原文标题：What factors are holding back economic growth of India?
Major global credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings and Moody'shave all trimmed their sovereign ratings for India to the lowest investmentgrade. S&P expects the Indian economy to shrink by 5 percent in the currentfiscal year. Even as COVID-19 rampages across the country, India has ended itsnationwide lockdown, severely troubling its economy.
The coronavirus has dealt a heavy blow to theIndian economy, but the economic downturn can't simply be attributed to thepandemic. It has just further exposed the inherent vulnerability of the economy.
Since being sworn in 2014, Indian Prime MinisterNarendra Modi has held high the banner of economic development and brought outthe ambitious "Make in India" initiative to boost the country'smanufacturing sector.
However, though Modi has made some breakthroughsin tax reform and other areas, economic growth has not exceeded the levelreached by the previous government. This is because restricting factors thathinder India's growth have not fundamentally changed, and India does not yethave the conditions to achieve sustainable and rapid economic growth.
India's backward basic infrastructure holding backgrowth has not been changed. Advanced infrastructure is the fundamental ofeconomic development, especially for the manufacturing industry. Althoughseveral Indian governments have stressed the importance of infrastructure,decreasing progress has been achieved. India's railways, highways and powerstations are still not sufficiently advanced.
India often puts politics above its economy, andattempts to reach political goals through economic means. Industrial andproduction capacity transfers from China would have promoted the "Make inIndia" initiative, but India has blocked such transfers for politicalpurposes.
Recently, due to the China-India border dispute,some Indian groups have once again begun promoting a boycott of Chineseproducts. The state government of Maharashtra, home to the Indian city ofMumbai, said on June 22 that it had put on hold three investment proposals fromChinese firms worth 50 billion rupees ($658 million) in total. Such anirrational approach has affected foreign companies' willingness to makeinvestments in India.
In addition, India is not good at balancingshort-term and long-term interests. Take the Regional Comprehensive EconomicPartnership (RCEP) as an example. Joining the RCEP would help India integrateinto the Asian industrial and value chains, and help other Asian countriestransfer industrial capacity to India. However, due to opposition from someIndian consortiums and local governments, the Modi government withdrew fromRCEP negotiations.
India has not prepared to fully integrate with theglobal economy. In the era of globalization, giving full play to India'scomparative advantages and integrating into the world would help the countryachieve economic growth, but Indian society is wary of openness.
Indian government pretends to welcome foreigninvestments while setting up many obstacles.
Lowering tariffs and promoting trade facilitationwould actually help India participate in international cooperation. India wasaiming to protect its domestic enterprises through high tariffs, but the resultclearly shows Indian enterprises are lacking international competitiveness.
The author is a senior research fellow of the Academy ofRegional and Global Governance at the Beijing Foreign Studies University andpresident of the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs.firstname.lastname@example.org