SAMBALPUR: The Union Government is taking various steps to overcome the economic slowdown which the country is witnessing in recent months, said Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Pramod Kumar Mishra on Friday.
Addressing the 30th convocation ceremony of Sambalpur University here, Mishra said steps are being taken to realise the Prime Minister’s vision of making India a five trillion dollar economy by 2024.
“Though this is an ambitious aspiration, we are on track and fully committed to achieve the goal,” he said.
On the slow growth rate of GDP, Mishra said effort of the Government to bring transparency and improve governance is one of many factors responsible for the economic slowdown.
The strong corrective actions taken during the last five years, emphasising on the rule of law and formalisation of the economy are bound to have a short-term drag. This apart, there is a slowdown in the global growth of output, he said.
Nevertheless, the Government has taken various measures to reform and rejuvenate the financial sector and economy. Landmark steps to increase productivity of production factors such as land, labour and capital are also being worked out.
Mishra said the country’s economic fundamentals are strong.
“During 2014 to 2019, our annual GDP growth of 7.5 per cent was highest since Independence. It was also the highest among the G20 countries. Macro-economic stability during the last five years has been the bedrock on which various reforms have been rolled out. We have kept inflation low, fiscal spending disciplined and current account deficit under control. If we compare the two periods, 2009-14 and 2014-19, inflation has decreased from 10.3 per cent to 4.5 per cent, fiscal deficit from 5.3 per cent to 3.4 per cent and current account deficit from 3.3 per cent to 1.4 per cent of the GDP,” he informed.
Besides, introduction of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in 2016 was a landmark step towards cleaning up and strengthening the financial system of the country.
No one would have imagined four or five years back that even large corporates would be held accountable and would lose their assets if they did not pay back their loans, Mishra said. Further, implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in 2017 was also a critical measure for unifying India economically as one common market.
This supports high economic growth while bringing in transparency and improving the ease of doing business, he said. Besides, continuous opening up and liberalisation of foreign direct investment (FDI) has resulted in unprecedented inflow of FDI into the country, he said.
Initiatives such Ayushman Bharat to ensure access of the poor to health services and PM-KISAN for income support to farmers have been successful in bringing about social development and equity.
Governor Ganeshi Lal presided over the convocation. Vice-Chancellor of the university Deepak Behera also spoke.