Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the goal of making India a $5-trillion economy by 2024 was “challenging, but achievable” with the help of states.
He was speaking at the fifth meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council in New Delhi. The meeting with the chief ministers was the first since the prime minister’s return to power last month. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and her Telangana counterpart K Chandrashekhar Rao skipped the meeting.
Modi emphasised that NITI Aayog has a key role to play in fulfilling the government’s mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas [Development for all with everyone’s trust]”. The prime minister said for India to become a $5-trillion economy, states should recognise their core competence and help raise Gross Domestic Product targets from the district level.
Modi spoke of a collective fight against poverty, unemployment, drought, flood, pollution, corruption and violence. He said everyone at the meeting has a common goal of achieving a “New India” by 2022, and described the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and PM Awaas Yojana as examples of what the Centre and states can accomplish together.
The prime minister said the newly created Ministry of Jal Shakti would help provide an integrated approach to water, and states can also integrate various efforts towards water conservation and management. He also called for effective steps to tackle drought.
Speaking about the government’s aims for the healthcare sector, Modi said tuberculosis should be wiped out by 2025. He urged states that have not implemented the central government’s health insurance scheme to come on board.
“We are now moving towards a governance system characterised by performance, transparency and delivery,” Narendra Modi said. “On-ground implementation of schemes is vital. I urge members of Governing Council to help create a government setup which works and has the people’s trust.”
In July 2018, India overtook France to become the world’s sixth-biggest economy. Modi said in February that India would continue to be the fastest-growing large economy, and could become second-largest economy in the world by 2030.
However, earlier this week, former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian published an academic paper in which he claimed India’s growth was overestimated by 2.5% points per year between 2011-’12 and 2016-’17, a period when both the United Progressive Alliance and National Democratic Alliance were in power. The claim has been refuted by the Economic Advisory Council to the prime minister.
Last month, India lost its tag of the fastest growing major economy to China after the government announced that the Gross Domestic Product growth rate had declined to 5.8% in the last quarter of the financial year 2018-’19.