Nicholas Stern on India’s road to become a developed economy and more


Q1. What do you think should be the focus areas and reforms that India should undertake to become a developed economy?


>India has grown the fastest when it has invested strongly

>Private investment is centre stage for India

>Conditions for investment also depends on confidence of people in realising returns from their investments

>Need clarity in the tax system

>GST is a step in the right direction

>India needs to increase the share of taxation to GDP

>Share of taxation to GDP is 3 or 4% points below what you would expect on income per capita basis

>Taxation should be simple, transparent and doesn’t complicate people’s lives

Q2. How do you rate India’s climate actions towards building a green economy and its intention to achieve net zero by 2070?

>If you look at the Paris agreement, India was important

>We would not have got a Paris agreement without the enthusiastic participation of India

> In the Glasgow agreement last November, PM Modi set out a new path for India through Panchamrit (five milestones) that included net zero by 2070 and a lot of action by 2030

Q3. After India’s promises at COP 26, you had said India’s annual emissions of greenhouse gases could peak by 2030. Do you think that is still achievable?


>It won’t be easy, given the existing structure of energy supply. But that’s a useful target

>India has exceeded targets in the past few years

>India’s growth of renewables has been faster than anticipated

Q4. Do you support the EU proposal of a carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which will introduce a carbon price on certain products imported into the EU?


>It has some logic, in a limited form

>In some focus sectors, there is an argument that if you are pushing hard inside your country, particularly EU, to take into account those internal policies when those goods are being imported

>Important to keep it transparent, so that it doesn’t become a mechanism for protectionism

>Keep it focused on just very few industries where it matters

>Need collaboration to decarbonise the polluting industries

>Richer countries should come up to finance the transition in poorer countries

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