Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed the Economic Times Global Business Summit.
He said 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Hesitations have been replaced by hope, and obstacles have been replaced by optimism, Modi said.
Since 2014, India has made significant improvements in almost all international rankings and indices, adding to it, Modi 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.
As India’s rank in Global Innovation Index has gone up from seventy six in 2014 to fifty seven in 2018, the surge in innovation is clearly visible. He drew a contrast between different forms of competition between now and prior to 2014.
Modi 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.
He 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 policy making.
He said that a 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.
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, Modi 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 Modi said.
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 said.
Speaking of positive interventions in the social sector, Modi said that the Government is reaching out to twelve crore small and marginal farmers by providing them a 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.
Modi 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.