NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the Indian economy was “progressing at a rapid pace” even as the rest of the world was facing decelerating economic growth, crediting his government’s policies.
Speaking at an event to celebrate the birth anniversary of reformer and Arya Samaj founder Swami Dayanand Saraswati, he defended his government’s record on its handling of the country’s economy, vociferously.
“Everyone is saying this... the World Bank, the IMF. The world is going through an economic crisis, but it is India alone that is progressing at a rapid pace. This is a unique situation when the whole world is slipping and India is growing,” said Modi.
He said that people from across the world were “saying that the steps taken by the government have led to India becoming the fastest growing economy among the larger economies of the world”.
Meanwhile, the Congress said that it would demand a white paper on the state of the economy at the Budget session of Parliament that will begin on February 23.
In his speech on Sunday, the PM touted the government’s flagship schemes which, he said, had benefitted large swathes of the population.
“One thing can free us from our problems, from poverty, from lack of education and that is development… Over two crore people have benefited from MUDRA Yojana and over `one lakh crore has been disbursed to them. Financial support has been given to people and we have faith in them,” he said. Noting that 60 per cent of India’s population was below 35 years of age, he said, “The government’s focus is on how the power of the youth can be used for development of the nation. Therefore, we not only launched a skill development programme, but also created a new ministry, with its own budget and a set of officers to take the programme forward.” By 2030, when population of many countries will grow old, India can power these nations with skilled and technically qualified manpower, he added.
The government has been facing pressure to undertake reforms, with the latest salvo coming during the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, when UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs stressed that India needed to make itself “more attractive” for foreign investment and undertake essential “structural reforms”.