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Progress Still To Be Made In India Economics Essay
India is a source of untapped resources, both natural and man-made. The huge subcontinent is a reserve of various minerals, natural wealth and manmade wealth left to be used. The huge population is a big asset for the country as it can be skilled as well as unskilled.
The country has come a long way from the days of independence, taking long strides towards development and growth. Now it has achieved an unique place in the global arena because of the unique culture, technical skills and adaptability to adjust in any situation.
Though the country has so many advantages, it’s lagging behind because some of the boons have turned into banes. The huge population which has the capability of being the workforce has become an obstacle due to lack of job opportunities. The technical know-how which was a big advantage is slowly moving out of the country as opportunities are shrinking. The vast mineral and land reserves have fallen prey to unruly political nexus.
Things are slowly changing though, now the situation has improved a lot. The government has taken many measures like the NREGA etc, are formed to help the people rise above poverty. Along with tremendous support from World Bank, the country is charting a fast paced growth and development in key sectors. World Bank, the institution formed in 1944 has 187 member countries. It is an important source of technical and financial support to developing countries around the world. It consists of 2 parts: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). These 2 parts are supported by International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Its projects in India have made noteworthy changes and have helped the country travel the curve faster. From rail and road infrastructure in Rajasthan to facilitate trade and accessibility of far-flung areas to cities; building state highways in Andhra Pradesh to promote internal trade and removing middlemen from the process of trade between producers and retailers. From reclaiming saline lands in Uttar Pradesh to include more and more land into agriculture; to reducing Cataract blindness in the country, especially in women in remote and tribal areas.
The projects undertaken by the World Bank are of great importance and it’s hoped that with continued support the country will soon emerge out of the developing nations category and firmly place itself into the developed countries' section.
India is a country with huge potential in terms of development and growth. Though its lagging behind in the aforementioned criteria’s, it can come at par with the developed countries by keeping a few key things in mind. It has to realise its true potential, and earmark its strengths. Its bane can become a boon, if things are chalked out in a planned manner. After complete study of the present situation of the Indian economy, I have zeroed down upon a few sectors which are developing and still have tremendous options in growth and expansion.
1) Infrastructure Sector- the sector is so huge and colossal that if development starts in a right manner, the results would be manifold. It comprises of plethora of sub sectors like transport, water, energy, communications, manufacturing etc. The important aspect of this sector is that it requires labour in skilled as well as unskilled categories. Demand for labour leads to generation of jobs, leading to better living condition and improvement in health and hygiene issues; literacy etc.
Transport Infrastructure- the transport facilities in the country though developed have huge lapses in between. There is still a lot to do regarding roadways, railways, airways and waterways of the country. This comes in public sector part of the economy. Except for the airways, the other transport systems are state-owned.
Roadways and Railways - half of the Indian roads are not paved and the rest is not well-maintained and quite a considerable size of railway stations and tracks are in total disrepair. This leads to decline in internal trade, resulting in less revenue generation. Given proper attention and with help of a well chalked plan, this condition can be improved. A committee should be set up that will draft a plan and will look into allocation of funds as well. The construction process will involve skilled as well as unskilled labour. It should be kept in mind that unskilled labour to be chosen locally, which will lead to regional prosperity and reduce unemployment. As India is an agrarian country, a large section of the agricultural society is seasonally employed. Which means that those who generally earn only for few months a year, can earn and raise a livelihood.
In the category of skilled labour, there are sub divisions in form of degree of the skill. In roadways and railways construction, semi-skilled and highly skilled labour would get job opportunities. The youth from small towns who lack such opportunities, would get good opportunities.
Airways- well connected cities by air, is a must these for growth and development. The airports should be in close proximity to the city and well connected by roads.
High standard of transportation facilities guarantees internal and external trade as well as foreign investment. Lots of foreign investment is lost due to lack of proper transportation infrastructure.
Manufacturing Infrastructure- this sector can be broadly divided into heavy and light industry. Manufacturing sector takes in raw material and gives finished goods as output. This sector consists of many sectors like machinery, food processing, textiles, automobiles and its ancillary industries to name a few. Though this sector is quite developed and employment generating, there is still a huge scope of employment and growth remaining. This is a sector which can be developed throughout the country. The revenue earned from this sector is huge. There are various levels of employment that can be generated in this sector. The manufacturing units can target national as well as international trade. The revenue earned from this sector can be invested in many development projects, which will benefit the nation.
This category of infrastructure attracts both public and private sector investments. This sector can actually benefit the most from the investment.
The investment will actually create a cascading effect on industries dependent on it. The ancillary industries, which also have a sizeable share in employment, will also gain from it. The employment generated will also increase the living standards as it would give citizens access to proper food, health facilities, education and housing and sanitation.
Overview of Physical Infrastructure
The government of India, due to the rising demand in air traffic and increased in Infrastructure in the country’s key airport, wants private firms to invest in the development of airport in the major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The funding of World Bank in this regard will help the government to achieve its target to a great extent
The government also aims to add about 18,000 wagons, 1019 kms of new lines in rail transport and 4,000 coaches in railway sector during the fiscal year to facilitate quicker movement of passengers and goods.
It sets to invest Rupees 35,680 crores on roads and highways construction and targets to construct 2,500 km highways by 2012.
Proposal to finance in Indian infrastructure sector:
Project name: Mizoram Roads, Additional Financing II
IBRD Loan: US$30 million equivalent
Terms: Maturity = 5 years
Project Description: The objective of the project is to additionally finance the capability of the roads in the state of Mizoram, to enhance the growth of land transport to connect to the other parts of India. Mizoram is in the North eastern part of India, which is a hill locked state, closely surrounded by the neighbouring country of Bangladesh and Burma. The roads through the hills are very stiff and it’s very hard for two vehicles to pass as the roads are narrow and also it’s not concrete. The other objective of the project is to provide a mainstream to the people of Mizoram, as the completion of road will lead to overcoming of lots of hurdles in respect to food, and other raw materials.
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