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'India should step up mfg growth to at least 12%'

India needs to step up its manufacturing growth rate to at least 12%o become a global economic player.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2006 00:45 IST

India needs to step up its manufacturing growth rate to at least 12 per cent to become a global economic player, Union Department of Economic Affairs Senior Economic Advisor HAC Prasad said on Saturday.

India is already being considered a manufacturing hub with a potential to increase its manufacturing exports to approximately $300 bn by 2015, he said during a national seminar on "enhancing India's competitiveness- a roadmap to the future."

However, to achieve the status of a global economic power, India needs to concentrate "both micro and macro economics and export competitiveness," he said.

Referring to the FDI,Prasad said though FDI for 2004-05 at $5.6 bn and USD 3.6 bn for 2005-06--was "higher than earlier years,this was nowhere near the level of countries like China which had $60.6 bn in 2004.

High regulations burden on business in India is one of the major impediments in the way of higher FDI inflows, he said, adding this needs to be addressed immediately.

Citing the example for need for quality infrastructure, he said Indian ports, which handle 70 per cent of India's exports and imports even in value terms, have a turn-around time of three-five days against four-six hours at international ports in Singapore and Hong Kong.

To achieve the $150 bn export target by 2009, installed capacity of ports has to be augmented by 140 per cent, Prasad said.

Indian economy can absorb upto $150 billion of foreign investment in infrastructure sectors over the next ten years,opening up a large opportunities for foreign investors to invest in the country, Prasad said.

He stressed the need for removal of domestic regulations "hardhitting" the service sector which account for 54.1 per cent of our GDP.

Prasad said with the explosive growth of business services including professional services, "there is potential for export of many of the professional services."

"Along with enhancing our competitiveness by domestic policy reforms,there is also a need to market and negotiate both multilaterally and bilaterally issues like the national health service systems," he said.