NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Monday said that "unprecedented" reforms undertaken on both governance and economic fronts by the government will usher in a new era of growth and prosperity.

Kant also stressed the need to increase expenditure on research and development and strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) laws.

"The economic and governance reforms undertaken by the government have been quite unprecedented and they will usher in a new era of growth and prosperity," he said.

"We are making states compete on ease of doing business parameters. We are ranking states and naming and shaming them," he said while addressing a virtual event organised by industry body CII.

Listing out reforms undertaken by the government in recent times, Kant said as the world battles contraction in economic growth, India has initiated reforms in key sectors including agriculture, labour and mining.

"The labour reforms will help in making India a manufacturing hub," Kant said adding that the country has also successfully improved its ranking in Global Innovation Index.

The Niti Aayog CEO said that foreign direct investment (FDI) in India increased to USD 74 billion in 2019-20 from USD 36 billion in 2013-14 despite challenges in the global economic environment.

Noting that infrastructure will be a key driver of growth, Kant said through the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) which envisages USD 1.5 lakh crore of investments, 21 per cent of those will come from the private sector.

The project pipeline also has a high degree of readiness, he said adding that 40 per cent projects are already under implementation.

Kant further said asset monetisation will give robust long-term investment opportunities.

"We have identified several assets for monetisation including gas pipelines, power lines, highways, ports, airports," Kant said adding strategic disinvestment is another avenue to raise revenue to undertake capital investment.

Noting that European and American companies will look for alternatives owing to the US-China trade war, he said India can and must turn this crisis into an opportunity.

"India is well placed to take advantage of realignment of the global supply chain," Kant opined.

The Niti Aayog CEO said the government has approved 10 production linked incentive (PLI) schemes across a range of areas, and the total budgetary outlay for 10 PLI schemes now stands at Rs 1.96 lakh crore.

Talking about the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative, Kant said it is not about protectionism. "It is about Make in India for the world," he said.

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Free Press Journal