President of World Economic Forum Borge Brende has said that steered by a decisive leadership, India now has a significantly enlarged global profile.
In an opinion piece for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s website, Mr Brende said, the stage is set for the country to realize its vision of becoming a five-trillion dollar economy in the next five years and 10-trillion dollar economy in the next decade-and-a-half.
He said, with the increasingly strong probability of global growth falling short by at least one percentage point from projections, the magnitude of the decline is comparable to the agonizing global recession of the early 2000s.
The WEF President said, India’s has been a dramatic rise, deserving of the global attention that it has commanded. He said, India’s commitment to renewable energy through voluntary and ambitious renewable power capacity targets, a lead role in the Paris Climate Agreement negotiations and the International Solar Alliance shows its aspiration of becoming a leader in environmental security and climate change mitigation.
He pointed out that India has also expanded its global stature in space exploration through widely celebrated breakthroughs such as its recent lunar mission and its distinction of becoming the fourth country worldwide to shoot down a low-orbit satellite with a missile.
Mr Brende said, with half of its population of working age, India has a unique demographic advantage. Climbing to 52nd spot in this year’s Global Innovation Index, India is one of the few countries to have consecutively improved its rank for nine years.
Meanwhile, India has asserted that foreign firms in the e-commerce sector should not use the platform for indulging in predatory pricing and getting into deep discounting to force small retailers out of business.
Speaking at the India Economic Forum in New Delhi, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said the e-commerce platform is not expected to become a platform either for predatory pricing or to use muscle power of large capital at low volumes available which allows companies to source cheap, get economies of scale in sourcing. He said that there has been absolutely no change in India’s stance as far as e-commerce is concerned and in fact, India provides a very stable and predictable regulatory framework.
These remarks assume significance as concerns were raised by the government and small traders over circumventing norms related to FDI in e-commerce by certain e-retail companies in the sector. Goyal said that he held a series of meetings with both Indian and foreign players, including from the US, in the e-commerce sector to understand their issues.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said securing affordable and sustainable energy tops agenda of vulnerable importing nations like India which were exposed to supply concerns after Saudi oil attacks.
While oil supplies from Saudi Arabia have not been impacted in the aftermath of the attack, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports have been impacted. Saudi Arabia has deferred at least two shipments of LPG which India had to make up by importing from other countries such as the UAE and Qatar.
India was able to secure most of its contracted suppliers from its second-biggest oil supplier, Saudi Arabia, in the aftermath of the 14th September drone and missile assault on the Kingdom’s main oil facility that knocked out about 5.7 million barrels a day, about half of the country’s output.
NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant said, the government will keep the reform momentum going on to bring back the economy on a higher growth track, though issues related with productivity efficiency persist. Mr Kant said, about 300 million people have been pulled out of poverty going back to 2005 and till now. In the last five years, the economy has grown at about 7.5 per cent.
He said, the government announced a series of economic boosters including capitalization of public sector banks, merging some of them, package for exports, and bringing down the corporate tax rate. and many more structural reforms are in the offing.
He noted that agriculture, mining, coal are among the sectors where the government is pushing for mega reforms and people will see many of these reforms unfolding in the coming months.