The Indian Economy Blog

January 26, 2006

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things…

Manmohan Singh has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, (subscription required) a mini-manifesto, if you will. Regular readers of IEB will find nothing new.

It’s an impressive to-do list, and includes many of our favorite things as well. So, are we going to see Mr Singh finally flexing his muscles and follow up with some action? Or is this still more empty rhetoric?

…our strategy for achieving rapid growth involves making our economy more open, with a rising share of trade to gross domestic product.

The economy is now much more open to foreign trade. Import licensing has become a thing of the past and our import tariffs have been slashed. The government proposes to continue reducing them until we reach the levels prevailing in East Asia.

Young Indians are ready to compete globally, to test their skills and sell their wares on the world market. They look to government primarily to create an enabling environment. We are committed to more reforms, especially aimed at bolstering the competitiveness of manufacturing.

The most important area where the government can help India’s entrepreneurs is by addressing infrastructure deficiencies. There is no doubt that India has large gaps in physical infrastructure compared with our competitors in East Asia and even Southeast Asia. We need to bridge the gap in electricity generation, roads, railways, telecommunications, ports, airports, and urban mass transport if our potential is to be realized.

The investment required to close the infrastructure gap is huge — current estimates suggest that we will have to spend $250 billion on infrastructure over the next five years, far more than the public purse can afford. We propose to supplement public resources by using public private partnerships (PPPs) as much as possible.


  1. I dont see much progress on the administrative or reform front.
    Singh is one of the cleanest politicians and the weakest.
    I dont think much can be done until next elections when either singh is powerful enough(but he too is getting old) to throw his weight.
    If i look around to who after singh i can see sonia rahul and priyanka. i hate that thought.Singh should make a deal with right wing elements in bjp and counter leftist in congress and commies. But thats not how this guy works.
    My advice to singh is to find a successor within congress who is not from nehrus family.
    Alternatively india can reverse outsource politicians from US.
    GWB is in good health and will be available in a few years.

    Comment by Guru Gulab Khatri — January 27, 2006 @ 8:42 am

  2. What Indians don’t understand is that, what is more important is not a list of “what we need to do”, but the plan to make it happpens.

    I don’t see any values out of Singh’s empty words. Everyone talks about trade, infrastrucute, education, investment enviroment, blah blah blah, we have plenty of politicians and economists and students who are good talkers, but none who bother to make things really happen.

    Comment by R-Squared — January 27, 2006 @ 10:55 am

  3. You know what ,
    the subjiwali who come next door she also know that roads are pathetic
    ( which was smoothly put gap in physical infrastructure ) . Everyevening I know what is the fundamental reason behind that power cut from 7to 8:30. It is lack sufficient electricity .
    He should have been ashamed of putting such banal things . He should have put the things what they are doing to improve it .
    ” one done , is thousand said . “

    Comment by Ajeet ( the antithesisist ) — April 11, 2006 @ 3:08 pm

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