Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reiterated his government’s goal of growing India’s economy to $5 trillion by 2024, and said India needed to make “high jumps” instead of making incremental progress. He made the remarks during the Independence Day speech at Red Fort in New Delhi.
“Many think that achieving $5-trillion economy is not possible,” Modi said. “They need not be wrong, but if we do not take up difficult challenges, then how will we move forward?” Modi added that India’s economy grew to $2 trillion in the seven decades since Independence, and jumped to $3 trillion between 2014 and 2019.
Modi said the time had come to think of ways to boost exports. “Each district of India has so much to offer,” he added. “Let us make local products attractive. Our guiding principle is ‘zero defect, zero effect’. The fundamentals of our economy are strong and this gives us the faith to move ahead.”
The prime minister said wealth creators were the nation’s wealth. “Wealth creation is a great national service,” he said. “Let us never see wealth creators with suspicion. Only when wealth is created, wealth will be distributed.” Modi also said in the last five years growth rates had remained high and inflation had stayed low.
“Ease of doing business is just a step, my actual goal is ease of living,” Modi said, referring to India’s jump in the Ease of Doing Business rankings between 2014 and 2018.
The prime minister unveiled his government’s plan to speed up India’s development. “Rs 100 lakh crore will be spent on modern infrastructure, this will bring employment, new systems to fulfill needs,” Modi said.
The prime minister also requested people to use digital payments instead of cash. “Local shops should put up boards discouraging the use of cash,” he added.