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.
Over the last twenty years Government of India has launched a series of Centrally Sponsored Schemes with a view to promote development, reduce poverty and reach basic services in education and health, etc to the common people. While the individual programmes have been evaluated several times showing that in general these are better implemented in states with stronger political leadership and better capacity for delivery, no comparative study is available to my mind that will explain why in the same state some programmes are more successful than others in achieving their goals, or why some schemes do not work well even in states associated with better governance.
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.
Supporters as well as critics of ModiNomics agree that the target of $5 trillion economy is challenging but achievable. The issue is not just about achieving the target of a particular size of the economy. It's a wider issue of how do we achieve it and in the process what happens to the critical challenges that the country faces like poverty, inequality and jobs. The road to $5 trillion economy should be used to create a highway for reaching the next level of expansion, say $10 trillion and $20 trillion in a particular time-frame. Towards the end of 2018, India 2030: A Socio-Economic Paradigm book, published by SKOCH Group, pitched for $10 trillion target by 2030.
In today's interconnected world data is the lifeline of any economy. Free-flow of data across the world has made it easier for a person sitting in one part of the world to access the data in any other part of the world. This has made it easier for any business to expand its reach at a global level. However, the importance and use of data does not stop at connecting the individuals and the businesses. Business worth trillions of dollar is done annually where the primary input is data. Five most valuable listed firms in the world - Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google's parent company), Microsoft and Facebook - deal primarily in data.