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Learn from Singapore

Learn from Singapore
Highlights

Learn From Singapore. Despite their differences over issues from Srisailam to Krishnapatnam and from Krishna to Godavari, both K Chandrashekhar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu are reciting Singapore model as mantra for growth.

The City-State's institutions, regulatory frameworks and strong services can be a role model for AP, Telangana

Despite their differences over issues from Srisailam to Krishnapatnam and from Krishna to Godavari, both K Chandrashekhar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu are reciting Singapore model as mantra for growth. It is more so in AP where Singapore is chosen as an ally to design the new capital. But, what really is the success of Singapore? Mere recitation of this City-State ignoring the social and economic differences with our States would not really benefit.

The population density in Singapore is very high with 7,615 persons per sq km as compared to 304 per sq km in Andhra Pradesh, 307 persons per sq km in Telangana and 368 per sq km at all India level in 2011. This tells us how inaccurate it is to expect the Singapore model to be exactly replicated in our States. Despite a high population density, Singapore has earmarked 10 per cent of its area for parks and natural resources.

It stands fourth in global environment performance index which measures effectiveness of the State policy for environmental sustainability. On the contrary, we want to convert river bed lands into concrete jungles and ecologically fragile river shore into an MNC zone. We want to crowd the water body area with skyscrapers. Singapore has the highest trade to GDP ratio in the world at 407.9 per cent and is home to more than 10,000 MNCs.

It is the fourth largest finance centre in the world. It is the largest oil rig producer and a major hub for ship repair services. It is also a top logistics hub. Andhra Pradesh has the 2nd longest coastline in the country with a length of 974 km. This can be harnessed for significant development. Naidu is right when he envisions the State as a logistics hub. But, the fragile eco system should not be destroyed.

Patrick Gathara, an award-winning political cartoonist based in Nairobi, has a caution to offer while emulating Singapore model. He said, “It is true Lee Kuan Yew (the architect of Singapore) brooked little dissent and his rule was characterised by a clampdown on political freedom as well as harsh social controls. It is equally true he ruled for an inordinately long time, turned Singapore into a de facto one party state, and his family, especially his children, have done pretty well for themselves.”

Except China, no other country is perhaps closer to Singapore than India. This provides a fine ambiance for economic diplomacy with it. The City- State's institutions, regulatory frameworks and strong services are a role model for us as services sector accounts for over 50% of Gross State Domestic Product in both the States. As Sunil Bharti Mittal said "The combination of Singapore's innovation and knowledge together with India's workforce and a large market can be a powerhouse for the global economy.”

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