Double-digit Growth Coming
One hopes that better sense prevails and Parliament functions to its optimal capacity in the coming year
Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma
The year 2016 will be a landmark one as India will steadily move towards double-digit growth under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the year gone by, India has been a bright spot in an otherwise depressing global economic environment, as various studies have shown — for instance, in terms of the inflow of FDI into the country. The FDI and FII scene will be upbeat in 2016 as well, and the investments planned in major infrastructure sectors, viz roads, port, etc. will start showing results: the economy, overall, will be galloping, ushering in achche din for the people of the country.
There will be a slew of economic legislations in Parliament as well, as is expected. GST is a landmark economic legislation, and its non-passage in the just-concluded winter session has been a hindrance, but there are other measures like the bankruptcy Bill, which is now with a joint House panel and will be available to both the Houses for debate and deliberations. Measures like the real estate Bill too should get Parliament’s go-ahead, signaling the government’s commitment to progressive economic reforms.
Come to think of it, the government has been committed to pro-people economic reforms through its term. These include measures pertaining to the “ease of doing business”. You can rest assured that “ease of doing business” will continue to be a thrust area for the government, and we will easily achieve the target of being in Top 50 countries on this index in three years.
In the just-concluded winter session of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha didn’t function to its optimal capacity, thanks to a recalcitrant Congress. One only hopes that better sense prevails and Parliament functions to its optimal capacity in the coming year, else the people won’t forgive the routine disrupters and saboteurs of parliamentary democracy.
Further, on the economic front, the last two monsoons have been sub-par. A normal monsoon this year will help in the economic consolidation process.
Onto something now that is one of my passions and mission: Skill India. I firmly believe that India has the potential to be the world’s human resource capital, and in the next five years, we need to train 310 million people. There’s an urgent need to mainstream skills education, and 12 months — or even 12 weeks — of skill training along with 12 years of education will be able to add to the employability quotient of our youth. My ministry is just over a year old, and the coming year will be crucial to consolidate on-the-ground work that we have done in the first year and catapult the country into a new orbit of growth and prosperity.
According to NSSO figures, India’s workforce is just 4.7 per cent of its population compared to USA’s 52 per cent, UK’s 68 per cent, Japan’s 80 per cent, Germany’s 75 per cent and South Korea’s 96 per cent.
There has been a lot of buzz around our Prime Minister’s innovative diplomacy in the year gone by. Our PM is strongly and uniquely positioned to strengthen India’s relationship with the outside world. This is being done from a position of strength — as was witnessed in the year gone by. Expect more instances of this in 2016, as India cruises along the path to find its due position in the comity of nations.
Apart from the economy and foreign affairs, the politics of the country, too, will witness a further period of consolidation. The BJP is already the principal pole of Indian politics — it is not only the country’s but also the world’s largest political party. It will march from strength to strength as it is set to wrest power from the Congress in Assam in the new year, and substantially improve its performance in other four states going to polls in 2016.
When you’ll do a recap of the events gone by at the end of 2016, you will not merely look at the GDP/ FDI/ infrastructure figures, or the “ease of doing business” index, but you will see a remarkable shift in India’s “human development indices” and, indeed, India’s “happiness index”. This is Narendra Modi government at work!
On balance, though, 2016 looks more positive than negative for India and its government.
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 11-01-2016)
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