Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, speaking on 'India reimagined: Mega-reset on cards' on the sidelines of Ashwamedh-Elara India Dialogue 2022 today, says that the next 25 years will be crucial for India as it leads on a path to becoming a ‘developed’ nation.
“These 25 years will be focussed on building such infrastructure so that Indians can fully harness their capacities. Hence, PM-Gati Shakti has been brought in. Brownfield and greenfield infra will take the top priority, with greater coordination through the government's PM-Gati Shakti programme,” says the FM.
During his Independence Day speech this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set out a vision for the country for the next 25 years. Labelling them "Panch Pran (5 pledges) of Amrit Kaal", he called on Indians to make the country a developed nation by the time it celebrates 100 years of independence in 2047.
Sitharaman says as India works toward PM Modi’s vision of economic growth, shunning the colonial mindset, preserving ancient roots, unity among workers, and fulfilling our duties as Indian citizens, the government will make sure India becomes a well-distributed and advanced economy by 2047. “For that, youth will have to be given greater empowerment,” she adds.
“Youth and poor people in the country will have to be given empowerment through training and wealth redistribution, by taking handholding measures,” she adds.
According to the FM, the ‘India Reset’ has been initiated through the adoption of technology, not just in software industries but via the distribution of common services to citizens as well. “Government policies are being 'reset' to enable common citizens, and this reset and digitisation have created a huge base for fintech services in India,” she adds.
As per the FM, the digital transformation that PM Modi brought in will be taken forward with greater zest. “In the 5-6 years, the approach of the government has been to make sure we recognise the problem of NPAs, which we had inherited in 2014. That's where the bad bank comes in, which has also been used to clear all bad assets.”
She says the health of the banks has improved. “Today, when they go in the market to raise additional funds for growth, they are recognised for their good health.”
The account aggregator, which now has all the PSBs and most private sector banks on board, has created a favourable environment for small and medium businesses to approach the bank with whom they wish to have a business, says the FM.
"So you don't need a brick and mortar bank next to you but wherever you are, you are able to access the credit as per your choice. PM Modi has been very clear that ease of doing business should have to be a continuous exercise, it should be real-time and dynamic. This has enabled us to remove many archaic laws, and rules have been trimmed down, which has made businesses feel that today's India is far easier to do business than ever before.”
She says one characteristic feature of PM Modi's governance is the consistency of policies. “Whether it’s taxation policies or regulatory rules, we have remained consistent.”
She says with such an environment, businesses are able to plan for the medium and long-term. “We have gone to greater length to remove all anomalies that were caused due to retrospective taxations.”
She also says the government’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is one of the major decisions toward achieving higher economic growth, and the industry is responding positively to it.
So the entire ecosystem of several segments of the industries are now willing to move to India, and the government is making sure they are facilitated via a plug-and-play model, adds the FM.
The FM says that post the pandemic, countries are trying to reposition their economy, bringing an element of stability despite newer challenges coming up. The challenges continue, some have gone away but some new ones are coming up, but the fact remains that the new world order is now seeing a phase of big changes, which will lead to newer ways of doing business and newer ways of discussing the global order, says the FM.