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India has one of the world’s fastest growing economies, but a lack of skills among the working population is one of the main bottlenecks to higher and more inclusive growth.
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India adopted a broad-based strategic approach to e-government in 2006 through the National E-Governance Plan. The plan set out key priority areas such as the creation of shared data and service centres. However, these changes have so far had little effect on overall governance and citizens’ quality of life.
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India is regularly mentioned as one of the top global destinations for international investment, but it ranks outside the top 10 recipients worldwide. International multinationals cite factors such as retrospective tax legislation and rulings, strict labour laws, slow decision-making at the sub-national level, and poor infrastructure.
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India began its regulatory reforms in the early 1990s, reducing state involvement through the privatisation of companies, by putting in place independent regulatory mechanisms to boost competition and private-sector-led growth, and to strengthen consumer protection. But the reform efforts lacked coherence and, more recently, have stalled.
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India’s foreign value added content of exports was 22% in 2009 (the second highest in the BRIICS after China), up from 10% in 1995, illustrating an increased fragmentation of production and integration into global value chains, into which India could integrate even better.
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India’s urban population has risen by more than 150 million since 1990 and is projected to grow by a further 500 million by 2050. The specific challenges challenges facing Indian policy makers will be related to managing urban spatial expansion, improving infrastructure, and access to services and transportation.
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Faced by a serious and persistent water crisis owing to a growing imbalance of supply and demand, as well as poor water resource management and climate change, India is projected to face severe water stress by 2050.
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Many policy initiatives have been implemented in India, in recognition of the key role quality plays in strengthening health care systems. Accreditation programmes for hospitals and health care providers and the development of hospital infection control programmes seem to be the most relevant initiatives.
Curbing inflation and improving the effectiveness of public finance programmes are key challenges of macroeconomic policy in India. Complex labour regulations and infrastructure bottlenecks are holding back growth in the manufacturing sector. Raising the low female economic participation and higher spending on health would raise growth and make it more inclusive.
The Indian economy is showing signs of a turnaround, but new reforms are needed to put the country on a path to strong, sustainable and inclusive growth, according to the latest OECD Economic Survey of India.