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“India can very much be a $5tn economy by 2025”, Amitabh Kant

Delhi : “India becoming a US$5tn economy by 2015, though a tough ask, is very much doable” said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, while speaking on the topic “Mainstreaming Innovation Towards $5 Trillion Economy” as part of Science-Innovation Lecture Series 2020, organised jointly by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of Rajasthan and CUTS International, on Saturday last in Jaipur.

According to him, for achieving the said national target, India would need to grow at 12.4 percent, in nominal terms or 8.4 percent in real terms, which can be attained. But for this states would have to play a critical role.

Since, wealth is largely created by private sector, therefore along with the Central Government, States would also have to facilitate theEase of Doing Business, according to Mr Kant. He cited examples of backward states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh showing great improvements on this front in recent years.

Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS International, moderating the session, flagged the importance of setting target like that of $5tn economy, and building up a positive narrative in order to achieve the same.

While delivering the welcome address, Mugdha Sinha, Secretary, DST, Rajasthan, said that their visions “STRIDE – Science, Technology, Research, Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship – is going to take India into the 5tn economy bracket”.

Fuelling the mood of optimism in the present day economic slowdown, Mr Kant provided the contours of the strategy that can help India achieve the target. Satisfied about the growth of FDI in the country, he emphasised deeper integration of Indian firms in the global value chain.

Mr Kant also flagged urbanisation as key driver for fast growth, though he would like built-in elements of sustainability, for which innovation would be needed.

He also flagged the role of Indian start-ups for exponential economic growth, which can use anonymisedpublic datafor their scaling up and machine learning.

Mr Kant mentioned about three main challenges in the road to $5tn economy. First, a huge disruption is needed in agriculture sector, including connecting farmers to markets. Second, increasing size and scale of manufacturing units to be globally competitive. Third, significant improvement in social indices, particularly health, nutrition and education.

“For all these, innovation is the key without which it would be tough for India to attain the target of $5tn economy,” he observed.

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