On 15th August 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his vision to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024. In July 2019, the Economic Survey laid out the blueprint for India’s $5 trillion economy. The prime minister announced in his speech that the BJP government has laid down a strong foundation for making India a $5 trillion economy. The Chief Economic Advisor, Krishnamurthy Subramanian also mentioned that India will be moving towards a “virtuous cycle” of savings, investments and exports in the next 5 years to achieve the $5 trillion economy.
Making India $5 Trillion Economy- What Should India Primarily Focus on?
Before the pandemic struck the entire world, India was expected to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025. The Covid-19 Pandemic had distorted all projections and left the world in an unpredictable state for almost a year. The economies all over the world crashed down due to the lockdowns and global unrest. Data from the National Statistical Office projects a 7.7 percent contraction for FY2021.
But even if we look prior to the pandemic, India’s $5 trillion economy had many obstacles that needed focus to achieve the dream. One of the most important is India’s manufacturing sector. India’s manufacturing sector is not strong enough to allow expansion and integration in the global value chain. The Economic Survey pointed out that the global value chain exports could contribute a quarter of the increase in value-added for the $5 trillion goal and generate four million jobs by 2025 and eight million by 2030 via the Make in India initiative. (Reddy & S, 2021)
In order to integrate our manufacturing sector with the GVCs, it is very important to develop the infrastructure with top most priority. One example of this is China. China has done huge investments on infrastructure in the first half of the 20th century and the results of that can be seen now by the entire world. China has rapidly risen in the GVC due to its investment on infrastructure. This has led China to becoming the centre for world production. At this point in time, China is one of the strongest economies and has almost reached the stage of being self-reliant.
India has announced Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) with the view of transforming India into an important global player and making India self-reliant. The campaign has also created confusion in the minds of the MNCs as in the initial stages of the campaign India put a ban on the import of various non-essential commodities. Although these import restrictions were put to encourage domestic production to make India self reliant, these may also be seen as an obstruction in integrating India with the GVC. The import restriction can discourage global investors and in turn harms the long term goal for becoming a manufacturing hub.
For India to achieve a $5 trillion economy, it has to encourage more and more foreign investments in the country and be as closely integrated with the GVC as possible. The policies made therefore have to be more welcoming for the global investors and MNCs and less restrictive in terms of import tariffs.
The government should first and foremost focus on infrastructural development in the country in order to improve the manufacturing sector and be able to competitively produce. It should perhaps create a more open trade environment so that there is free trade of goods and services. The infrastructural development can also be useful for the performance linked incentive sectors. In this regard, the government’s Rs 111 lakh crore or $1.4 trillion investments in the National Infrastructure Pipeline can be seen as an important step towards building the required infrastructure. NIP consists of investment from the centre (39 per cent), state governments (20 percent) and private sector (21 per cent). It is very important at this point that the centre and the state governments work in a collaborative manner in order to devise smooth systems and proper and timely implementations of the policies. The central government should be hands on with any shortcomings of the state government so that there is minimum or no harmful repercussions felt over and beyond. It is important to make India so strong that even though India is a labour intensive country, it can have the ability to also be a major exporter of the capital intensive commodities along with labour intensive commodities. (Reddy & S, 2021)
It is as important to develop the traditional labour intensive commodities market so that India holds its foot strong in the global market when it comes to labour intensive commodities as it is one of the major aspects of the Make In India project.
Efforts of States to Achieve $5 Trillion Goal
UP Budget 2021-22
The UP government on February 22nd brought the state budget to the table of the state Assembly. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath presented the first paperless budget including ₹ 5,50,270.78 crore for 2021-22. It is about ₹37,410 crore more than the previous year’s budget. The focus of the budget was to make Uttar Pradesh Atmanirbhar and ensure overall development of the state. (Rudrappa, 2021)
Some of the important Budget Highlights:
- UP government announced ₹2000 crore for Noida International Airport and also, building electronic city near airport.
- UP budget proposed at least ₹640 crore for the overall development of Ayodhya.
- The UP government made provision of ₹1,175 crore for metro rail projects. There is a provision of ₹597 crore for the Kanpur metro rail project in the budget presented by Finance Minister Suresh Khanna.
- The UP government made ₹7,000 crore provision for Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojna.
