Double economy, exports: PM Modi's growth plan for probable 3rd term

A document accessed by Reuters reveals this has been the basis for official meetings

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a road show in Hyderabad | PTI Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a road show in Hyderabad | PTI

Confident of securing a third term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed officials to draft plans to expand the economy from the current $3.51 trillion to $6.69 trillion in nominal terms by 2030, reports Reuters. 

The BJP government's ambitious plan to double the economy and exports in the next six years was revealed in a document sourced by Reuters. The report added that the document, however, was short of concrete details though it is the basis for official meetings.

The Prime Minister has often stressed how he plans to make India’s economy self-reliant in the next 10 years. India became the fifth-largest economy in 2022, while Modi has vowed to make India the third-largest economy in the world in his third straight term.

Modi now aims to raise per capita income to $4,418 from around $2,500 for the next six years, the document says, without specifying the spending or reforms needed to achieve that, the Reuters report added.

The document also stresses on plans to increase exports of goods and services to $1.58 trillion by 2030 from the current $700 billion. This could also double the share of Indian exports in global trade to more than 4 per cent.

Other focus areas include workforce skills and vocational training. Increase in literacy rate to 82 per cent by 2030 from about 78 per cent now, bringing down unemployment to less than 5 per cent from 8 per cent, and increase labour force participation to more than 50 per cent from 46% now. 

The report added that Modi's office and the finance ministry did not reply to requests seeking comment. 

While official statistics anticipate growth of 7.3 per cent in the current fiscal year, industry stakeholders peg the figure at 6 to 6.5 per cent. "We expect India to be the fastest-growing economy among major G20 countries, with its real GDP growth to accelerate to around 8% in the fiscal year ending March 2024," up from 7% in the last financial year," Moody's Ratings said in a report last month.

However, economist Saugata Bhattacharya told Reuters doubling the economy by the end of the decade would be a "very difficult feat" requiring 6%-6.5% growth for the next seven years along with inflation of 4.5%.

A former senior finance ministry official, Subhash Chandra Gargtoo opined that growth projections like those in the document are mostly based on "backward arithmetical calculations" and lack any "reform and investment plan". 

"Usually such mental gymnastics based on arithmetic calculations and assumptions are meaningless unless there is serious reform and investment plan to test it for real economy dynamics," said Garg, the Modi government's finance secretary until 2019, told Reuters. 


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