New Delhi: India has the potential to grow at 8-9 percent over the next 5-10 years by focusing on its intrinsic strengths and taking the Opposition on board to push economic reforms, said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday.
"India would be able to grow not just at seven percent, but 8-9 percent for another 5-10 years easily, because the potential is there, human capabilities are there," Lee said at a symposium here.
Hailing India's efforts since economic liberalisation in 1991, he said the country needs to capitalise on its large human capital and build on the success in the information technology sector.
India will have to improve investment climate to attract foreign investments, Lee said, indirectly referring to the implementation the General Anti-Avoidance Tax Rules (GAAR),
which was in the midst of controversy recently. Global industry associations and investors have expressed apprehensions over India's business environment following the announcement of GAAR. The introduction of retrospective tax as in the case of Vodafone has also added to the uncertainty among overseas investors.
"Companies will look at the consequences (of the changing rules), companies want to make a calculation. If a company has already invested in India, it abides by rule. The companies
which have not yet invested in India, they will have to make their assessments. They will look, assess and make calculation that these are the new rules, what does it mean for me after I invest," Lee said.
Every Finance Minister, he added, should look at the implications of changing rules.
Referring to the challenges before India, he said, "it's a very diverse country and you need to find some way to make everybody feel that."