CHENNAI: The Indian economy is firmly on the path to recovery and long-term renewal, despite the second wave of COVID-19 slowing it down, aided by a series of timely measures and the policy reforms taken by the Centre, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said here on Saturday.
He said the economy grew at a record pace of 20.1 per cent in first quarter of FY 2022 in contrast to the contraction of 24.4 per cent in the same quarter of the last fiscal.
Various reports indicated a strong rebound in the manufacturing and construction sectors, he said. Naidu noted that the agricultural sector has been a 'consistent performer' by clocking a growth of 4.5 per cent in the first quarter against 3.5 per cent in the same period of last year, once again showing its 'resilience'.
"Core sectors like fertilizers, cement, steel, coal and refinery products have also shown positive growth", he said, speaking at the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Hindustan Chamber of Commerce here.
"We now stand poised on the cusp of economic transition and all indicators point to a long-term phase of growth and recovery in the coming months. The RBI has retained the growth projection of 9.5 per cent for FY 21-22", he said. "A series of timely measures and the policy reforms taken by the Centre, the economic situation has been improving gradually," Naidu said.
With easing of restrictions in various states, the consumer confidence has returned and market sentiment has shown a positive trend, he said.
Driven by the strong macro-economic fundamentals and forward-looking reforms by the Centre, including GST, opening up of Foreign Direct Investments, strengthening infrastructure, the economy has the potential to reach the USD 5 trillion mark in the coming years, he said.
The Centre and the states should work in a 'Team India' spirit for the long-term revival of the economy and steer India to greater heights in all spheres, he said.
Stating that the country was blessed with a huge population of educated youth and scientific manpower, the Vice President said technological and scientific innovations play a key role in driving the economy.
"There has to be a greater focus on creating the right ecosystem for innovation to thrive by enhancing investments in research and development. In this context, public and private sector entities need to join hands and (trade) bodies like Hindustan Chamber of Commerce must play a proactive role", he said.
Naidu said Tamil Nadu was an attractive place for investments with stable and investor friendly government.
"Tamil Nadu has a rich cultural heritage with a hoary past. The carbon dating of some of the excavations have thrown fresh light on the ancientness of Thamirabharani civilization, revealing that it was 3,200 years old. We can also see the influence of Tamil Indian culture at Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia, which was built in the early 12th Century", he said.
The Vice President also echoed Chief Minister M K Stalin's comments that the Indian subcontinent's history must be 'rewritten'.
"I endorse the views of Stalin that the Indian subcontinent's history must be rewritten. It has to be rewritten with an Indian perspective and not through colonial lens", Naidu said.
On Thursday, the Chief Minister, while unveiling in the assembly the finding of a study that pointed to a 3,200 year-old civilization in Tamil Nadu, said that the state archaeological department, in a bid to trace Tamil cultural roots, would undertake excavations in countries, including Indonesia and states such as Andhra Pradesh after getting due permission.
The CM said it was the primary duty of the government, to establish through evidence, and based on science, that the history of the Indian sub-continent should be written, starting from the Tamil landscape.