Jaitley releases ‘Strategy for New India’; says economic polices aim to achieve faster growth

NEW DELHI, Dec 19: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that economic policies aim to achieve faster growth and proper resources’ utilisation. Mr Jaitley said emphasis on reforms should be accompanied by social consciousness. The Minister said this after releasing the ‘Strategy for New India @75’, prepared by the Niti Aayog. The document defines clear objectives for 2022-23. The Niti Aayog, through the document, said the economy will achieve a GDP growth rate of about 8 per cent on average during 2018-23. This will raise the economy’s size in real terms from 2.7 trillion dollars in 2017-18 to nearly 4 trillion dollars by 2022-23. So, the government should increase the investment rate as measured by gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) from the present 29 per cent to 36 per cent of GDP by 2022.
In agriculture, it said the government should shift the emphasis to converting farmers to ‘agripreneurs’ by further expanding e-National Agriculture Markets and replacing the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act with the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act.
The draft added that ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ techniques should be given major push to reduce costs, improve land quality and increase farmers’ incomes. This has emerged as a tested method for putting environment carbon back into the land.
The government should expedite the establishment of the Rail Development Authority (RDA), which is already approved. RDA will advise or make informed decisions on an integrated, transparent and dynamic pricing mechanism for the railways. It said the Ayushman Bharat programme should be implemented successfully and include establishment of 150,000 health and wellness centres across the country and should also roll out the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan (PM-JAY).
According to the document, the government should create a focal point for public health at the central level with state counterparts and promote integrative medicine curriculum. The overarching focus of the document is to further improve the policy environment in which private investors and other stakeholders can contribute their fullest towards achieving the goals set out for New India 2022 and propel India towards a 5 trillion dollars economy by 2030.