Indian premier assures of enhancing service sector

New Delhi, October 5 :

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh today said a high-level group in the Planning Commission will be set up to look at all issues concerning the service sector to enhance India’s competitiveness in the coming years.

“Services play a crucial role, not just in our economy but in our trade as well. They now account for more than 50 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP),” the prime minister said, inaugurating a seminar on services here.

“We are considering setting up a High Level Group in the Planning Commission to look into all aspects which influence the performance of the service sector and suggest policy measures,” he said.

“I hope that the recommendations of the high level group, which would consist of members from government, business and the academia would act as a roadmap for the growth of this sector,” he added.

The prime minister is also chairman of the Planning Commission that sets India’s medium-to-long-term goals on developmental issues and how to fund the projects.

Manmohan Sigh told the seminar, organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, that the services sector has seen a robust growth globally and accounts for 60 per cent of the world output and fifth of the trade.

“The growth in trade in services is a recent phenomenon. Therefore, unlike in manufacturing where developed world has had a historic lead, this is a sector where the developing countries need not suffer from a handicap,” he said. “The growth of the service sector has been one of the notable success stories of the Indian economy — both domestically and on the global plane. Currently, it is services, along with manufacturing, which are driving our GDP growth.” Quoting some studies, he said the business process outsourcing was set to emerge as a $110 billion industry by 2010.