The top 10 challenges for India – Goldman Sachs

India MapBy 2050, India can be 40 times bigger than it is now, but it needs to overcome some tough challenges. If it can implement certain changes, it has the potential to be larger than the United States by 2050, says a global research report by Goldman Sachs on ‘Ten Things for India to Achieve its 2050 Potential.’

The report, brought out by Jim O’Neill, head global research at Goldman Sachs, and Tushar Poddar, vice president, research, Asia Economic Research Team, Goldman Sachs India, outlines 10 crucial steps that India must take in order to achieve its full potential.

If India can undertake the necessary reforms, it can raise its growth potential by as much as 2.8 per cent per annum, says the report.

Find out what the 10 key areas where reform is needed are

1. Improve governance

Without better governance, delivery systems and effective implementation, India will find it difficult to educate its citizens, build its infrastructure, increase agricultural productivity and ensure that the fruits of economic growth are well established.

2. Raise educational achievement

Among more micro factors, raising India’s educational achievement is a major requirement to help achieve the nation’s potential. According to our basic indicators, a vast number of India’s young people receive no (or only the most basic) education. A major effort to boost basic education is needed. A number of initiatives, such as a continued expansion of Pratham and the introduction of Teach First, for example, should be pursued.

3. Increase quality and quantity of universities

At the other end of the spectrum, India should also have a more defined plan to raise the number and the quality of top universities.

4. Control inflation

Although India has not suffered particularly from dramatic inflation, it is currently experiencing a rise in inflation similar to that seen in a number of emerging economies. Thea authors of the report think that a formal adoption of inflation targetting would be a very sensible move to help India persuade its huge population of the (permanent) benefits of price stability.

5. Introduce a credible fiscal policy

The Goldman Sachs report says that India should introduce a more credible medium-term plan for fiscal policy. Targeting low and stable inflation is not easy if fiscal policy is poorly maintained. It would be helpful to develop some ‘rules’ for spending over cycles, the report adds.

6. Liberalise financial markets

To improve further the macro variables within the GES framework, the report believes that further liberalisation of Indian financial markets is necessary.

7. Increase trade with neighbours

In terms of international trade, India continues to be much less ‘open’ than many of its other large emerging nation colleagues, especially China. Given the significant number of nations with large populations on its borders, the Goldman Sachs report recommends that India target a major increase in trade with China, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

8. Increase agricultural productivity

Agriculture, especially in these times of rising prices, should be a great opportunity for India. Better specific and defined plans for increasing productivity in agriculture are essential, and could allow India to benefit from the BRIC-related global thirst for better quality food.

9. Improve infrastructure

Focus on infrastructure in India is legendary, and tales of woe abound. Improvements are taking place, as any foreign business visitor will be aware, but the need for more is paramount. Without such improvement, development will be limited.

10. Improve environmental quality

The final area where greater reforms are needed is the environment. Achieving greater energy efficiencies and boosting the cleanliness of energy and water usage would increase the likelihood of a sustainable stronger growth path for India.

The Goldman Sachs report adds that not all these ‘action areas’ can be addressed at the same time, but in coming years progress will have to be made in all of them if India is to achieve its very exciting growth potential.

 Courtesy:- Rediff  http://specials.rediff.com/money/2008/jun/17slid01.htm

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