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Time lauds India's economic growth

The magazine however, added that India needs to be careful about traps like the latest stock market slide.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 14:11 IST

Describing India as a country that can no longer be ignored, prestigious American news magazine

Time

has said the country's rise is for real but it needs to be careful about traps like the latest stock market slide.

"Once shunned for its hapless protectionism, suffocating bureaucracy and all-round commercial torpor, (India) can no longer be ignored," Time said referring to global IT major IBM's decision to invest 6 billion dollars right after the stock market crash earlier in the month in a special report on India in its June issue.

"The country's growth rate is approaching that of Asia's other economic juggernaut, China. India is being remade, as it is increasingly integrated to the global economy," it added.

The report, however, cautioned that as the Asian Elephant awakes, there could be traps ahead.

"Yet, India's stock market slide may be trying to tell us something: Elephant traps lie ahead," it said, adding prosperity and progress have not touched 5,50,000 villages where two-thirds of India's population live.

"In many ways the country is growing inspite of itself," it said.

According to Time, millions of women in India are not getting the education they need. Transportation networks and electrical grids, which are crucial to industrial development and job creation, are so dilapidated that it would need many years to modernise them.

"Businesses are less fettered than they were when liberalisation began 15 years ago, but some parts of the economy remain subject to the old restrictions," it said.

The magazine, however, giving a vote of confidence on India's success story, said while multinational companies like Nokia, Hyundai have moved in, at the same time the domestic success stories of companies like Infosys and the Tata Group are shaking things up around the world.

Singling out the manufacturing sector, the Time report said 'Made in India' could become the next manufacturing exports story quoting a McKinsey report.

"In fact the Indian manufacturing sector expanded 9 per cent last year, a key reason why the country posted economic growth of 8.4 per cent," it said.

Although cautious, given India's stop-and-start efforts, the report said with the pace of reform accelerating, India is beginning to change in ways similar to those that helped China attract foreign investment in manufacturing.

"India's once woeful manufacturing sector is (now) starting to pick up steam," Time said.

First Published: Jun 13, 2006 13:21 IST