Development path for India will not be the same as that of China: Capacity Building Commission Chairman

By Yoshita Singh

New York, May 25 (PTI) As India moves towards the mission of ‘Viksit Bharat’ and becoming a developed country by 2047, the development path for India will not be the same as that of China as they have a different environment and capabilities, Chairman of the Capacity Building Commission Adil Zainulbhai has said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid out a vision of what India will be as a developed country and there is a lot of thinking in terms of “we want this to be different,” Zainulbhai said.

“The development path for India will not be the same as the development path for China. So for every article that compares China’s growth with India’s growth, India’s growth for the next 25 years will not follow the China model. Because we can’t, it’s a different environment and India’s capabilities are different,” he said.

According to the World Bank, China’s strong growth has been based on investment and export-oriented manufacturing, an approach that has largely reached its limits, and has led to economic, social, and environmental imbalances.

Zainulbhai was addressing a special event ‘Developed India @ 2047’ organised by the Consulate General of India in New York here on Thursday that featured remarks by Ron Somers, Founder and CEO of India First Group and the former President of leading business advocacy group US-India Business Council (USIBC), as well as a panel discussion.

Viksit Bharat, or Developed India by 2047, is the vision of Prime Minister Modi that represents a complete blueprint for the country’s prosperity.

Zainulbhai said that a developed India should include not just housing for all, healthcare for all, employment for all, and education for all but it talks about a self-reliant country, clean cities, a unified and inclusive India and transparency.

“We’re trying to think about this as what is a complete view of India, as opposed to just one or two or three. One of the things that we hope we can do is not just focus on GDP but to focus on the quality of life within that Viksit Bharat,” he said.

Zainulbhai added that there are a lot of things one has to do towards achieving the vision of a developed India by 2047. He added that one of the reasons he feels optimistic about the next 20 years is that India’s demography is changing in a way that “we are going to create a very, very large upper middle class.”

Responding to a question during the panel discussion on what will be the key drivers for India to accomplish the vision of becoming a developed country by 2047, Zainulbhai said the demographic structure of India is a big driver as well as investment in infrastructure.

“The investment in infrastructure in India right now as a per cent of GDP and just in terms of the total amount of rupees being spent is a huge driver of the economy,” he said adding that “infrastructure itself drives growth and therefore, investing in infrastructure is a way of driving growth.”

“So infrastructure of all types – airports, roads, ports, electricity generation facilities, transmission facilities, railways is a huge investment and that is driving growth forward,” he said.

He also added that there is a lot to be done in the Indian education system to improve it. “Let’s all agree on that. And that’s one of the big things we have to do.”

He further said that India has “some amazing entrepreneurial talent and a policy which allows the entrepreneurial talent to flourish, allows the economy to grow.”

Zainulbhai said that some of the biggest companies in India are now becoming world-class, as he cited the example of Reliance Industries. “Indian companies have grown dramatically. Indian banks have grown dramatically…So the Indian entrepreneurs are also building very, very fast and creating and that drives the economy,” he said.

Consul General of India in New York Binaya Srikanta Pradhan told the gathering, which included eminent members of the Indian-American diaspora, US executives, policy experts and think tanks, that Developed India 2047, in the words of the Prime Minister, is a mission that demands not just ambition, but a multi-pronged strategy encompassing economic growth, robust governance reforms, transition to clean energy and scientific advancements.

Pradhan added that the India-US partnership can be an important stakeholder in India’s journey for the next 23 years. “It can help in this journey while becoming one of the major beneficiaries of this process. So it’s going to be win-win for both India and the United States,” he said.

He underlined five areas in India-US collaboration which will contribute both to the vision of developed India 2047 while benefiting both India and the United States. These include enhanced trade investment and deeper economic integration, collaboration on technology and innovation, education and skill development, healthcare and climate change and sustainability.

“The synergy between India’s development goals and the US’ key interests create a strong foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship, helping India to achieve its vision of becoming a developed nation by 2047 while benefiting the US in a major way,” Pradhan said.

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