How can PM Modi wield power to revive the economy, which is his priority?
Consider the background.
The Indian macro-economy has improved since last year. The external vulnerability, reflected in a high and rising current account deficit, has been reduced, inflation is down, courtesy of the rupee depreciation, exports have stirred, and foreign investors are back, scenting opportunities.
But the macro-economy is still problematic and the underlying causes largely unaddressed.
Inflation hovers at 8-8.5 per cent; the current account deficit has been reduced through old-fashioned protectionist tightening of gold imports; and private investment remains shackled by the overhang of debt from the bubbly days before 2008, causing growth to remain anaemic.
Agricultural sector policies that have increased rural wages and prices have not been tackled.
Above all, the deep driver of macro-economic vulnerability - the overall fiscal deficit, at 8-9 per cent of GDP - remains large.
Obscured by opaque accounting and given a pass by credulous foreign investors, this deficit has not commanded urgent attention.
Image courtesy: PTI