Balancing Priorities: A collection of essays on India
Comment of the Day

February 23 2012

Commentary by David Fuller

Balancing Priorities: A collection of essays on India

My thanks to a subscriber for this detailed and farsighted report from Deutsche Bank. Here is the opening from their "Concluding thoughts" section:
10 signals that could make for a second push

In this collection of essays we have gone over a host of issues that highlight the Indian economy's considerable prospects and yet noteworthy challenges. India has recently undergone a phase of discontent, fueled by high inflation, slowing investment and growth, and a slowdown in reforms. What needs to be kept in context is that despite the slowing down of growth, it remains one of the fastest expanding economies in the world, with considerable investor interest in its potential. That the economy can deliver attractive returns is well accepted; the question is if the recently observed slowdown in momentum can be arrested in an expeditious and sustainable manner.

What would make us believe that the engine of growth that roared mightily from 2003 to 2007 is about to get a second burst of acceleration? Below we list ten key areas where changes are needed; we believe that movement in these areas would complement India's demographic dividend and entrepreneurial zeal, likely unleashing an extended period of stable and inclusive prosperity.

1. Improved governance. We have observed popular discontent about corruption and inefficiency in recent years, calling for more transparency and effectiveness in decision making processes in all walks of life. Institutional (an empowered office of ombudsperson) and technological (database for subsidy disbursal, universal identification, e-governance) reforms would help in this area, both in terms of enhancing faith and efficiency in day-to-day transactions of individuals and businesses.

David Fuller's view It is all about governance, opening up the country to FDI, and unleashing India's entrepreneurial spirit. Most educated Indians know this and they do not have to reinvent the wheel. Just follow the best policies of other emerging economies which have succeeded.

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