Indian Prime Minister Modi says US$ 5 trillion economy target achievable

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his government will invest a massive ₹100 lakh crore on developing modern infrastructure that will aid in nearly doubling the size of the Indian economy to $5 trillion in the next five years.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day, he said reforms will continue to be ushered in to help India break into top 50 countries on the ‘ease of doing business’ ranking.

“To some, the target of nearly doubling the size of Indian economy to $5 trillion in five years may seem difficult. But when we have in five years (of BJP rule) added $1 trillion as compared to $2 trillion size achieved in 70 years of independence, then this target is achievable,” he said.

Modi said political stability through a massive mandate for his government alongside predictable policy provides a unique opportunity for India to grow. “The country shouldn’t lose this opportunity,” he said adding that his government has provided high growth while keeping inflation at low rate.

The Prime Minister said the era of policy paralysis has ended and his government was giving policy-based governance that has helped catapult the country from 142nd place among 190 nations on the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking in 2014 to 77th position this year.

Reforms will continue and procedures would be further eased to make it easier for companies to do business in the country, he said adding that efforts are on to increase the size of the economy to $5 trillion.

“The target is to break into top 50 nations,” he said.

India was ranked 142nd among 190 nations when the Narendra Modi’s government took office in 2014. Four years of reform pushed up India’s rank to 100th in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ 2018 report. It was 130th in 2017 when India was ranked lower than Iran and Uganda.

In its annual ‘Doing Business’ 2019 report, India secured 77th position. New Zealand tops the list, followed by Singapore, Denmark and Hong Kong. The United States is placed at 8th and China ranked 46th. Neighbouring Pakistan is placed at 136.

India has improved its ranking by 53 positions in the last two years and 65 places in four years since 2014.

The World Bank ranks 190 countries based on 10 parameters, including starting a business, construction permits, getting electricity, getting credit, paying taxes, trade across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

Defends abolition of Art 370

Prime Minister Narendra Modi showcased the scrapping of Articles 370 and 35-Afrom the Constitution as a key achievement of the NDA government that had been delivered in less than 70 days. The old arrangement,PM Modi said in his address to the nationfrom the ramparts of Red Fort, encouraged corruption and nepotism. “There was injustice when it came to rights of women, children, Dalits, tribal communities… The dreams of sanitation workers were unfulfilled. How could we accept such a situation,” PM Modi said in his first Independence Day address to the nation after the NDA government was voted back to power in national elections, his sixth.

“We do not believe in creating problems or prolonging them. In less than 70 days of the new Government versus the 70 years that it had lingered for, Article 370 has become history, and in both Houses of Parliament, two-third of the members supported this step,”PM Modi said on the move to end special status for J&Kand carve two union territories out of the state.

In parliament and outside, however, there has been a group of political parties led by the Congress that has raised questions about the move, the breakneck speed at which the government pushed through the changes past parliament within a week and blamed the government for not taking the stakeholders on board.

Chief of Defense Staff to be appointed

“Our government has decided to have a Chief of DefenceStaff – CDS,” Mr. Modi said.

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