‘best to come’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Dec 2018 11:23:23

T HE confidence in the statement of Union Minister of Commerce Mr. Suresh Prabhu that the best part of India’s growth story is in the offing, is simply fascinating. He insisted clearly at a global investors’ meet in Goa that worst was over, and the best was yet to come, as was visible in several sectors including civil aviation and road transport. He also said, there was “no market as exciting as India. This is a new phase in India’s growth story”. The aplomb with which the Minister made the statement opens up an entirely new vista. 

True, India’s growth story has been fascinating, no matter the difficulties the country faced over time. Despite many problems and many ups and downs, the trajectory of India’s growth and march towards better future for all has always been on a rising curve. The long-term policies India has adopted have often impressed the world. There certainly was a time when the country was afflicted with what the world called policy paralysis. But that phase -- which Mr. Prabhu calls ‘worst’ -- is now over and India now looks to a future of tremendous possibilities. The reference to addition of a 100 airports in the country and a promise to have 100 more in the next ten years, therefore, indicates how the growth is being achieved, for example.

Not just for the common Indian citizens but also for the world, the details of India’s development and growth curves hold certain promise of greater and better prospects. In the past four years, these curves have shown a healthy upward movement, which the world has not missed. For global investors, thus, India offers an investment destination the like of which will be rarely available elsewhere in the Asian region. This assertion by Mr. Suresh Prabhu is backed by facts that have attracted the world for the past some time. Mr. Prabhu has also foreseen a tremendous growth potential in India’s farm sector, so that there is a balanced growth of the economy. The new push to start-ups also is another area of promise, the Minister said.

Even as these dimensions of a happy picture are available, the Indian growth story is proceeding at a desired pace. This is so because all layers of the Governmental machinery are yet to be energised fully and eager to lend a helping hand to anybody and everybody who is willing to take the plunge. There is no doubt that a lot of progress has been made in the last four years, but there still are areas in which the developmental engine travels at a slower pace, thanks to the sluggish governance and also traces of corruption that clog growth.

Of course, the Government is aware of these difficulties, but has not succeeded fully to eliminate the dark areas. If this task is undertaken in all earnestness, then there will be no stopping the country’s growth taking place at a tremendously accelerated pace. True, there would be serious pitfalls if the country tries to achieve an unnatural pace of growth, as did China. There is no doubt that it has achieved a near-fantastic growth rate. Yet, those who know the inner details also shudder with the thought that China’s growth story is being built upon thin ice that can crack under the weight of development. As the world is now getting to know the serious and negative issues that dog the Chinese economic growth, there is a distinct thought to push: Let India follow a responsible norm to achieve higher growth. That alone would make India’s growth story sound more fascinating.