Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said it took India 70 years to become a $3 trillion economy and wondered why no one had asked any questions about why it took so long, the Bharatiya Janata Party tweeted.
“Making Indian economy worth $5 trillion is not easy but is still achievable,” he said while speaking at the Times Now Summit in Delhi. “Today, India’s economy is worth $3 trillion...Did you ever hear that in the country a target was set to reach $3 trillion economy? Never. We reached [the target] of $3 trillion in 70 years.”
“Earlier, no one asked why it took so long and nobody gave an answer,” the prime minister added. “Now we have set a target, facing the questions and making all-out efforts to achieve this target. India will now not waste time, it will surge ahead with confidence. The Union Budget will help achieve the target of a $5 trillion economy.”
Modi said the government was working hard for a $5-trillion economy, adding that there was a huge difference in the governance of the previous Congress-led regime and the current one. He also said it was better to set a difficult target and work towards it, instead of being directionless.
The prime minister also expressed dismay at the number of Indians who have declared an income of over Rs 1 crore. “In the last five years, over 1.5 crore high-end cars have been sold and over three crore Indians have gone abroad,” he said. “Only 1.5 crore Indians pay taxes. Out of this, only 3 lakh people have declared their income over Rs 50 lakh & 2,200 people over Rs 1 crore. It is shocking.
Modi said that while increasing the tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio, the Centre also wants to reduce the tax burden on people. He said the average GST rate has reduced from 14.4% to 11.8% in the last three years, and the 2020-’21 Union Budget has introduced tax reforms.
The Indian economy grew just 4.5% in the second quarter of the 2019-’20 financial year, the slowest in six years. The government has forecast an annual growth rate of just 5% for the current financial year, the slowest in 11 years. In the last few months, core sectors such as automobiles and manufacturing have progressively slowed down because of weakened consumer demand and dearth of investments.
Data released earlier in the day showed that retail inflation rose to 7.59% in January from 7.35% the month before. The industrial output also contracted 0.3% in December 2019, compared to the same month in 2018, because of decline in the manufacturing sector.