Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in Rajya Sabha that government is taking steps to make India a USD 5 trillion economy earlier than the International Monetary Fund’s forecast year of 2026-27. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook earlier said the size of the Indian economy will increase from USD 3.2 trillion in 2021-22 to USD 3.5 trillion in 2022-23 and cross USD 5 trillion in 2026-27.

Observing that the outbreak of the COVID pandemic in 2020 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict in 2022 has impacted the world output, increased inflation in several countries and raised uncertainty in the world economy, he said, “lower uncertainty in the global economic outlook will help India become a USD 5 trillion-dollar economy earlier”.

Some of the important measures taken by the government in the past to boost economic growth include the making of the National infrastructure pipeline of projects, push to capital expenditure, implementation of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, finalisation of the National Monetization Pipeline of public sector assets and formulation of National Logistics policy. Capital expenditure will be speeded up by PM Gatishakti for integrated planning of infrastructure and synchronised project implementation across all concerned central ministries, departments and state governments, he said.

The Union Budget 2023-24, Chaudhary said, “further sustains the growth momentum with an increase in capital investment outlay for the third year in a row by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore (3.3 per cent of GDP)”. The other initiatives to boost the economy include enhanced outlay for PM Awas Yojana, the launch of the Aspirational Blocks Programme covering 500 blocks for saturation of essential government services; an increase in agriculture credit target to Rs 20 lakh crore with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries; and setting up of Agriculture Accelerator Fund to encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas, among others.

The minister also said that the direct capital investment by the Centre is being complemented by the provision made for the creation of capital assets through grants-in-aid to states. The ‘effective capital expenditure’ of the Centre is budgeted at Rs 13.7 lakh crore (4.5 per cent of GDP) for 2023-24, he said, adding “the newly established Infrastructure Finance Secretariat will oversee the increase in private investment in infrastructure”.

(Input from PTI)

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