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Half-hearted reform more discouraging: Lord Paul

Cautioning policy makers in India against launching "half-hearted" reforms, leading NRI industrialised Lord Swraj Paul has said inconsistency, rather than rejection was the greatest enemy of reform. US hopes India will move forward on FDI in retail

world Updated: Dec 13, 2011 10:06 IST

Cautioning policy makers in India against launching "half-hearted" reforms, leading NRI industrialised Lord Swraj Paul has said inconsistency, rather than rejection was the greatest enemy of reform.



Inaugurating a conference on 'Indian Power Brands' in London, Lord Paul, Chairman of the Caparo Group, played down fears that opening up the economy would harm local interests, saying the Indian entrepreneur was the best protection against what many in India perceive as a new form of economic imperialism.


The debate over economic reforms was revived in India after the government's recent decision -- and subsequent rollback -- to allow greater FDI in retail.

"Faint-hearted and half-hearted reform is more discouraging than outright opposition. This is something that policy-makers must realise," Lord Paul said.

Noting that "we are at a moment in history where, it seems to me, we are re-designing the world," he said the dominant academic and political architecture of recent decades -- liberal democracy and faith in free markets -- is in "deep trouble".

At the same time, he noted, that an unprecedented shift was taking place in the global economic balance with the shift of economic momentum from the West to the non-Western world.

"These are trends and developments of historic proportions," he said.

He cautioned that "unless we can shape a more effective way of organising our societies, we will have a world in confusion - and confusion is the seedbed of dangerous and violent upheavals".