreigners have been put off by the government's retrospective tax grab against Vodafone ; and domestic investors have been deterred by the lack of vision, pork barrel politics and general sense that the economy is in decline.
Kicking Mukherjee upstairs to the position of president would therefore be a chance to improve things. It would, of course, only actually make things better if the government then had the guts to put in somebody who was willing and able to address India's myriad problems. Good options would include Raghuram Rajan, the former IMF chief economist, and the co-founder of Infosys Nandan Nilekani, who is presently working on the ambitious unique identification number. One idea could even be to bring back Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, as finance minister and find a new