oppn parties India Should be in Top 10 in Global Competitiveness Index

News Snippets

  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
  • Rahul Gandhi says the NDA government kept Chidambaram in jail for so many days in order to take revenge
  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
  • Dengue deaths multiply in Kolkata even as the CM, Mamata Banerjee, asks the opposition not to politicize the matter
  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
43 killed in a fire at units in illegal building in heart of Delhi
oppn parties
India Should be in Top 10 in Global Competitiveness Index

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-09-29 12:59:03

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
India has risen to the 39th spot on the Global Competitiveness Index compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF), jumping up 16 places from last year. It had jumped 16 places last year too. In a survey that takes in data from 138 nations, this is a commendable achievement. But given India’s vast resources, legal and bureaucratic machinery, internal connectivity, ports, business acumen, educated workforce and consumer spending prowess, this is still not the ideal situation. Although India has substantially closed the gap with China in two years, being at number 39 should not be a reason to gloat. India should reflect why we are not in the top ten.The Global Competitiveness Index is based on 12 parameters. India needs to do a lot in all the parameters.

The reasons are not far to seek. Widespread corruption has meant that the exploitation of resources have been lopsided. Despite recent efforts to induce transparency in policy decisions, the bureaucracy still swears by red tape. If it can find ways to delay a file, it will. There is no urgency on their part to seek ways to expedite matters. Hence, ease of doing business has not improved perceptibly. Efforts to digitize, despite a clarion call for Digital India, are half-hearted. Without full digitization, there will be no transparency, no innovativeness and no ease of doing business.

Infrastructure development has been bogged down by green clearances and local protests. Land, the biggest hurdle in recent times, has not been made the fulcrum of any new policy on rapid infrastructure and industrial development. While the government took a bold step in enacting a land law, it had to back out in face of opposition protests. Land being a state subject, there has been resistance from the states too. In the absence of a clear policy to acquire land, future competitiveness will always remain in doubt. No entity will invest if it fears that its investments will be blocked by protestors and legal delays.

Investments also remain an area of concern. As The Economic Times has pointed out in an editorial, investments remain sluggish and the current account deficit is now a minuscule decimal point of national income which means that foreign savings are not being utilized to boost domestic investment by the economy.

Further, despite reforms in the banking sector, nothing has been done to rid the banks of the burden of carrying bad debts in the form of sticky loans in their balance sheets. Employment is not rising as the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has been contracting in successive months. It fell 2.4% in July. Agriculture as percentage of GDP has declined.

True competitiveness will only come through transparency in policy decisions by digitizing processes, cutting down on red tape to facilitate ease of doing business, providing financial muscle to banks, updating labour laws, having a clear land acquisition policy and a stable tax regime. Otherwise Make in India will remain a distant dream. A top ten spot in Global Competitiveness Index can only be achieved if things are made to happen with firm policy decisions.