Tata International Managing Director Noel Tata, widely believed to be a strong contender to succeed Ratan Tata as the Chairman of the Tata Group, today said India's economic growth could be hampered if the country's governance does not improve".
"We, as an economy, expect to grow at 7 per cent or 8 per cent growth rate but only a good governance can support the growth. If the government does not improve, it will start to break the growth," Tata said here while speaking at the Hero Mindmine Summit.
Citing the example of Delhi Metro, Tata said India has made considerable progress in the recent past, "but these have been spearheaded by individual people and not driven by the system."
When asked how has the country been growing at the moment -- "upwards, downwards or sideways", he said, "A little forward, a little backward and a little forward again."
Tata, however, said the citizens of India needed to be realistic of what to expect from the government.
"We are the only country trying to govern 1.2 billion people in a democratic way... We have people in the country with a diverse view. There is a large part of population grappling with increasing complex nature of the economy," he added.
A half-brother of Ratan Tata, Noel Tata was last year appointed the MD of Tata International Ltd, the overseas arm of the USD 67.4 billion group. He was earlier the MD of the group's retail venture Trent Ltd.
Noel is believed to be among the contenders to take over the leadership of the group, after Ratan Tata retires in 2012.
Tata said that considering India's population, the country has a lot of potential, specially with lot of foreign investors looking to tap opportunities here.
However, the country has been unable to fully tap into the potential due to its ways of functioning.
"...The issue is we are unable to maximise this potential (because of) the way we are running our lives (as a country). We could have gone faster," Tata said.
Asked if the government was doing enough to incentivise business houses to generate employment, he said: "I have not seen any proactive support or incentive from the government to create employment in high potential areas such as textiles."
Lack of Good Governance Can Break Growth: Noel Tata
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