To Make India 5 trillion $ Economy Is Doable: PM To CMs

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New Delhi: Against the backdrop of the ongoing debate over India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate and unemployment besides his Government’s aim to make India a five-trillion economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked the States to pitch in with their contribution by recognising their respective core competence and working towards raising the GDP targets and per capita incomes.

In his opening remarks at the fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, the Prime Minister said, “The goal to make India a five-trillion-dollar economy by 2024 is challenging but can surely be achieved. The States should recognise their core competence and work towards raising GDP targets right from the district level.” The Modi Government has faced criticism over rising joblessness and slow GDP growth rate.

According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), unemployment in the country is at a four-decade-high while the Government’s former Chief Economic Adviser, Arvind Subramanian, recently brought the focus back on the GDP growth rate saying between 2011-12 and 2016-17 it was over-estimated by 2.5 per cent (should have been about 4.5 per cent instead of the official estimate of close to 7 per cent). The Centre has denied it and said it will come up with a point-by-point rebuttal.

While Modi spoke of a collective fight against poverty, unemployment, drought, flood, pollution, corruption and violence, he stressed that NITI Aayog has a key role to play in fulfilling the mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, SabkaVishwas”. After winning the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Modi has given a new slogan “Sabka Vishwas” to win the trust of the minorities.

With several parts of the country facing drought-like situation, Modi called for effective steps to tackle it by adopting “per-drop, more-crop” strategy. He said attention has to be given to water conservation and raising the groundwater table.

He said that the newly created Jal Shakti Ministry will help provide an integrated approach to water and States can also integrate various efforts towards water conservation and management.

Modi has written a personal letter to ‘Gram Pradhans’ (village chiefs) requesting them to conserve rainwater during the forthcoming monsoon to handle water crisis in rural areas. The letters, signed by the PM, have been delivered to the pradhans through respective District Magistrates and Collectors in the districts.

At present, 42 per cent areas in the country are facing drought situation. The PM has also suggested construction of check dams and ponds where proper harvesting of rainwater can be done. Water crisis is one of the main agendas of the meeting as it comes on the back of NITI Aayog’s warning that 21 cities of India, including Bangalore and national capital Delhi, will run out of ground water by 2020.

Against the backdrop of intensifying international trade war, Modi said India’s falling exports needed attention. He asked the States, especially the North-Eastern one, to tap their untapped potential. He noted that the export sector was an important element in the progress of developing countries and that the Centre and the States should work towards growth in exports, in order to raise per capita incomes.

Reiterating his Government’s commitment to double incomes of farmers by 2022, PM Modi said this requires focus on fisheries, animal husbandry, horticulture, fruits and vegetables. He said that the benefits of PM-KISAN - Kisan Samman Nidhi - and other farmer centric schemes should reach the intended beneficiaries well within time.

Turning to aspirational districts, the Prime Minister said that the focus should be on good governance. He said that many aspirational districts are affected by Naxal violence, which is now in a decisive phase.

On the health sector, the Prime Minister said that several targets have to be kept in mind, to be achieved by 2022. He also mentioned the target of eliminating TB by 2025. The Prime Minister urged those States who have not implemented PMJAY under Ayushman Bharat, so far, to come onboard this scheme at the earliest.

Recalling the recent general elections as the world’s largest democratic exercise, the Prime Minister said that it is now time for everyone to work for the development of India.

Describing Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana as illustrations of what the Centre and the States can accomplish together, the Prime Minister urged the States to focus on collective responsibility for achieving short-term and long-term goals.

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