Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Jun 2018 12:43:13

PRESIDENT Mr. Ram Nath Kovind’s assertion in Greece that India was aiming to become a USD 5 trillion economy and the world’s third largest consumer market by 2025 is reiteration of a growth story that the country has started realising on the strength of its tremendous potential and sound handling of situations arising out of global economic shake-ups. Presently, India’s economy is estimated at USD 2.5 trillion. That the Government is committed to doubling it within next decade is a pointer to the planning the financial handlers have for an exponential growth.

India’s dreams of becoming the second largest economy in the world are not far-fetched given the slew of reforms and policies that the Narendra Modi-led Government has introduced in the last four years. The Prime Minister was decisive in his policies as he envisioned development of the country through aggressive economic reforms. Digitisation and visionary reforms like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have contributed heavily towards making the economy simple and transparent. The widening of tax base under the One Nation, One Tax regime tells the story of a good economic future for the country.

The best part, that resulted in uptick of India’s ratings and prediction of a growth in GDP by various global agencies including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, was the quick recovery of the businesses -- big as well as small -- from the effects of demonetisation and implementation of GST. Simple and transparent taxation processes and an assurance of stability in the markets has had a great effect on India’s growth story. For over a decade, India did not have a rating upgrade. But when international rating agency Moody’s upgraded India’s sovereign rating, it worked as a major fillip for the economy.

Another feather in the cap came through the leap in Ease of Doing Business Index. The positives can be gauged from the promise made by Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr. Devendra Fadnavis of his State contributing almost 40% to the country’s estimated Gross Domestic Product by 2025. That States like Maharashtra can pitch for investment from foreign companies is a clear endorsement of the ease of raising infrastructure and reforms initiated in farm and industrial sectors. If this story of inclusive growth gets more willing partners like Maharashtra then the dream of a throbbing economy will be within reach.

Inclusive growth is the key for a promising economy. It is not only about one’s own country but collaboration of like-minded nations who are interested in making globalisation a success instead of receding into one’s own cocoon. Mr. Modi emphasised on the precise thought at the World Economic Forum in Davos when he put forth India’s philosophy and idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (world is one family). Mr. Modi stressed on making globalisation a central idea to achieve vibrant growth with each other’s help. India’s domestic growth is very much on this path of inclusive growth.

However, there are still areas of concern that demand immediate attention. First and foremost being rural economy that needs to be shored up with a calibrated approach. Success of an economy always depends upon proper handling of both the extremes in the society -- the high-end contributors and the common man. Pragmatised steering between the two extremes and consolidation of gains should guide the future course. This brings focus on agriculture which has to be on the planners’ priority. Sustained backing to farmers, proper price to their produce and a sense of assurance must form the core of the financial policies if the economic growth is to see an upsurge. If big ticket projects are merged seamlessly with factors affecting the common man, then India’s growth story can be a reality soon.