There is no doubt about the fact that the impetus Indian economy and its development coordinates have received in the past five years are unprecedented. It has been the Government’s constant involvement and interest that has seen the much-required push.
The roadmap has been prepared which was in a mess five years back. The process has rolled out and the results will be visible a few years down the line. No one can deny that the underpinnings of the economy have been strengthened and investor confidence has risen. The Government is facilitative and eager to promote investment.
VICE President M Venkaiah Naidu lauded the contribution made by the Indian community worldwide, saying that the diaspora should contribute to the agenda of development in India. “India is moving fast to transform itself into a modern 21st-century inclusive economy. 3Ds -- Democracy, Demand and Demographic Dividend is scripting India’s story and the Indian diaspora is the fourth D. You should contribute and join in the development agenda back home,” Naidu told a gathering of the Indian community recently in Vietnam. He reiterated that India would become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2030, adding the Government had taken steps to make the country one of the most favourable investment destinations in the world. “An ambitious and transformative vision is making India one of the most favourite investment destinations in the world. India has become the fastest growing large economy in the world. We will be a USD 5 trillion economy by 2030,” Naidu said.
There is no doubt about the fact that the impetus Indian economy and its development coordinates have received in the past five years are unprecedented. It has been the Government’s constant involvement and interest that has seen the much-required push. Naysayers may claim there were greater hopes from Narendra Modi and the scenario did not change in the way it was expected but it also must be reckoned that things take time to change. In a big country like India, there are multiple roadblocks and impediments to be surmounted through long negotiations and deliberations. India is a democratic nation unlike China and thus everybody’s concerns are needed to be heard and resolved at every step before a move can be made. This delays processes. But the bigger picture that we must look at is the trajectory that has been set. The roadmap has been prepared which was in a mess five years back. The process has rolled out and the results will be visible a few years down the line.
No one can deny that the underpinnings of the economy have been strengthened and investor confidence has risen. The Government is facilitative and eager to promote investment. We need jobs and cash flow in the economy and for that investment is essential. And for investments to happen, the important factor is the investment scenario we present before the world. When the cues are weak, investors turn away. But when the signs look promising and there is stability of policy and governance, investments will definitely come. That’s the thumb rule of every economy. Before 2014, it was the image of India that was badly hit. Corruption and policy paralysis dominated the discourse, which drastically changed in the 4-5 years that followed.
The Government rolled out several schemes and facilities that would make it easy and lucrative to invest in India. Now it is time for the Indian diaspora to rise to the occasion and make the best of the times by their ingenuity and involvement in the country’s growth story scripted afresh by the Modi Government. The Government has always tried to connect with NRIs and expatriates to include them in the Indian dream. Many big names in the industry sector have shown their confidence in the Government and pumped in money in the country. India has jumped to many places in the ease of doing business rankings. Several unnecessary steps and official formalities that delayed processes have been removed for smooth and fast approvals.
Redundant and obsolete stipulations and injunctions have also been done away with so that investors don’t have to take rounds to get things going. Red tape complications and tardiness had always been India’s sore point which turned away many prospective investors. This has now largely been removed by constant Government prodding and monitoring. Several goodies and incentives are today on offer for any investor, big or small, be it a Rs 1 lakh startup or a one billion dollar plant. This has pepped up the investment ecosystem. Indians living in foreign countries need to give back to the country from where they have drawn so much. India needs the best brains to contribute to its growth. India’s demographic advantage needs to be harvested by India herself, though today the world is benefitting from that more than India. The top talents in every field, be it science, economics, literature or diplomacy, are serving foreign countries and their interests, while had they been in India or worked for India’s cause, our country would have been richer in all aspects.
Apart from the investment scenario, the Government also needs to make other aspects conducive for regeneration and adaptability of the free spirit of research and innovation in the country. We have a much better ecosystem for investment today but we need fresh inputs in the field of research and education as well, which needs a more generous acceptance of divergent viewpoints. Investment in industries is one aspect but social engineering too needs to be equally prioritised. This atmosphere needs to be created for the greater global interest in India and that can come from the promotion of liberality, in line with progressive global cues. We must not sink back in regressive tradition or baggage of archaic or parochial ideologies that expose us in poor light. Unless we are more accommodative and welcoming of alien cultures and their ways of social living and assimilate the good things in our culture, the world will not come to us. We are traditionally a diverse and rich culture, and it is our excellence in accepting and assimilating all that makes us so rich. We must not lose this quality, because our national identity is not one, but many weaved into one.
Here again, the involvement of the diaspora is important. The diaspora can infuse new ideas and educate the people to help them evolve in their cultural perceptions that pull them down. The NRIs and expatriates need to carry back home with them all the good things they see and learn in the world and use them in social engineering in India. The diaspora through their power, money, talent and international exposure can influence India and affect Indian lives if they want to. They can play role models, motivators, influencers, innovators and thought leaders to help people decide better and act wiser. They need to unite and ‘feel’ India in them.
That will bring them back to their roots. They must take advantage of the favourable circumstances in the country and make the best use of it because ultimately it is a win-win situation for all. By the way, many countries of South East Asia have seen their economic surge in recent times due to diaspora interest and investments— intellectual, logistics as well as industrial. Given India’s huge population, both inside and outside the country, we need more Indians to be participants in her growth story.