India : Reducing Poverty, Accelerating Development
Reducing poverty, and providing for minimum needs, is the ultimate yardstick against which to measure development. To this end, the study outlines India's growth rate, improved social indicators, and poverty reduction since the 1970s, but specifies that, despite this progress, poverty is a serious concern, where social indicators remain below comparator countries. Human development is examined, focusing on social indicators, stating the delivery of health and education is fraught with limited accountability for performance and with low management capacity. Governance is critical to development, but the country's inadequate and adverse factors hinder the development of public administration, instead, performance incentives, and accountability within a downsized civil service, effective financial management, and decentralization should be pursued. Infrastructure should attract private investments, but the perverse impact of subsidies preclude the provision of private services. However, regulatory agencies are imperfect alternatives to competition, but corporatization would be an essential step in attracting the private sector. The study further reviews deregulation to increase trade growth and improve labor market flexibility. Conclusions call for reforms, arguing it would lead to higher growth, favorable balance of payments, and further capital inflows, including foreign direct investments.
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