VISAKHAPATNAM: Immediate reforms are needed to pull the country out of the lean growth phase it is currently going through and put it on a higher growth trajectory, C Rangarajan, former chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM has said. The development must be inclusive, reduce poverty and stay environment-friendly, he has added.
The former chairman of the finance commission who also headed the RBI, was conferred with the ‘Gitam Foundation Award’ at the 34th Foundation Day celebrations of the university here on Saturday. Gitam University president MVVS Murthi handed over the award, which carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, in the presence of Gitam University Chancellor Prof K Ramakrishna Rao and Vice-chancellor Prof G Subrahmanyam.
Later, delivering the endowment lecture, Rangarajan said if India grows at 8 to 9 per cent per annum, its per capita GDP is estimated to go up from the current US $1,600 to US $ 8,000 to 10,000 by 2025.
Immediate measures were needed to increase the growth rate apart from steps to face the medium term challenges to the economy.
High international prices of metals coupled with low ore output and weak investment demands led to the fall of the GDP growth rate in 2012-13 and 2013-14. “There is an immediate need to get it better, as the coming decade could be a crucial one for the country,” Rangarajan said.
The government schemes like employment guarantee, universalisation of education, expansion of rural health and providing food security made substantial demands on the public expenditure. It was possible to fund these programmes only because of strong growth in the previous decade, he pointed out.
As regards medium term challenges, Rangarajan said that good governance would be at the heart of economic growth and poverty reduction. “Good policies, their effective implementation and faster economic growth are needed,” he said.
Reforms were needed in many sectors while in agriculture sector strategies to improve production through scientific research were imperative, he added.
Rangarajan complimented the GITAM University for becoming a hub for quality education in the country.
GITAM University founder and President MVVS Murthi spoke about the relationship Rangarajan shared with the university and thanked him for his participation.
Pro vice-chancellor D Harinarayana and governing body member VV Bhanoji Rao were among those present. Earlier, the Best Teacher Award was presented to Sheik Kasim Bibi while some non-teaching staff members were felicitated.