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The turnaround in Indian economy: Numerous reformative policies introduced

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There has been a turnaround in Indian economy as is obvious from the following recent economic indicators as mentioned in TOI dated 18/01/2018:

1)Bank credit growth 2 year high.

2)Direct tax collection up about 19%.

3) Digital payments grew 18%

4) Govt aims to mop up Rs 90k crore via sell-off.

5) India’s factory activity highest in 5 years as per the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit.

6) A study authored by SBI Group Chief Economic Advisor Soumya Kanti Ghosh and IIM Bangalore professor Pulak Ghosh found that seven million jobs will be created in the formal sector in 2017-18. The recent economic survey states that nearly 53% of the non-agricultural workforce is in the formal sector.

7) Start-up: India has retained its position as the third largest start-up base in the world with over 4,750 technology start-ups, with about 1,400 new start-ups being founded in 2016, according to a report by NASSCOM.

8) Foreign Exchange: Exports growth (30%) rose to its highest since October 2011, helping the trade deficit to narrow to $13.8 billion. India’s foreign exchange reserves stood at US$ 404 billion as of December 22, 2017. Remittances to India are expected to grow 4.2 per cent to US$ 65 billion in 2017, making it the largest remittance recipient in the world again.

9) Ease of doing business: Bengal now solo first: This proves that competition among states as promoted by Niti Ayog is proving effective. Efficiency in governance, administration alone will ensure India’s development.

10) India’s inflation is likely to average 4% in 2017-18, sharply lower than the estimate made at the beginning of the financial year of 5.2%, says ADB report. (Livemint dated 14/02/2018)

Days ahead as forecast:

• The Niti Aayog has predicted that rapid adoption of green mobility solutions like public transport, electric vehicles and car-pooling could likely help India save around Rs 3.9 trillion (US$ 60 billion) by 2030.

• Indian impact investments may grow 25 per cent annually to US$ 40 billion from US$ 4 billion by 2025, as per Mr Anil Sinha, Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN’s) advisor for South Asia.

• India is to be the 5th largest economy in 2018 and 3rd largest, by 2027, says Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), London.

• World Bank says Indian economy to grow by 7.3% in 2018-19. IMF says 7.4%.

• The economic survey forecasts 6.75% growth in current year and 7 to 7.5%, in year 2018-19.

Now the 2018-19 budget provides for achieving in the rural, social, and healthcare sectors the following comprehensive targets:

– Rs. 3 lakh crores for lending under PM MUDRA Yojana.

– Rs. 600 crores for nutritional support to all TB patients.

– National health protection scheme to benefit 10 crore families. Health cover of up to 5 lakhs per family per year for poor & vulnerable.

– Rs. 1200 crore for health and wellness centres

– Allocation for national livelihood mission: Rs. 5750 crores.

– Dedicated affordable housing fund.

– 8 crore rural women to get free gas connection through Ujjwala yojana.

– Rs. 10,000 cr for fishery development fund and animal husbandry fund.

– Rs. 1290 crore allocation for bamboo sector.

– Kisan credit card to be extended to fisheries, animal husbandry farmers.

Apart from raising the minimum support price for all crops, the government proposed raising credit for the agricultural sector to 11 trillion rupees ($172.3 billion). It plans to set up a Rs. 20 billion fund to develop, and upgrade, agricultural market infrastructure. Another Rs. 5 billion would be allocated to promote farmer producer organizations, agriculture logistics, processing facilities and professional management. It also planned to loosen restrictions on the export of agricultural commodities to realize a market potential as high as $100 billion. These apart, there are many provisions beneficial to pensioners, women, senior citizens and MSMEs. Railways, urban development, make in India, infrastructure with emphasis on North East, real estate and defence production have received substantial boost. The principal thrust is on all-round job creation.

All these lead to an ongoing and upcoming buoyancy in the Indian economy, not seen since demonetization. There is an enterprise and efficiency coupling, not seen before but now perceived in India and abroad.

In a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Centre, 80% of respondents were found satisfied with democracy in India. It also showed that 90% hold a favourable opinion of PM, Narendra Modi. The Edelman Trust Barometer showed that govt. of India recorded a 10% increase in trust levels. Gallup International survey ranked Modi among the top 3 leaders in the world

We must also note that Since Modi took office, over 5.92 crore toilets have been constructed, while 3 lakh villages and 300 districts have been made open-defecation free. India’s sanitation coverage under the Swachh Bharat Mission in the last three years has gone up from 38 per cent to an impressive 76 per cent. Such success would not have been possible without people’s participation. Similarly underscoring the importance of people’s participation to make the Government’s efforts successful, at least 20 lakh people have surrendered their gas subsidy. In the railways too, 9.39 lakh senior citizens have voluntarily given up their subsidy under the Government’s ‘Give up’ scheme.

Well received Initiatives like taking yoga to the masses, banning the use of red beacons to end VIP culture, special schemes for Divyangs and sensitising people to their needs, ending the formality of getting forms/certificates attested by gazetted officers, exhorting people to prepare their own manure through composting, may look like small but their impact is massive on the whole society.

So, it is not only the economy but also the society that is getting enthused and invigorated.
The writer is an author and a commentator.

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