great goal

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Mar 2018 11:27:48


Nakshatra Ashlesha 09H 58M
Moon Karka upto 09H 58M (Rajandekar Panchang)
Paksha Chaitra Shukla Tithi Dvadashi 23H 21M
Muslim Rajab 10th Hijree 1439

THE prediction of Union Economic Affairs Secretary Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg that India would become a five-trillion-dollar economy by the year 2025 should excite every Indian. It is a great goal, and if the prediction comes true, India will really become a much bigger economy than we can imagine. As the Government expects the economy to grow at 7-8 per cent in real terms, it finds it only natural to look at a five-trillion-dollar economy in the next seven years, according to Mr. Garg, who described the goal as a reasonably set one. Anybody would agree with him.

Despite political criticism by Opposition, the Indian economy has seen a healthy growth by most indicators. Not only is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) registering a robust growth, it is also staying stable despite many odds, much to everyone’s happiness. In most other indicators, the Government has every reason to be satisfied as the economy recovered quite fast after demonetisation that seemed to have weakened the money flow. The growth in export-import sectors also has added a new verve to the economy. Almost equal resilience is being witnessed also at the level of most States that are able to attract investment in good measure. In short, there is promise of growth in the economic environment.

There is a serious rider, however, that the country will have to sort out at the fastest -- corruption. There is no doubt that the Government has claimed that the level of corruption has come down in the past four years. This may be true to a certain extent. Yet, much distance is to be covered before corruption is finally buried. This sombre note is necessary to highlight the ugly reality of Indian economy. For, what the country is witnessing now by way of the shenanigans in the banks does not share the sense of promise other segments of the national economy demonstrate. Much to the contrary, a sense of deep-seated frustration emerges in the people’s minds as they realise to what depth Indian banking has stooped.

The massive corruption that the Indian banking sector now betrays is something the nation has to put behind and move on. This is not just a one-point graft, but has multiple points like a multi-headed hydra. It underlines an unholy nexus among politicians, bankers, and businessmen. It points to the ugly underbelly of Indian economy where everybody seems to have agreed to be corrupt. It is the only unprincipled zone in the economy that needs to be corrected on an immediate basis. The Government is certainly engaged in a massive correction process. Yet, it will take a long time to ensure that graft stands rooted out finally from Indian banking. And until that happens, the growth of the economy will have an element of tentativeness, no matter what the Government wishes to achieve and project.

There is one more zone that is crying for serious attention. It is agriculture. In hot pursuit of indicators like GDP, the nation’s economic thinkers and planners seem to have forgotten this all-important sector. If the national economy is to grow to the predicted point around 7-8 per cent, then the Government will have to care for the appropriate and balanced growth of farm sector. It will also have to add other sectors as well to its range of activity so that the economy achieves an all-round and healthy growth.

However, this is easier said than achieved as the challenges before the economy are complex. They will stretch the national resource base as well as economic planning to the maximum. Thus, in the next seven years, the Government will have to navigate around many obstacles to ensure that its growth-perspective does not get unclear. Clarity of vision will be the most critical attribute of the economic effort in the coming years.