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Those doubting $5 trn economy vision are 'professional pessimists': Modi

The PM said India took 55-60 years to become a $1 trillion economy, while the country became a $2 trillion economy in just 5 years under his rule

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister on Saturday hit out at critics casting aspersions on his vision of India becoming $5 trillion economy in near future.

Addressing BJP workers in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, Modi said his detractors were ignorant of the nation’s capability and hence doubted the achievability of the $5 trillion economy target.

He termed such people as “professional pessimists” who only knew to berate others rather than offer encouragement and solutions.

Noting he was no economist himself, Modi said it was imperative for the party workers to understand the premise of the $5 trillion vision and its broad contours. This was Modi’s second visit to Varanasi after winning the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Referring to English adage ‘size of the cake matters’, the PM said the share of household would be proportional to the size of economy i.e. bigger size would mean bigger share in collective income and prosperity.

“Most developed countries were in the past stuck in the low-income cycle and their per capita income was low. However, they experienced a phase in their history, when their per capita income accelerated and they got ranked among the developed economies...India too cannot wait any longer,” he said after starting BJP’s pan India membership drive.

Modi observed India was the world’s youngest nation and therefore the aim ($5 trillion) was not big enough. He explained higher income creates purchasing power, which in turn spurs demand and production, which creates further demand for services, thus creating jobs.

“The low income and low spending matrix nurtures a vicious cycle,” he said noting poverty was traditionally and unfortunately seen as a virtue in India even as he sought to know if Indians should not dream big and aspire to emerge out of poverty.

Modi noted the government would only act as a catalyst to help people achieve the big target with hard work, enterprise and community collaboration.

He said while criticism and analysis were necessary to enrich any future agenda, yet some detractors would only focus on problems and challenges without harping on solutions and possibilities.

The PM said India took 55-60 years to become a $1 trillion economy, while the country became a $2 trillion economy in just 5 years under his rule (2014-19).

The PM praised farmers saying they would be the main drivers of the $5 trillion dream and said the government envisioned Indian farmers as entrepreneurs in different verticals, including farm exports, solar power etc.

Referring to the new perishable cargo hub in Varanasi, he said so far 11 shipments of fruits and vegetables had been dispatched, while the Centre was planning to set up an exclusive export cluster in the region.

Modi further said tourism will also have a major contribution towards the $5 trillion target.

He said the Centre would ensure that by 2022 every Indian had a permanent house, while 20 million houses would be constructed in rural areas.

“The government will soon send a Model Tenancy Act to the different states for promulgation to support house owners looking to earn extra income by renting out their properties,” he said adding the rising trend of home stay had also opened an income stream for people.

Modi talked about startups and the government’s vision to nurture an ecosystem for such ventures to support the youth.

Meanwhile, the PM stressed on electric vehicles and the potential to save foreign exchange on oil import bill, which he claimed was almost Rs 6 trillion annually. He called upon farmers to take up oil seeds cultivation to cut on cooking oil imports and to become self sufficient in cooking oil just like agriculture.

On his arrival in Varanasi, Modi unveiled the statue of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri at the local airport, while also partaking in Uttar Pradesh government’s plantation drive. UP is aiming to make 5 million new members, although UP BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey said the state party unit would try to enrol 10 million members by August 15.

First Published: Sat, July 06 2019. 15:16 IST