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‘Infrastructure key to India’s growth’

business Updated: Sep 27, 2007 21:03 IST
Gaurav Choudhury
Gaurav Choudhury
Hindustan Times
‘Infrastructure key to India’s growth’

Infrastructure, skills development and expansion of educational opportunities are critical for maintaining India’s growth momentum, the World Bank has said.

The World Bank’s country director for India, Isabel M. Guerrero, said the sustainability of India’s growth story would critically depend on how the country addressed the constraints of infrastructure, skills enhancement and education.

Guerrero said the challenges of infrastructure were bigger and needed faster execution as the country was growing at a rapid pace. “The pace of growth has raised the demand for infrastructure even more,” she pointed out.

There are also issues of making growth more inclusive. “The good news for India is that the growth rates are high, as the low growth-inequality trap can be dangerous,” Guerrero told Hindustan Times.

A buoyant Indian economy grew at a blistering 9.3 per cent during April to June this year. Economic growth measured by gross domestic product (GDP) rode largely on robust performances by the manufacturing, construction and services sectors.

The farm economy, historically a laggard and a key concern for policy makers, too beat expectations to grow by 3.8 per cent in the first quarter of the current financial year 2007-08.

There is also need for a good evaluation and monitoring system of government-sponsored programmes. This is important in the context of making the growth process more inclusive. “Growth should not be seen as only a focused financial concept,” she said. “Most developing countries are lacking in setting up such an evaluation system,” she added. Guerrero said that India was putting in systems to address inclusion.