Growth should be sustainable and equitable
The ‘Competitiveness Road Map for India@100’, jointly brought out by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) and the Institute for Competitiveness, has recommended that the country needs to reframe some of its key industrial and regional policies to ‘pursue a coherent strategy’ for growth and development. According to the EAC-PM, India can become an upper-middle-income country by 2047 if it manages to achieve a sustained growth rate of 7-7.5 per cent for the next 25 years, even as PM Modi has set an ambitious goal of making India a developed nation by the time it marks 100 years of Independence.
Recovering resiliently from the upheaval caused by the Covid pandemic over the past two years, Indian economy is forecast to expand by 7.4 per cent in 2022-23, as per the International Monetary Fund. This rate will make it one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. It’s vital that the action plan for the next quarter century should facilitate sustainable as well as equitable growth. The competitiveness road map has rightly observed that ‘rising inequality and a lack of convergence across regions suggest that growth has failed to translate into the expected improvements in quality of life for many Indians’.
It’s a cause for concern that India is ranked 131st among 189 nations on the Human Development Index, which includes the important parameters of education, literacy and health. Job creation and poverty alleviation ought to be the central elements of all policies and schemes. Another challenge is to initiate sector-specific initiatives to cater to the needs of individual regions so that the benefits of growth reach the last mile. Providing support to the domestic industry should go hand in hand with all-out efforts to make India an attractive destination for trade and investment. While a blueprint for the next 25 years is welcome, some short-term targets should also be set so that course correction can be done whenever the plans go awry. A comprehensive and inclusive approach to development can pave the way for India’s emergence as an economic powerhouse in the next couple of decades.
The above editorial was done on the report and published with The Tribune Chandigarh Edition on September 1, 2022.