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NITI Aayog’s Amitabh Kant: Need consistent 8% GDP growth to become $5 trillion economy

Updated : July 04, 2019 02:11 PM IST

Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog spoke about the maiden Economic Survey of chief economic adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian presented in Parliament on Thursday.

Kant said the government's aim of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024-2025 will require the gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at an 8 percent rate consistently for many years.

“The challenge there is that investment rate must rise, saving rate must rise, exports must grow, but for exports to grow we need to push the manufacturing sectors because that’s the base on which exports work and we need to get the size and scale right,” said Kant.

“For all this to happen, to my mind, in the immediate run is even if we hope for fresh investments and foreign direct investment (FDI) to come in, it takes little time and therefore, the government yesterday [on Wednesday] approved what we have done through the process of asset recycling for airports. Therefore, for immediate kicking off of investments as well as credit cycle, the focus has to be on asset recycling, on disinvestments and that will bring in big players because these are brownfield projects,” he added.

Kant said that the government is sitting on a lot of assets, and there is a need to bring in better productive efficiencies in the economy. “This will trigger economic growth in the long run,” added Kant.

On investment front, Kant said, “As the prime minister has been saying repeatedly that government must get out of businesses and there is vast possibility and potential of doing huge amount of disinvestment.”

“The NITI Aayog has already recommended a large — 50 plus enterprises —  for disinvestment. We are going to recommend many more in due course and our belief is that the more we push for disinvestment across public sector enterprises, the government in the long run will greatly benefit in terms of brining in new investments in these sectors,” said Kant.

Talking about asset monetisation plan, the Niti Aayog chief said, “If the belief is that the government must keep itself out of businesses then there is surely a will and that’s why committees have been formed to go ahead with these, and in the short run an important thing is to look at how do we ensure credit flow, how do we bring players into running and operating businesses and how do we get a better value for government assets which can be better managed.”

It’s important that the government conducts divestments in transparent and competitive manner, added Kant.
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