Five Differences Between India and China
Rajiv Lall, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), was the opening keynote speaker at the India Business Conference 2008. The India-China economy comparison is inevitable in any business conference. As the head of IDFC, Lall talked about India’s infrastructure issues by comparing it to China’s.
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Indian government finances 50% of its infrastructure projects. Therefore, India is not as highly levered as China where the govt only invests 16% from the budget and 54% is funded by debt from banks and private sector. However, India has very high subsidies and inefficient distribution system and hence loss-making operations. For e.g. 45% of the total power distributed is lost due to theft (illegal tapping of power lines).
In India, only 44% villages have power. Farmers enjoy subsidies, and power is delivered for free to villages. On the other hand, 99% of China’s villages are powered. Rural taxes are often higher than those in urban areas.
Said Lall, India’s biggest challenge – Leadership. Enough said!