Monday, October 09, 2006

$320 Billions Need To Be Infused For India's Infrastructure

India has been hogging headlines sustaining second biggest growth among world economies and aiming to become a super economic power soon. The architect of the liberalisation and reforms in India is no other than Dr Manmohan Singh - the Prime Minister himself. Of course, when he set the ball rolling 15 years back, he was neither the PM nor was then the victim of arm-twisting by Left policies. If anyone has been watching his faltering moves ever since he became the PM about two and half years back, he would not believe that it was he had taken such bold steps in his earlier avatar. He has become a prisoner of his own political expediency and promised reforms in labour, insurance, pension fund and privatisation of public sector units appear to be distant dreams.
While addressing a Conference on Infrastructure, he was pleasantly at his best as a reformist leaving his garb as a politician. He was critical of power reforms and advised private competition in generation and distribution. He rightly sounded the alarm bell that the much-cherished growth rate of 10% will remain elusive unless investments of $320 billions are pumped in next five years for improved roads, ports, airports, railways, power supply and other critical infrastructure. He said "We will need to run hard just to stay where we are. Maintaining a growth rate of 8% would need continual improvement in our policy regime."
The count-down for the general election to be held in 2009 perhaps prompted him to change tack. He knows his government has to work hard to deliver tangible results. The nation can heave a sigh of relief now that the economist and reformist in Dr Singh will prevail and control the economic policies of the nation. Sloth and ambivalence will hopefully be replaced by action plans and frenetic activities of the government at least till 2009.

1 comment:

Hiren said...

With Infrastructure, labor reforms are also needed badly. Always better to have people like Manmophan singh and Chdambaram around.