Investment key to India becoming $5-trillion economy: CEA

PTI Washington | Updated on September 27, 2019 Published on September 27, 2019

Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor   -  Sandeep Saxena

‘Land, labour and power reforms are the three key engines to promote investment’

Expressing serious concern over the substantial drop in investment in the country in the last decade, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said investment is key to the country becoming a $5-trillion economy in five years.

Subramanian told a Chicago audience last week that he has identified three engines to promote investment — land reform (land acquisition laws need reform), labour reform (ease labour laws to encourage employment), and power (price it better to provide access to encourage a more balanced growth across the country).

During a conversation organised by the Indian School of Business (ISB) Office of Alumni Engagement, in partnership with Kellogg Public Private Initiative, Subramanian was responding to a question, “How is India going to grow to $5 trillion in 5 years?”

The answer, he said, is largely by encouraging investment in the country.

“Investment as a per cent of GDP was 40 per cent in 2008 and this has come down to 29 per cent in 2018. This is a worrying statistic for a growing economy,” Subramanian said, according to a press release.

He said the country needs to start differentiating between pro-market and pro-business economies. “We can do this effectively by allowing the market to determine which companies survive with minimal government interference in the form of bailouts,” he said.

He said that a good policy is characterised by averages and aggregates and a bad policy by anecdotes .

When asked about the nationalistic agenda in terms of protecting local businesses, he was strongly of the belief that globalisation would be key to improving the productivity and performance of these businesses.

It had been 30 years since liberalisation, we need the businesses today to behave like independent 30-year-old adults, he said emphatically.

Published on September 27, 2019
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