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Growth irritants persist

New Delhi, Nov 24: While both government and corporate honchos believe that India’s competitiveness has increased after economic liberalisation, many still feel that India needs to work to remove the remaining bottlenecks and unleash its growth potential.

Addressing the second day of the India Economic Summit jointly organised by the CII and World Economic Forum (WEF), former finance minister P. Chidambaram said, “India has a qualitative element which gives her an edge over others. But even then why isn’t India becoming competitive in a wider perspective'”

Chidambaram gave an answer to his own question by stating “this is because even though India has large resources, it is not being put to productive use.” Citing examples, he said, “We have locked up public sector assets, don’t utilise foreign exchange reserves in an efficient manner, don’t utilise funds with banks, our technology, institutional and regulatory strengths and human resources.”

He added every government must be asked to account for the progress made on utilisation of resources.

Speaking at the session, Augusto Lopez-Claros, chief economist and director, global competitiveness programme, WEF, said, “There is an universal recognition of the achievements India has made post liberalisation era, but many challenges remain to be tackled.”

He adds the problematic factors are inadequate infrastructure, bureaucracy, labour issues and corruption.

Augusto said that if reforms are sustained, then by year 2032, India’s GDP will be greater than that of Japan and by 2050, it will only be next to China and the US.

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