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Beggar Becomes Lender

How things have changed in the last 18 years.

In April 1991, India sold 20 tons of gold to Switzerland to raise $200 million. In July, it pawned 47 tons to the Bank of England to raise another $400 million. For what? To prevent default in short-term loans till an IMF loan came through.

India's foreign reserves then were below $1 billion, enough to pay for only two weeks of imports. They have now risen to above $271 billion, thanks to economic liberalisation that has partially unshackled India from the chains of bureaucratic red tape.

As per a news report, India has agreed to lend up to $10 billion to the IMF to help it raise funds to rescue nations facing financial trouble.

The beggar has become a big time lender. Jai Ho!

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