India has a hugely “unfulfilled potential” and is uniquely positioned to “recast the global narrative”, requiring 8-10 per cent growth rate over 20 years so as to reduce the per capita income gap with the likes of China, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said today.
Calling for bold economic reforms, he said: “India has to move with urgency to achieve its potential. 8-10 per cent growth rate is not a luxury, it will merely get India about 70 per cent of per capita income of China in 20 years time.”
Delivering the first lecture of government’s think tank NITI Aayog on the theme of ‘Transforming India’, he said: “India has two and half time lower per capita income than China. India can achieve this.”
He added: “India has the largest unfulfilled potential of any country I know in the world and it needs urgency to achieve that. Reforms are underway. India leads the world in some areas like world the first digital identification infrastructure in Aadhaar.”
He further said that the country is uniquely positioned to recast the global narrative, to achieve broad based prosperity through deeper strategic interaction with the global economy.
“India needs to growth at 8-10 per cent over next 20 years if it is to create jobs for youthful population, if it is to reduce tremendous under-employment and if it is to achieve inclusive growth including significant shift of people from low level income group to middle income group which is what China achieved,” he said.
According to Shanmugaratnam, India is in a position different from that of China and is uniquely positioned to recast the global narrative because of an open society that has constitutional democracy with a diverse population.
He said that Indian can show, how it is possible with an open society and open an economy to achieve not just rapid growth but inclusive growth.
Suggesting measures to achieve 8-10 per cent growth, he said: “This potential is fully within reach. But it cannot be achieved without significant changes. It cannot be achieve with current day policies. It requires Prime Minister Modi just said, ‘rapid transformation not gradual evolution’.”
It requires bold and accelerated changes to free the economy and invest in people, he added.