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Reform to maintain growth, India told


Geneva : India needs to carry out far wider-reaching reforms if it is to sustain the strong economic performance of recent years, the World Trade Organization said.

In a review of India's trade policies and practices, the Geneva-based WTO Wednesday predicted the country would see nine percent growth in 2006 to 2007. Economic growth had been impressive since 2001 and particularly vigorous since 2003, averaging 8.5 percent.

It had reaped the benefits socially with reductions in infant mortality rates and seen improvements in poverty levels.

The WTO Secretariat report put India's success down to unilateral trade and structural reforms but said it still suffered from bottlenecks due to a lack of infrastructure, particularly regarding transport and electricity. It also needed to tackle low productivity in farming.

The report recommended in particular greater investment in training to feed the growing demand for more skilled labour.