Aiming to achieve 8-9% GDP growth, India needs to transform itself into one generation and the private sector will be key to this transformation, says Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog, at a Fortune India event in New Delhi on Friday.

Speaking at the event, Kant says Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government has set a vision to transform India into one generation by 2047. If India has to transform itself into one generation, like other countries such as Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and China, then consistent economic growth is the key answer. “The key driver of the growth is the private sector and the government has to act as a facilitator and catalyst.”

Lauding Fortune India’s unique initiative to encourage the next 500 entrepreneurs, he says the new generation of entrepreneurs will shape the future of India and drive the growth of the country. India needs to create thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs to have a multiplier impact on the economy.

Listing out the measures taken to improve the business environment in India, Kant says, “The government is focused on the ease of doing business and as a result, our ranking improved to 79 positions in 'World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Ranking.”

Among the 190 countries, India ranks 79 in ease of doing business as per World Bank Report 2020, from 142 positions in 2014. In a bid to create a more business-friendly environment and to improve the ease of living and the ease of doing business in India, the central government has reduced more than 25,000 compliances.

The NITI Aayog CEO also talked about competitive federalism where states have to compete among themselves as he believes that the next wave of reforms has to come from states.

According to the Niti Aayog CEO, the key challenge is to make India easy and simple to nourish new businesses. Citing the example of the huge startup movement in India, he says young Indians are radically transforming India. “There are 101 Unicorns and 76,000 startups in the country as compared to just 100 odd startups four years ago. During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, India had 44 unicorns and now we are having 3-4 new unicorns every month, which shows the energy, vibrancy, and dynamism of the startup movement in India,” he adds.

Talking about rising trends in digital technology, he says, “There is rapid growth in internet usage in rural India, which is 20% more than urban areas. This has strengthened digital payment like UPI and we are ahead of China and the U.S. by 27% in online payments.” He adds, “The pace of digital transformation in India is rapid and in the last four years, UPI payment has done trillion dollar worth of transactions, which is more than what Mastercard has achieved in 44 years.”

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