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`More reforms needed to sustain growth'

NEW DELHI, APRIL 15. India may be shining in some sectors of the economy, but is it even faintly glowing when it comes to infrastructure, health and education, ask experts.

Leading experts and media personalities now seem inclined to take a hard look at India's strengths and weaknesses.

``We are very happy to see India shining in many aspects, but to make it sustainable, further efforts should be made down the road of reforms,'' the head of a delegation of the European Commission in India, Franscisco Gomes, said here during a panel discussion on `India Shining — An international perspective,' organised by the BBC World.

Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, The Indian Express, said many hard reforms were yet to be undertaken, including those in infrastructure and abolition of ministries like Information and Broadcasting, Steel and Consumer Affairs. He said the next round of reforms must include the railways.

The FICCI secretary-general, Amit Mitra, said progress must be benchmarked against LIT-PIT (labour reform, infrastructure, transaction costs, power, interest rates and tax burden).

Only the interest rates had come down, tax burden was 33 to 43 per cent of the sales made and the Government still had powerful controls, he said.

Sectors such as information technology were shining, and outsourcing had become a major issue even in the U.S. Presidential election campaign, the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Economist, Simon Long, said.

A large population of young people had reason to be optimistic but if unemployed they could become a source of social tension. — PTI

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