Can India become ‘Atmanirbhar’? Mary Jayne Dias Pinheiro : The Herald Goa


Can India become ‘Atmanirbhar’?

Mary Jayne Dias Pinheiro

India was the world’s fastest growing major economy, even once surpassed China. When the growth rate of GDP since mid 1990 started increasing over 5% per year, our country earned the title of fastest growing economy in the world in the year 2013-2014. India was seen as an economic powerhouse at the global stage but last year India lost that title. Even more disappointing to see that in the recent Economist magazine’s weekly chart of 43 major economies in the world, where India for a long time was among the top 3 fastest growing economies, it has now been demoted to 23rd rank for 2020. This is extremely bad news for our country.

Experts say that wrong policy making decisions like demonetisation, GST cost our country a lot and now Covid-19 pandemic has also caused severe economic crisis. Several companies and industries have shut down and around 12 cr people have lost their jobs. The immediate concern for the government will be to help restore confidence in the economy.  Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari recently admitted that “India needs Rs 50-60 lakh crore FDI to bolster a COVID-hit economy.

Foreign Direct Investment in India is a major monetary source for economic development in India. FDI has steadily increased since economic liberation started in India in 1991. The capital inflow of foreign investors allows strengthening infrastructure, increasing productivity and creating employment opportunities in India. But on April 17, 2020, India changed its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy to protect Indian companies from “opportunistic takeovers and acquisitions of Indian companies due to the current COVID-19 pandemic”. Hence, a big task lies upon the government to create favourable policies and robust business environment so that foreign capital keeps flowing into the country without any foreign acquisition of Indian companies.

The main reason India suffers is because of rampant corruption.  Corruption in India is an issue which affects the economy. Today even if a person wants to start a small business, the existing corrupt system makes it very difficult.  Without bribing, you may not get the required licences. Private Investment is very weak in India since people are afraid of investing due to several factors. Change of governments and its policies is the main issue because of which people restrain themselves venturing into businesses. India,  no doubt has talent,  ideas and labour force but government central or states both have to work hard to attract,  assist and assure entrepreneurs and companies and give them confidence to start up and venture into production only then we will become ‘atmanirbhar’ . Increasing demand and supply of production goods is the key for growth of GDP.

Mahatma Gandhi rightly said that the future of India lies in its villages. If we have to become vocal for local we have to start with our villages. We have to make our villages self sustainable and self reliant.  Hopefully our government can do its bit to save the soul of India and  bring business reforms where the   businesses in rural India can flourish, make every village an ideal Indian village and corruption free nation.