- A budget provision of Rs 976 crores for the development of canals, ₹610 crores for Saryu Canal Project, and ₹271 crores for the Eastern Ganga Canal Project were proposed. ₹104 crores was also proposed for Ken Betwa Interlink Canal Project. (D’Souza, 2021)
- ₹1326 crore has been given for Delhi-Meerut RRTS and ₹100 crores each for Gorakhpur-Varanasi metro.
The investments on infrastructure by the UP government is one of the key aspects that could help transform India into a global manufacturing hub. The provisions made in the budget also promises to generate employment for the state leading to a higher SGDP. The infrastructural boost will lead the state to become more efficient in its development. With projects like Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, the UP government has promised to bring taps, electricity, roads, water in every household along with making the state digitally equipped. The Chief Minister in his speech mentioned that the budget focuses on the poor, women, youth and the farmers.
Bihar Budget 2021-22
The Bihar government announced a ₹2.18 lakh crore budget for 2021-22 with focus on social sector and infrastructural development. The Chief Minister of Bihar also announced a separate department for skill development and entrepreneurship in the state. The Chief Minister announced that the government has made the highest allocation in the education sector worth ₹38,035.93 crore followed by ₹16,835.67 crore for rural development, ₹15,227.74 crore for roads, ₹13,264.87 crore for health and ₹8,560.00 crore for energy. (Bihar’s Rs 2.18 trillion budget for FY22 prioritises social, infra sectors, 2021)
Some of the important highlights of the Bihar Budget:
- All villages in Bihar will have the facility of solar street lights.
- A budget provision of ₹250 crore for building link roads in rural areas of Bihar.
- The state allocated ₹110 crores towards building of new engineering colleges.
- Three new medical colleges are already under construction.
- 38 districts of the state have been declared as open defecation free.
The Bihar government has also focused on developing the infrastructure of the state along with improving the rural regions of the state. This inclusive development efforts of the state government will generate more skilled employment and improve the lifestyle of the rural people. The state government has made extra effort in building a separate skill development department in order to increase the skilled employment in the state integrating with the idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
West Bengal Budget 2021-22
The West Bengal government announced its budget in the absence of the Finance Minister of the state. The government has announced a ₹29,96,88 crore budget for 2021-2022. (West Bengal Budget 2021-2022, 2021)
Some of the important budget highlights:
- ₹1500 cr allocated for the construction of 20 lakh houses for SC/STs.
- ₹50 cr allocated for building the infrastructure of 100 new English medium schools.
- Building of 100 new schools for Nepali, Urdu, Kamtapuri and Kurmali language.
- 45 lakh construction and transport workers will be given ₹1000 each under the social security scheme.
- 100 IAS and IPS aspirants will be trained by the state government along with fooding, lodging and providing stipend.
- All kinds of road taxes lifted from January 2021 to June 2021.
The budget of West Bengal has seen a rise in the expenditure on infrastructure 3.9 times. The state’s planned expenditure increased by 7.2 times. The expenditure on social sectors has risen by 5.6 times.These highlights show that the state government is perhaps in link with the national goal but has to do more in terms of investing in the infrastructure. To build a self reliant nation, the state governments have to work in synchronisation with the central government.
In view of the Modi government’s aim to make India a $5 trillion economy, the state governments’ budgets do perhaps look in sync. The state governments have focused primarily on the infrastructural developments and enhancing the skilled employment in the respective states. It is very important for these states to pull up their sock in order to provide a competitive development strategy. In order for India to become a global leader in terms of exports, it is very important that the two most important factors are strongly built-infrastructure and skilled labour.
Being a country with the largest youth population in the world, it is our responsibility to stand out and become self reliant along with being a provider for the world. The pandemic has brought in many changes and should be seen as an opportunity to develop new skills and explore the untapped potentials of the country.
Bihar’s Rs 2.18 trillion budget for FY22 prioritises social, infra sectors. (2021, February 22). Business Standard.
D’Souza, C. E. (2021, February 22). UP Budget 2021-22: Yogi Adityanath govt proposes Rs 140 crore for development of Ayodhya. ZEE News.
Reddy, K., & S, S. (2021, January 13). Building a $5-trillion economy. The Indian Express.
Rudrappa, P. (2021, FEBRUARY 22). UP Budget 2021 Live Updates: UP Presents ₹ 5.5 Lakh Crore Budget To Make State “Aatmanirbhar”. NDTV.
West Bengal Budget 2021-2022. (2021, February 22). The Times of India.