Indian PM Narendra Modi, today addressed the Economic Times Global Business Summit. The PM stated that from the days of 2013-14, when India was beset with problems such as runaway inflation, high fiscal deficit and policy paralysis, change is clearly visible today.
Hesitations have been replaced by hope, and obstacles have been replaced by optimism, he said. The Prime Minister said that since 2014, India has made significant improvements in almost all international rankings and indices.
He said rankings are mostly lagging indicators, which change only after things have changed on the ground. In this context, he gave the example of Ease of Doing Business, where several parameters have visibly improved.
He said that as India’s rank in the Global Innovation Index has gone up from seventy-six in 2014 to fifty-seven in 2018, the surge in innovation is clearly visible. The Prime Minister drew a contrast between different forms of competition between now and prior to 2014.
He said that the competition now is on development, and achieving aspirational targets such as total sanitation, or total electrification, or higher investment. By contrast, he said that earlier, the apparent competition seemed to be on delays and corruption.
The Prime Minister strongly criticized what he described as a “narrative” that certain things are just impossible in India. The impossible is now possible, he declared, as he spoke of the progress made in making India clean and corruption-free; in the poor leveraging the power of technology, and in removing discretion and arbitrariness in policymaking.
He said that perception had been made that governments cannot be pro-growth and pro-poor at the same time, but people of India are making it possible.
He said that from 2014 to 2019, the country would register an average growth of 7.4 per cent and the average inflation would be less than four and a half per cent. Post liberalization of the Indian economy, this will be the highest rate of average growth and lowest rate of average inflation witnessed during the period of any government, he added.
In the last four years, the amount of Foreign Direct Investment received in the country was almost equal to what was received in seven years before 2014, the Prime Minister said. He added that to achieve this, India needed reforms to transform. Through the Bankruptcy Code, GST, Real Estate Act to name a few, a solid foundation for decades of higher growth has been laid, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that India is a country of 130 crore aspirations and there can never be a singular vision for development and progress. “Our vision of new India caters to all sections of the society, irrespective of their economic profile, their caste, creed, language and religion,” he added.
Shri Narendra Modi said, “our vision of New India includes addressing the challenges of the future while also solving problems of the past.” In this context, he gave the following examples:
While India has made its fastest train, it has also eliminated all unmanned railway crossings. While India is building IITs & AIIMS at a rapid pace, it has also built toilets in all schools across the country.
While India is building 100 smart cities across the country, it is also ensuring rapid progress in over 100 aspirational districts. While India has become a net exporter of electricity, it has also ensured that crores of households which were in darkness since independence have got electricity.
Speaking of positive interventions in the social sector, the Prime Minister said that the Government is reaching out to twelve crore small and marginal farmers by providing them with the comfort of rupees six thousand every year. This will transfer 7.5 lakh crore rupees or about one hundred billion dollars to our farmers over the next ten years, he added.
The outcomes of our focus on Digital India, Start-up India, Make In India and Innovate India are converging and reaping rich dividends, the Prime Minister said. 44 per cent of the startups registered in India are from tier 2 and tier3 cities, he added. Technology is bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots in our country, he said.
The Prime Minister said that the Government looks forward to making India a ten trillion dollar economy, lead the global drive towards renewable sources of energy, and make India a world leader in electric vehicles and energy storage devices.