Despite a continuing fall in the growth rate of India's GDP for the last several quarters there are indicators that point to a turn-around of the rural economy. Positive and long-term improvements can be seen in foodgrains production, in horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries, access to physical infrastructure such as electricity and roads, per-capita income of poorer states (which have a high percentage of rural population), wages of unskilled labour and growing employment in non-farm occupations due to programmes such as MUDRA.
Success has even more detractors than it has fathers. Accolades and brickbats have been the story of the Gujarat International Tech-Finance City or the GIFT City that has attracted eyeballs and envy in equal measures ever since its inception for it being the first-of-its-kind in India. Vision of a state (Gujarat) and business acumen of an infrastructure giant (IL&FS), took on the challenge when there was no one to pick the gauntlet. Sooner than expected, it rose to #6 in Asia and #10 amongst top 92 financial centres in the world. Praised by businesses in India and abroad, it has remained in headlines for the wow factor. Recently, there has been a concerted campaign making sensational claims against the project. Whether there is an element of truth or is it a case of jealousy, vendetta and detractors at work? Dr Gursharan Dhanjal, Editor, INCLUSION, speaks with Ajay Pandey, MD & Group CEO, GIFT City to find out:
Job creation, unarguably, is one of the most critical issues facing not only the Indian economy but also the world as a whole. Several governments have been elected on the promise of jobs and thrown out of the power if the promises are not met. Job creation is critically important not only from economic point of view but also it has wider impact from social indicators to law and order. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led alliance also won the election with a thumping majority in 2014 on the promise of according high priority to job creation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has been working on several front to create employment opportunities, as has been the case with the previous governments.
As a reforms historian, I had seen the situation of Indian economy in the last phase of Congress Government which was engulfed with policy paralysis and stagnant economy and therefore in reassuring the peoples' faith bestowed on him-Modi had to take several bold steps and one of it -is demonetization.
Given that Indian economy is fast becoming digital and from opening a bank account, to making financial transactions every facility, an Aadhaar Authentication is required. Even the Supreme Court has been working on making Aadhaar mandatory. Imagine my shock when I was told that Aadhaar can be hacked as it has very poor security. My eyes popped out when I saw the video as given below.
Despite a continuing fall in the growth rate of India's GDP for the last several quarters there are indicators that point to a turn-around of the rural economy. Positive and long-term improvements can be seen in foodgrains production, in horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries, access to physical infrastructure such as electricity and roads, per-capita income of poorer states (which have a high percentage of rural population), wages of unskilled labour and growing employment in non-farm occupations due to programmes such as MUDRA. However challenges still remain in some vital sectors, such as water, marketing of fruits and vegetables, skill development, education and health.
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's strategy of widening and deepening the banking system through payment banks, India Post Bank, small finance banks and strengthening the NBFCs through appropriate regulation and facilitation deserves rich commendation for taking inclusive banking closer. But doubts still prevail over the effective reach of inclusive banking going by the laggard performance of the priority sector credit thus far.
Sometime back Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ambitious target of 175 GW by 2022 for renewable energy. India has a low consumption of energy and will need to increase it several fold in the coming decades. With the global community working on reducing carbon footprint and the commitment of each nation being already in public domain with the international community as Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), the pressures for improving energy efficiency and increasing share of non-fossil fuel generation has become more intense.