EXPLAINING the rationale behind setting a $5-trillion GDP target, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cited an English phrase — “size of the cake matters” — Saturday to underscore that if the size of the economy grows, every stakeholder benefits.
“If you see the history of any developed nation, at one point in time, their per capita income was not very high. But there came a time for these nations when the per capita income saw a significant jump and that is when they went from being developing nations to developed nations,” Modi said addressing BJP workers at the launch of a membership drive in Varanasi.
According to the Prime Minister, an increase in per capita income will lead to purchasing power, which in turn will accelerate demand and production of goods and services, eventually creating more employment.
“This Budget is for the ‘New India’ that we aspire to build, an India which is a $5-trillion economy, where the rich and the poor work together for the progress of the country and where there is social equality for everyone,” he said.
In the 2019 Budget presented Friday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman laid down ten vision points to achieve the $5-trillion target. They include building physical and social infrastructure; emphasis on MSMEs, start-ups, defence manufacturing etc; self-sufficiency and export of food grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables and the promotion of Digital India to cover every sector of the economy.
“The way the country can meet the goal of a $5 trillion economy has been detailed in the Budget and we announced the decisions related to it. The country has also been assured that the government is in continuity for five years. We have also assured to the people that we have come to the front with a vision of ten years. The first five years are just the first phase of it. In the coming five years, the role of farmers will be crucial in realising India’s $5-trillion vision,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that his government would also focus on “blue economy”, which is making use of water resources and also promote fisheries etc. Maintaining that tourism could also boost the economy further, he asked people of Varanasi to explore commercial options of the “homestay” concept for tourists and said that soon his government will also send a draft law to the state to promote renting of houses.
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He also said that people have developed a mindset of feeling proud of poverty and asked the audience if the country should come out of this attitude. “Kisi na kisi wajah se humare dil dimag mein gareebi ek virtue ban gaya hai. Garibi pe garv karna hamari manovyaganik awastha ban gayi hai. (For some reason or the other, poverty has become a virtue in our minds and hearts. It has become our mindset to feel proud of poverty),” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, there are some questioning the $5-trillion goal. “Yeh woh warg hai inhe hum professional pessimist bhi keh sakte hain, yeh peshewar nirashawadi hain. Yeh samanya logon se ekdam kate hue hain (This is a section we can call professional pessimists. These people are completely detached from the common people),” he said.
He said that while a common man usually tries to find solutions to problems, such professional pessimists are experts in turning solutions into crisis, adding that it was necessary to examine and criticise a thought but there is also a responsibility to develop excitement among people otherwise they would keep on thinking that things cannot happen.
Calling for “Sarvajan hitay, Sarvajan sukhaye” Prime Minister told workers that a difficult target has been set and everyone would have to work hard and added that that is why slogan given to membership drive by the party is “saath aayein, desh Banayen” and not “sarkar banayen”. Working president of the party J P Nadda, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were also present at the event.
— With Pranav Mukul in New Delhi