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RIZ KHAN
Does democracy hinder growth?
We ask if democracy is to blame for India's failure to keep up with the Chinese economy.
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 10:33 GMT



Is India's democracy an impediment to its economic progress and has the absence of democracy in China fuelled its astonishing growth?

China's economy today is three times larger than that of its Asian neighbour's.

That is remarkable when one considers that the People's Republic of China was founded two years after India won independence in 1947.

Prominent Indian economists look wistfully at China's shiny cities, its industries and highways, and blame India's chaotic democracy for its failure to keep up with China.

Critics say building a bridge or a road in India often involves fractious political debate, and infrastructure projects are sometimes held hostage by protectionist interests.

In contrast, the Chinese Communist Party does not face any political and legal challenges and has modernised the country's infrastructure with impressive speed.

It is also a more viable destination for foreign companies who are attracted to its tightly-controlled, government-run business model.

In contrast, international investors routinely complain of having to deal with confusing regulations, conflicting political pressure and a bloated bureaucracy in India.

On Tuesday's Riz Khan, we ask: Has democracy actually worked against India's economic progress while China's strict, centralised leadership has fuelled growth?

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Joining the discussion will be Professor Yasheng Huang, who teaches Global Economics and Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He has written extensively on the history of economic reforms in China.

We will also have with us Professor Tarun Khanna of Harvard Business School.

He researches growth patterns in the world's two fastest growing economies and has written the book Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours.

You can join the conversation. Call in with your questions and comments at our live time of 1630GMT. Repeats will be aired at 2130GMT, and the next day at 0230GMT and 1130GMT.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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