NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India will live up to the global expectation of being a bright spot for growth with requisite policy as also administrative reforms on a sustained basis.
“The world has much expectations from India in contribution to the global growth. I would like to place before you how India intends to meet the challenge,” the prime minister told the Bloomberg India Economic Forum 2016, held here to commemorate the media group’s 20 years in India.
Modi said India today was not just the world’s fastest-growing economy but also has a low capital account and fiscal deficits, along with low inflation. “This is the result of good policies and not good fortune,” he said, alluding to the achievements in the difficult times globally.
“Let me emphasise on our fiscal consolidation. We have met the ambitious fiscal deficit targets in each of the previous two fiscal years,” the prime minister said, adding: “We have reduced the deficit even while increasing capital expenditure.”
He told the gathering that the country’s net foreign direct investment inflow during the third quarter of the current financial year was an all-time record. “This is concrete evidence of the success of ‘Make in India’ policy in employment-intensive sectors.”
As examples, Modi said motor vehicle production, which was a strong indicator of consumer purchasing power and economic activity, grew at 7.6 percent this fiscal, furniture output grew 57 percent and employment-intensive wearing apparel sector grew 8.7 percent.
“My goal is reforms through transformation. Administrative reform is a start.”
The prime minister said since a large share of India’s population still depended on agriculture, his government’s target was to double the income of farmers soon. Towards this, he added, a big focus was being given to irrigation with a large budget.
“We are also creating a national agricultural market and removing distortions,” he said, adding” “Seeds have been sown for a new dawn for farming, and retaining the youth in the sector.”
The prime minister said transparency was another hallmark of his government, giving the example of auction of resources such as coal through competitive bidding. “Our record on implementation in general and reduction in corruption in particular is now well understood.”
Modi said his government will also work with the Reserve Bank of India to set inflation targets and that interest rates will be set by a Monetary Policy Committee — a panel that will have no representative from the government.
He also referred to the new norms for exploration and production of hydrocarbons assets by the private players. “We have introduced pricing and marketing freedom and also a transparent revenue sharing system. This will eliminate several layers of bureaucratic controls.”
He said in renewable energy India has grown from 1,500 MW of solar power to 10,000 MW per annum in a short span of time. People were surprised when the target of 175 GW of renewables was announced. But today, this stood to be recognised by the global stakeholders, he said.
Listing other initiatives, the prime minister said parliament had recently passed a new law on inland waterways to make it an efficient mode of transport and foreign investment limits in the stock exchanges were raised and they were allowed to be listed.