Lee Kuan Yew calls for end to red tape in India

18Dec09

Lee Kuan Yew in Delhi.  India Today:

If India wants to make it to the big league, that is economies growing beyond the current 8-9 per cent rate, here is Lee Kuan Yew’s mantra.

The Minister Mentor, Republic of Singapore addressing a day-long lively dialogue session of the Singapore Symposium, jointly organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), has suggested India first cut down on red-tapism. Second he wants India to provide greater incentives for the private sector. Third India must address the challenge of infrastructure shortage, and finally, liberalise foreign direct investment norms in the country.

Greater liberalisation in FDI norms would allow India to shift its people out of agriculture into the industrial sector, which is essential for poverty reduction, said Lee. The infrastructure priority is to provide greater connectivity among Indian cities.

Sidestepping a question on the emergence of a global currency, Lee insisted there would be no change in the global dominance of the US dollar as an international reserve currency over the next 10 years. However, central banks across the globe may diversify their foreign exchange reserves into other international currencies such as euro and yen, said Lee.

According to the Singapore leader, the slowdown would not impact consumption in the US as the economy was driven by consumption. Rather, Lee pointed out that reckless consumption in US would continue to grow, despite the current economic crisis.

On the economic cooperation between India and China, Lee felt that while cooperation may increase over the next few years, there was a little possibility of India overtaking China in its economic size.

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