labels: economy - general, world trade organisation
More reforms needed to sustain growth: WTO news
26 April 2007

Geneva: More reforms are needed if India has to achieve its goal of 8 to 10 per cent annual economic growth over the longer term, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said on Wednesday.

In a report WTO said structural reforms, including trade liberalisation, played a key role in helping the Indian economy grow at an average 8.5 per cent since 2003.

It said reform should focus on infrastructure bottlenecks, particularly in transport and electricity supply, and on loss-making public sector companies which remain a drain on India''s public finances.

Since a previous WTO report in June 2002, average import tariffs in India had dropped to 15.8 per cent from 32.3 per cent overall, although the average duty on industrial goods was well below that of agricultural imports.

For agricultural goods, the average was 40.8 per cent, while that of industrial goods was 12.1 per cent. Both figures are well below ceilings set in 1995 in the last round of WTO trade liberalisation, the so-called Uruguay Round.

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More reforms needed to sustain growth: WTO