Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that India may become the third largest economy in the world by 2030. “Today, our total economy is about $2.9 trillion and we keep oscillating between the fifth and sixth largest, depending upon what the dollar rate is,” he said at an event in Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce. The economy is expected to be worth “$5 trillion by 2024 and $10 trillion by 2030 or 2031”, Jaitley added, according to the Hindustan Times.
Jaitley also claimed that the poverty rate will fall to less than 10% by 2025. He said the 2011 census put 21.9% of India’s population below the poverty line. “I assume it should be about 17% today and those who analyse data will tell you that around 2021, we should be closer to 15%, by 2024-2025, it should be in single digits,” he added.
The percentage of people who comprise the middle class will rise from 18% in 2005 to 44% in 2025, Jaitley said. “As you look ahead you would see poverty deplete, you will see an exponential growth of middle class and probably by 2030 almost half of India would be in that category,” the finance minister said.
He said by the next Lok Sabha elections in 2024, the size of the middle class will be four times that of those below poverty line. “So, we have to see if public discourse is behind the curve or takes it further,” Jaitley said.
The finance minister said infrastructure creation, rural expansion and gender parity are the three avenues for growth over the next 20 years, PTI reported. He said infrastructure needs to be produced in both urban and rural areas for growth.