Raghuram Rajan on why a Chinese manufacturing model does not work for us
Raghuram Rajan on why a Chinese manufacturing model does not work for us

Raghuram Rajan on why a Chinese manufacturing model does not work for us

Raghuram Rajan, who has repeatedly stressed that India should focus on services instead of blindly following China model of manufacturing-led growth, says that goods made in India can have counter-reactions in the West, just as Chinese goods have.

It is therefore unwise for India to use all resources for a production-driven growth instead of building strength in services where it has an advantage.

“The problem for us in imitating China’s path is that China has already created the downturn in the West for production-driven growth. It is not that we will be able to manufacture the cheap assembly line items that China manufactured and sent to the United States without see a similar kind of backlash against India.There is a lot of sensitivity to that kind of thing today, “Rajan said in an interview with MK Anand, MD, Times Network at the Times Network India Economic Conclave.

The former RBI governor has expressed dissatisfaction that India is unable to educate its students traveling abroad in droves, as was clear to the world in the war between Russia and Ukraine, where hundreds of stranded Indian students sent SOS to Modi Government.

“We’ve seen all these doctors come back from Ukraine or students studying to become doctors. There is clearly a great demand in India to learn how to become doctors. We have a sub-supply of medical educational institutions, but it is a possibility, ”Rajan said at the conclave.

Rajan, who currently teaches at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, feels that if India is able to build a pipeline of doctors, it could sell medical services abroad. It could, for example, negotiate with Britain’s overburdened NHS to sell telemedicine.

“Telemedicine rose by 20% in the US during the pandemic. Why can telemedicine not be offered from India? Now there are barriers; for example, there is the question of degrees. Is the Indian medical education recognized outside? Well, if we need the equivalent, what Should we do that? is it for a certificate they need? Can we start having exams which are available to Indian doctors? ”

Democratic dialogue

Rajan was in a discussion at the Conclave on Democracy: The Indian Growth Advantage. He talked about the many benefits of democratic dialogue, although it sometimes slows down decision-making.

Decisions such as demonetization or Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine would not be carried out if there was a broader discussion.

“If you think about some of the poster children of the autocracy today – Russia and China – you can see the consequences of having no checks and balances. Russia has ended up in a war that many Russians do not agree with, and which will set the country back significantly. China seemed to be successful with its Covid policies, but now it has stalled because Covid policies are so clearly linked to President Xi Jinping that they have no option but to withdraw, he said.

“Think also of our jhatka (imprompt) decisions that were made: demonetisation or the lack of attention to vaccines. These are all areas where perhaps a little more transparency, a little more dialogue could have actually led to better decisions. One can not have a public dialogue on demonetization, but at least within the government, a little more checks-and-balances might have prevented us from taking the step that led to major setbacks for the economy. ”

Agricultural laws

Rajan said the agricultural laws that the Modi government was forced to withdraw would have been achieved through democratic dialogue and decentralization.

“Agricultural experts tell me it could have been much better tailored, especially if large parts of it had been decentralized to the states to find out what worked best for them,” Rajan said.

“When you talk to farmers, they were very concerned about growing rice in Punjab, which is a state with scarcity of water, but how do you get out of it? This is where the dialogue comes into play. My feeling is that this should not be a signal to abandon reforms, but to start talking about how to implement it in a way that first takes into account the interests of different parties, but then is much smarter. about how to formulate it, then it has a broader appeal. ”

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