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A man scavenges in a stream during lockdown restrictions in Agra on June 6. The pandemic has erased years of economic progress in India with millions now facing grim job prospects and heavy debt loads.

A man scavenges in a stream during lockdown restrictions in Agra on June 6. The pandemic has erased years of economic progress in India with millions now facing grim job prospects and heavy debt loads.

Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg
Business
Economics

India Supercharged Its Economy 30 Years Ago. Covid Unraveled It in Months

During the pandemic India lost many of the advances it has made

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Thirty years ago, on a summer evening in late July, India liberalized its Soviet-style economy in a transformation that eventually pulled about 300 million out of poverty, fueling one of the biggest wealth creations in history.

Then came the world’s fastest coronavirus surge which left overflowing hospitals turning away the dying and crematorium smoke darkening city skies.