Higher growth to help create more jobs: Singapore minister

India emerged as the fastest-growing major economy in FY22, having achieved a real growth rate of 8.9%.

Higher growth to help create more jobs: Singapore minister
To boost manufacturing in the aftermath of the pandemic, the government had in 2020 announced about a dozen production-linked incentive schemes with an estimated outlay of close to Rs 2 trillion over a five-year period.

India needs to achieve elevated economic growth by emphasising on exports and widening production-linked incentives to more sectors to create a vast number of jobs, Singapore’s senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Friday.

Delivering the first Arun Jaitley Memorial Lecture here, Shanmugaratnam, minister in charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said: “India needs much higher growth and much deeper inclusivity… India must grow by at least 8% to 10% over the next 25 years.” Higher economic growth, he added, was crucial to lifting income levels and creating large-scale employment jobs, he said.

India emerged as the fastest-growing major economy in FY22, having achieved a real growth rate of 8.9%. However, it came on a sharply-contracted base (the GDP had contracted by 6.6% in the pandemic year of FY21).

To boost manufacturing in the aftermath of the pandemic, the government had in 2020 announced about a dozen production-linked incentive schemes with an estimated outlay of close to Rs 2 trillion over a five-year period. The sectors included telecom, electronics, auto part, pharma, chemical cells, textiles and steel.

Highlighting the importance of preserving multilateralism, Shanmugaratnam said: “We must prevent a multipolar world from becoming a polarised world. That should be our over-riding objective…Let’s not retreat from an open, integrated global order, which will be hugely beneficial to all nations, including the large nations.” Economic interdependence among nations “doesn’t assure us peace but it makes peace much more likely”, he said.

In a world of increasingly decoupled markets, data and technology, “we must stay integrated”, he said.

His statement comes at a time when the Russia-Ukraine war has disrupted global supply chains, raised global commodity prices and stoked runaway inflation across the globe.

He said India is taking over the G-20 presidency (from December 2022) when leadership is required. The multilateral institutions like World Bank have to be refashioned for a world that is fundamentally different from the one when these bodies were set up, Shanmugaratnam said.

The Arun Jaitley Memorial Lecture is being instituted in recognition of the former finance minister’s role in nation building. Jaitley was at the helm of the finance ministry between 2014 and 2019.

During this period, two of the country’s landmark economic laws were promulgated — the GST and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Similarly, during this period, the government announced unprecedented capital infusion into state-run banks to nurse them back into health.

This will be followed by Kautilya Economic Conclave, which is being organised by the department of economic affairs in association with the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) on July 9 and July10. Both the memorial lecture and the conclave will be annual events.

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