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Re: McKinsey Interview: India's economic agenda: An interview with Manmohan Singh

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  • xsupratim
    I would like to post two comments about Dr Singh s interview and invite feedback from others on the forum: First, Manmohan Singh says Our public expenditure
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 26, 2005
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      I would like to post two comments about Dr Singh's interview and
      invite feedback from others on the forum:

      First, Manmohan Singh says "Our public expenditure on health is less
      than 1 percent of GDP. There are neglected areas where the public
      sector has a major responsibility: for primary health care, rural
      health care. Our ambition, which we have set out in our Common
      Minimum Program, is for the next four or five years to raise the
      public spending on health as a proportion of GDP to at least 2
      percent"

      This is one of the most fundamental issues affecting our country -
      our government fails in providing one of the most basic requirements
      to the underprivileged. Instead, it spends the money protecting the
      jobs of well-paid, under-working louts in the public sector
      enterprises and the bureaucracy. And, our beloved Left, which is
      such a champion of social justice can see nothing wrong in this
      picture. At least, Dr Singh gets the point. But then he talks about
      taking the spending up from 1% to 2% ... huh???? In a country like
      India, unless you set the target at 5% or more, you are not going
      get anywhere even close to the 2% mark (after all, our public sector
      is probably the most inefficient in the world, while comparing
      similar size economies). This is sad because it means that Dr Singh
      is still a technician, and not a politico and hence won't really
      achieve anything.

      The other point is worse. Dr Singh says "...one must understand that
      economic policy and decision making do not function in a political
      vacuum. It takes a lot of time for us to take basic decisions. And
      furthermore, because we are a federal set-up, there are a lot of
      things that the central government does, but there are many things,
      like getting land, getting water, getting electricity-in all these
      matters the state government comes in, the local authority comes
      in..."

      This is utter rubbish - why is southern India wealthier and growing
      faster than northern india? It is because of their 'more
      enlightened' state goverments (of course, you get a reverse, now and
      then, like the current rural champion in Karnataka). In my view, it
      is the states that are driving growth in India today, not national
      policy. The last national policy that drove growth was the golden
      quadrilateral project. And, finally, one has to wonder whether Dr
      Singh has ever looked at the USA - it is a far more federal than we
      are, but that does not seem to hinder the pace of their growth.

      Appreciate feedback on this.

      Cheers

      Supratim

      --- In IndiaStrategy-ThinkTank@..., "Ashish Thakur"
      <ashish.thakur@p...> wrote:
      > India's economic agenda: An interview with Manmohan Singh
      > The prime minister discusses his plans to modernize the country's
      infrastructure, attract foreign investment, and create jobs-all in
      the service of eliminating chronic poverty and disease in India.
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