Defendiendo el crecimiento de la India

Mientras la India se preocupa sobre la inestabilidad entre sus vecinos probablemente el gasto en defensa aumentará en el año por venir. Dado que aproximadamente el 20% del gasto en la India se dedica ya a la defensa, existe el riesgo de que los déficits presupuestales del gobierno puedan alcanzar niveles no manejables, lo que pondría en riesgo el crecimiento que se alcanzó con tanto esfuerzo la década pasada.

Aun antes de que Estados Unidos y sus aliados iniciaran los bombardeos en contra de la infraestructura terrorista en Afganistán, los gastos de defensa de la india estaban creciendo con rapidez. En al año fiscal que terminó en marzo del 2002, el gobierno presupuestó 731 mil cuatrocientos millones de rupias (15 mil doscientos millones de dólares) para ese rubro, un incremento del 12% sobre el año fiscal anterior, que se sumó a un ya de por sí inflado déficit gubernamental. Ahora, la India tendrá que tomar decisiones difíciles si quiere mantener su reputación en materia de reforma económica.

A principios de los noventa, la India se alejó del adormilado sistema estatista, herencia de Nehru mediante la adopción de políticas favorables al mercado. Estas reformas colocaron a la economía en una trayectoria de mayor crecimiento, el PIB creció en un promedio real del 6% a lo largo de la última década, en comparación con menos del 4% de crecimiento promedio anual en décadas anteriores. La inflación se mantuvo en un solo dígito a lo largo de los noventa y, a pesar del enorme aumento del déficit fiscal, el crecimiento económico se hizo más estable.

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