(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
India’s notoriously disruptive parliament has been going through a productive phase in the past two days. Bills are getting passed, politicians are discussing the state of the economy and for a change, members are listening to each other as they deliver well-researched speeches.
On Monday, parliament debated a $20 billion plan for nine hours to provide cheap food to two thirds of the population. For a change, the government got the main opposition party on board by incorporating some of the changes that its opponents proposed.
A similar script played out on Tuesday. Politicians from all parties discussed the state of the economy, reeling under a widening current account deficit, slowing growth and a falling currency.
The opposition party’s well thought-out arguments moved Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to admit that domestic factors indeed have played a part in creating the dismal economy, a rare statement coming from the man who usually blames the global financial meltdown for India’s woes.