An Agenda for 8% Growth with Equity
India’s economy never had it so good as it were in the 2000s when GDP growth averaged 7-8 per cent. For three consecutive years from 2006 to 2008, the economy grew at over 8 per cent, and a new term was coined to describe the growth momentum: ‘the India growth story’. A sustained high growth has lifted millions of the poorest from abject poverty, substantially raised the standard of living of many Indians and helped the government build social safety nets. Sustained high growth rates also enabled the government to introduce a number of programmes for infrastructure development.
However, in the past two years, the momentum has faltered due to a variety of factors, and the two main reasons for this are global economic slowdown and policy logjam at home. Suddenly, all kinds of questions and doubts are being raised about the sustainability of ‘the India growth story’. Was the growth story of the past decade simply overwrought or are we witnessing just a passing phase of deceleration before growth picks up again? With battle to remove poverty and social inequalities remaining undone, and the dream of reaping India’s demographic dividend a higher priority than ever before, there is little room for complacency. The country has to launch the next generation economic reforms and put its fiscal house in order before it wins back the foreign investor’s confidence. A serious stocktaking on fast-tracking investment and reforms in key sectors of agriculture, infrastructure, power, banking, insurance, pensions and capital markets are needed to lift India’s growth rate to the Planning Commission’s projection of over 8 per cent during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. The growth has to be inclusive, it must lead to reduction in poverty and has to be environment friendly. The 32nd Skoch Summit is designed as an occasion to rethink and reflect on bolder reforms that are required to revive the ‘animal spirits’ of Indian economy. The Summit will shine a new light on some core areas that are central to attaining an inclusive 8 per cent annual GDP growth.
- Regaining the growth momentum
- Translating growth into equitable growth
- Role of reforms and technology in pushing growth
- An agenda for India’s growth
- Increasing insurance penetration
- Creating a social security product
- Accelerating SME growth
- Financial services for the last mile
- Urban infrastructure and governance
- State-of-the-mart on financial technology
- New bank licences, post bank and women’s bank
- Financial inclusion for women, disabled and Marginalised
- Financial literacy and financial inclusion of SHGs and panchayati raj institutions