NEW DELHI. Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have been a great source of pride for India as they have played a stellar role in the country’s growth and development story, said Mr. Kamal Nath, Minister of Urban Development & Parliamentary Affairs, while addressing the first plenary session on ‘India’s Growth and Development Agenda’ at the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
….in India growth has preceded the development of infrastructure..” – Kamal Nath
With the rise in the number of cities, urban infrastructure has not kept pace and has emerged as one of the biggest challenges. The Government has initiated a number of projects such as the construction of metro rail lines in many Indian cities and is also looking at ways to integrate it with intelligent transport system, he added.
He said that India needs specific governance and management as it is a complex nation. There is a need to adopt and adapt the new India vision.
The country has experienced unprecedented growth with the rise in disposable income of rural Indians, which has emerged as the new aspirational class and became one of the important drivers of the economy, said Mr. Nath.
Anand Sharma’s call to empower youth & invest in HR to meet rising job requirement
Mr. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry, in his observations, said that India must focus on manufacturing and work towards making India a manufacturing hub. In the coming decade, almost 54 million graduates will look for job opportunities; hence it is necessary to significantly raise the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP to increase employment opportunities.
Mr. Sharma said India’s demographic dividend held out immense possibilities for higher long term growth, provided enough jobs are created for the young brigade, which in turn is possible only by creating a growth-friendly environment. India, he said, has a dearth of skilled workforce and therefore it was necessary to invest in human resources and empower the youth.
….it is important to develop the young workforce with requisite education and training as per global standards, which will lead to increased employment opportunities for the youth….” – Anand Sharma
The government has created an ecosystem and an investment regime which has made India and important an attractive destination for investment, Shri Sharma added.
Mr. Sam Pitroda, Adviser to PM on Public Information, Infrastructure & Innovation, said that India today enjoys high telecom connectivity and it must use this connectivity to redesign the process and expedite the growth and development of the economy. India is looking to achieve an inclusive and sustainable economic growth which would benefit all strata of society, minimize income inequality and remove poverty. This is possible only through optimal utilization of resources. The biggest challenge is to achieve significant growth on all fronts and bringing back the economy on the high growth trajectory.
With many new policies in place such as the Right to Information and Right to Education, India has embarked on a new journey of creating an ecosystem with more reforms, which will enable to achieve a GDP growth of 8%.
Over the past two decades, the economy has grown at an impressive pace aided by a wide range of structural reforms, thereby making the economy more competitive. This encouraged higher investments, savings and facilitated in increasing India’s share in global output and trade volumes. In the last decade average growth rate accelerated to 8 per cent, up from around 5.5 per cent growth witnessed during the 90s. Also, during the financial crisis of 2008, the economy was largely resilient owing to its strong macroeconomic fundamentals and financial base. However, with the precipitation of sovereign debt crisis in 2012, the country did witness a slowdown.
FICCI feels the urgent need for government, business and civil society to rebuild mutual trust….
Mr. Sidharth Birla, President, FICCI, said that a positive environment is required to encourage expansion and creation of businesses. In recent times businessmen could be forgiven for not really believing if an overall setting conducive to business exists in India. Positive intentions of the government leaders as present here today, tend to get overshadowed by noise over substance. It is easy for the atmosphere to get sidetracked by media and civil society and activism.
He further stressed on good governance which also includes predictable outcomes, tax equity and effective implementation. On the issue of strengthening the domestic capital markets, Shri Birla added:
….even as FICCI speaks of strengthening the domestic capital markets, we can see there is need for making participation of NRIs in our capital markets easier. Maybe there is learning in how overseas Chinese participate in their markets; we will try to see if any concrete suggestions can be evolved…..”
The Indian Diaspora has made significant contribution to the socio-economic development of India, through resources, sharing expertise and spending time on education, health, science & technology and rural development. FICCI engages with socio-economic initiatives and would like to facilitate the endeavors of the Diaspora across the various verticals, Mr. Birla stated.
Dr. G. Mohan Gopal, Director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, emphasized that growth and development were not the goals for India but they are instrumental in achieving the goal. The aim should be to achieve equal opportunity and equal voice to all citizens of the country irrespective of their background.
Without equality, no growth and development can sustain, he said and added that there cannot exist a poor India and rich India. The need is to work with a vision where development promotes equality.
Dr. Gopal said that India is a democratic country and authoritarian rule or populist measures cannot take India on the path of growth as we need liberal political values.