With the Indian rupee over the past few months continuing its losing streak against the dollar, and foreign investors leaving Indian shores, sentiments about the Indian economy are gloomy and bleak.
A world renowned economist, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has taken over the finance portfolio. There is no reason whatsoever to see the writing on the wall.
India rising story isn’t over yet.
To ensure India’s economic growth rate, we need to strengthen our manufacturing sector. India has immense labor capacity. We talk about our knowledge sector, but a large number of Indian populace cannot take part in the knowledge sector as they could hardly afford it. For many, getting a quality education is a distant dream.
Manufacturing, therefore, can play a key role in economy rejuvenation.
In India, the states, which have focused on manufacturing sector, have registered double-digit GDPs. The states that have laid emphasis on manufacturing are making rapid progress.
Look at Gujarat, for example. According to Ministry of Statistics, India’s national GDP per capita ($) for the year 2011-2012 is 1,470, while Gujarat has 2,203.
In 2010, Forbes list of world’s fastest growing cities included Ahmedabad (a city in Gujarat) at number 3 after Chengdu and Chongqing from China. In a July 2011 report, The Economist noted that Gujarat’s infrastructure competes with Guangdong – the economic engine of China. With double digit growth rates, Gujarat continues to outpace growth in other Indian states.
Our much-touted IT industry may not be sustainable in the long term. Most of the IT firms have failed to innovate their business models.
Besides, India needs investments to shore up its appalling infrastructure.
In 2005, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: “The 21st century will be an Indian century”. Singh expressed hope that “the world will look at us with regard and respect, not just for the economic progress we make but for the democratic values we cherish and uphold and the principles of pluralism and inclusiveness we have come to represent which is India’s heritage as a centuries old culture and civilization.”
Even as his public image has taken a beating recently allegedly by some of the biggest corruption scandals in recent history, Singh is still revered as a man of clean background.
In 2010, Newsweek described him as “the leader other leaders love”. The article quoted Mohamed ElBaradei, who said Singh is “the model of what a political leader should be”.
Forbes described Singh as being “universally praised as India’s best prime minister since Nehru.”
Manmohanomics— with its emphasis on affirmative action, workers’ benefits, honesty, transparency in business and environment-friendly investments—can make miracle.
Watch out skeptics, India rising story isn’t over yet.
Also published at The Good Times