MANGALURU: Gender parity and exports are two critical areas which India must focus on to be able to grow at higher rates of 9-10% per year for the next three decades or more to lift a very young population above poverty line, said Amitabh Kant, CEO - NITI Aayog at an ASSOCHAM event in New Delhi.
“While India has focussed on innovation, infrastructure, structural reforms and ease of doing business but a lot of work still needs to be done on gender parity and exports and ensuring that India has growth with equity,” said Kant while addressing 98th Annual Session of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Talking about the challenges for India in achieving 9-10% growth for longer periods of time, Kant said, “There are challenges of gender parity because in India only 24% of women work while world average is 48%. If India has to grow at higher rate, it needs to ensure that women work. Therefore, consciously men need to push for gender parity.”
India cannot grow at 9-10 per cent over a long period of time without exports. “Exports has to be a major area of growth for India and it requires big thinking, big scale of manufacturing, innovation and constant ability to penetrate global markets.”
Stating that several countries had achieved 9-10 per cent growth post World War-II like Japan, Korea and China, he said, “There is no reason when you have a very young population and light dependency burdens that India should not achieve this, India must achieve this.”
The CEO of the premier think-tank of the government of India also said that Indians need to find solutions to their own problems be it providing seed and fertiliser to farmers depending on soil and weather condition, converting waste into energy, provide clean drinking water and others.
“There are a lot of innovations which take place in Silicon Valley and the US but much of that is for driverless cars, war weapons, drones and other things but Indians have to find solutions to their problems,” said Kant.
Lauding the present government for making rules and regulations very easy and simple through digitisation and minimal human intervention, he said, FDI regime has created a vast number of jobs, opened up investments and sectors.
“This government has carried out vast number of structural reforms which might give teething problems, some businesses will suffer but in the long run India will gain over a long period of time,” he added.