Budget 2020: PM Modi Calls For Focused Effort To Make India $5 Trillion Economy
Unfazed by projections of India’s GDP growth slowing to an eleven-year low in 2019-20, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said fundamentals of the Indian economy are strong and it has the capacity to bounce back.
Modi, who seems to have taken charge of the efforts to revive the economy, has over the past few days held 12 brainstorming sessions with different stakeholders over various issues affecting the economy and to thrash out appropriate policy interventions in Union Budget 2020-21.
On Thursday, he met economists, private equity and venture capitalists, business leaders and agri experts at NITI Aayog and called for focused efforts to achieve the target of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024.
"We must all work together and start to think like a nation," an official press statement quoted him as saying at the meeting.
The prime minister said he was happy that the two-hour open discussion has brought to the forefront the experience of people on the ground and those working in their respective fields. This, he said, would enhance the synergy between policymakers and various stakeholders.
The idea of $5 trillion economy is not a sudden development and is based on a deep understanding of the strengths of the country, Modi said in the statement.
"The strong absorbent capacity of the Indian economy shows the strength of basic fundamentals of the Indian economy and its capacity to bounce back," he said, adding that sectors like tourism, urban development, infrastructure, and agri-based industry have a great potential to take the economy forward and for employment generation.
He said open discussions and brainstorming in such fora lead to a healthy debate and understanding of the issues. This would also foster a positive mood and "can do" spirit in the society, he said.
India is a land with unlimited possibilities, he said, and stressed that all stakeholders to do their bit to bridge the gap between reality and perception. "We must all work together and start to think like a nation," the prime minister said.
According to sources, speakers at the meeting urged the government to focus on credit expansion, exports growth, governance of public sector banks, increasing consumption and job creation.
As many as 40 experts and economists attended the meeting. Modi assured them that he would act on suggestions which can be implemented in the short-term and also conider long-term suggestions in due course as these require structural reforms.
The high-profile meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal besides Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and other senior officials of the think-tank.
Bibek Debroy, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, was also present at the meeting.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was not present, as she was holding pre-budget meetings with party workers at the BJP headquarters.
The Niti Aayog meeting assumes significance as the government is in the process of formulating budget proposals for 2020-21. On Monday, the prime minister interacted with top business tycoons to discuss the issues facing the economy and measures needed to boost growth and create jobs.
Sitharaman will be presenting her second Union Budget on Feb. 1.