The Big Picture – Niti Aayog’s vision for New India: Will it transform the economy?
The third meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held in the National Capital recently. With an aim to transform India, the NITI Aayog has envisioned an ambitious agenda for the country to be achieved by 2032. The five year plan will now be replaced by a three year action plan which will be part of a 7 year strategy that would in turn help realize a 15 year long term vision. The targets set by NITI Aayog for the next 15 years include a three fold rise in GDP, Rs. 2 lakh increase in per capita GDP and facilities for people such as housing with toilets, electricity and digital connectivity for all, a fully literate population with unhindered access to healthcare and a clean India with clean air and water.
The job of NITI Aayog should have been to identify the immediate challenges that the country faces to realize a vision set rather than writing a manifesto for coming years such as global environment, consistent poverty in the country, regional inequalities among many others. NITI Aayog should mobilize the country to address real challenges.
An 8% growth rate is achievable because in last 25 years, the average growth rate was 6.7%. economy is consistently increasing. Few things need to be brought into focus:
- Inclusiveness by providing health facilities, education for all, expenditure in rural infrastructure, skill development etc.
- Resilience by strengthening public institutions, banking system, regulatory environment, management of natural resources.
Though these things have to be focused upon but it is even more important to understand that why there is a lag in education, healthcare etc even in a high growing economy.
The government promises clean and quality air in the agenda but this goal might run into contradiction from the aspiration to ensure a private car or two-wheeler for every citizen. This kind of a vision is being given when the world is moving towards maximizing environment friendly public transport options and eco-friendly methods like huge promised investment on solar power.
Agricultural development needs to be planned on five key issues as:
- Enhancing productivity
- Land leasing reforms
- Remunerative prices
- Risk management
- Second Green Revolution in eastern India
According to Niti Aayog estimates,
- The combined expenditure of Centre and State would rise by Rs 92 lakh crore to reach Rs 130 lakh crore by 2031-32.
- By 2031-32, India’s urban population would rise by 22 crore and reach around 60 crores.
- Niti Aayog also projects that per capita income in the country would rise by Rs 2 lakh up to Rs 3,14,667.
- Economy is expected to grow three-fold in 15 years. If economy grows at an 8 percent average rate for the next 15 years, our GDP will be Rs 469 lakh crore by 2030 (around USD 7.25 trillion).
NITI Aayog also came up with indices for measuring states’ performance in health, education and water management to help states gauge the results of social programmes and compete with each other and share best practices and innovations. It also suggested clubbing various social programmes and centrally-sponsored schemes under 28 umbrella projects. The panel suggested changes in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, skill development, poverty measurement, Atal Innovation Mission.
Yearly targets and their monitoring can help the Government to better monitor and streamline its performance for the goals set which is perfectly placed. Unwavering political will and public support will help in realizing these goals.