Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to make India a $5 trillion economy is still possible even while coronavirus has thrown progress off track, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyal, said at an event on Monday. “We may have lost some time, but not lost spirit. India can still become a $5 trillion economy. We will take collective effort,” Piyush Goyal said at Bombay Chamber’s 184th Annual General Meeting, adding that PM Modi’s mantra of five ‘Is’ may be a key to achieve that. These ‘Is’ are — intent, inclusion, innovation, infrastructure, and investemnt. Earlier in June, PM Modi had said that these five ‘Is’ are crucial to make India self-reliant.
Piyush Goyal also clarified that the government’s agenda behind Atma Nirbhar Bharat is not to close Indian economy but rather to open its doors to trade. “Atma Nirbhar Bharat is not about closing doors, but about opening doors and creating global trade. It is about becoming a part of a resilient supply chain and improving quality,” Piyush Goyal said at the event, adding that India currently needs global investors to come and invest in the country. In the past few weeks, Prime Minister Modi has raised his pitch for making India self-reliant and has also asked industry to cut down on exports on numerous occasions. He has also asked India Inc’s help to bolster domestic manufacturing and boost local trade in sectors such as technology, gems and jewellery etc.
Meanwhile, enumerating the government’s efforts to make India self-reliant and ramping up present abilities, Piyush Goyal said that the country has made tremendous progress in various fronts whilst amid coronavirus lockdown. “On 12th July 2020, the speed of freight trains was 90% more than the same day in 2019. Goods are reaching in half the time. We will institutionalize this,” he said. He also lauded the country’s efforts towards scaling up production of essentials such as PPE kits as India continues to battle with coronavirus pandemic. “It is time to take some bold initiatives and get growth back on track. India has already started to come back to pre-COVID levels in freight, electricity consumption which is upwards of 90% levels, and the cement industry… June exports numbers are about 80% of 2019 levels,” he said.