Following its governing council meeting on Saturday, Niti Aayog CEO B.V.R. Subrahmanyam said that India is on its way to become the world’s third largest economy in a couple of years, as the country is at a take-off point at the moment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chaired the meeting, also urged the all the stakeholders to grab the opportunities, adding that the aspiration of ‘Viksit Bharat’ is not the vision of an individual or a small group, but it is the vision of India that “we will have to conceive and fulfil”.
Addressing the media after the eighth governing council meeting of the Niti Aayog, Subrahmanyam said, “The theme was Viksit Bharat. Why was it chosen? Because India should be prepared for the next 25 years and we will be a developed nation in the next 25 years. Why is Viksit Bharat so important at this point? It is important because India is at a take-off moment.
“We are not only the largest country by population, but also the fifth largest economy. The fifth is going to become third in a couple of years.”
He asserted that demography is in “our favour not just in terms of the total number of people, but also in terms of the number of youthful people”.
“India will have about 20 per cent of the world’s working-age population in a couple of years, and it is going to be the largest provider of working-age people between 28-29 for the next 20 years or so.
“The time has come for India to utilise these opportunities… countries which cross this particular level of development actually go through a rapid period of sustained high-speed growth if the correct things are done. So we have a 20-25 years wherein if we do things the right way, the country can meet its aspirational goals,” the Nit Aayog CEO said.
He added: “There are other things that are going on in India — digitisation is very high in the country and the world actually looks upon India, as the Prime Minister said in the meeting that the kind of activity which is happening in the country on the digital front is actually something stunning and the rest of the world is looking at us.
“The whole world is looking at India and that is what the Prime MInister said. He mentioned to all the Chief Ministers to go and grab the opportunities that are there. He also emphasised why Viksit Bharat is relevant to the states because bulk of the action to become Viksit Bharat remains with the states, be it industries, be it water supply, be it electricity, health, or education. And that is where Niti Aayog plays a key role.”
Subrahmanyam added that in his opening remarks, Prime Minister Modi did talk about a range of things.
“He (Modi) said all the people in the room have the collective responsibility to fulfil the aspirations of 140 crore people, and we need to have a common vision and strategy. He also mentioned the successful manner in which the Centre and the states have cooperated in a couple of programmes such as the aspirational district programme where 112 districts which otherwise were backward on the indicator pulled them up,” Subhramanyam said.
The meeting had eight items on the agenda – focus on making India a developed nation by 2047; thrust on MSMEs, infrastructure and investments; minimising compliances; empowering women; health and nutrition; skill development; and Gati Shakti for area development and social infrastructure.
The CEO also informed that 11 Chief Ministers didn’t attend the meeting.
“But we have written speeches from a few states. We take cognisance of the written speeches while making policies,” the CEO said.