India would catch up with its neighbour China in terms of economic growth by the turn of this decade, noted economist Pranab Bardhan.
Bardhan, a professor at the University of California, was delivering the third B.G. Kumar memorial lecture at the Centre for Development Studies
“A potential advantage India has over China in speeding up its economic growth is the demographic shift in favour of young and able working population. This would put India in a higher growth trajectory and the country could catch up with the economic growth of China by 2020,” said Bardhan.
He also said that the world’ two most populous economies would garner a lion’s share of the world output and income, surpassing the now developed countries such as the US and Japan.
According to the current estimates, the combined size of India’s and China’s economy by the year 2025 would be 36 percent, he said.
He noted that more than the global environment, it was the domestic policy changes and initiatives that helped China achieve a higher growth trajectory.
China had transferred itself from a Communist economy to a household income-based economy. This has helped the country achieve a sort of relative income equality, improve standard of education as well as healthcare. This has gone a long way in helping China achieve higher economic and social development, he added.
“Another feature that spurred the overall growth in China is the key role played by the township and village industries under the control of local officials who enjoyed much autonomy. India should take a leaf out of this Chinese lesson to evolve a system of reward and punishment for the performers and laggards among the Indian bureaucracy,” said Bardhan.