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6 Feb, 2024 11:43

Modi vows to make India world’s third-largest economy

The prime minister says he is confident his party will win the general election and take the economy beyond the $5 trillion mark
Modi vows to make India world’s third-largest economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday pledged to lead India’s economy to become the world’s third-largest, as expectations of another victory for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) build up ahead of the general election. 

Voters across India will be heading to the polls in April and May, to elect 543 members of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament. If his party retains its majority, Modi will lead the government for another five years. 

“I assure you, we will not take 30 years”, Modi said to applause from his BJP colleagues while addressing parliament. “In my third term, we will become the third largest economy in the world.” Modi contrasted his vision with that of the former ruling party – the Congress – which in 2014 set a target of becoming the third largest economy by 2044.

Modi’s confidence was echoed by top ministers in his cabinet. Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar credited the prime minister with “a decade of people-focused policies” that have ensured economic growth and development. 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in an interview with The Hindustan Times newspaper, expressed similar optimism – saying the government would do “everything required” to become the third largest economy.

With gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.38 trillion, India is currently the world’s fifth largest economy. The US ($25.46 trillion) tops the list, followed by China ($17.96), Japan ($4.23) and Germany ($4.07). Last week, New Delhi’s Finance Ministry predicted that GDP will cross the $5 trillion mark in the next three years, and touch $7 trillion by 2030 on the back of continued reforms.

The Reserve Bank of India has bumped up its GDP growth projection for the current fiscal year to 7% from a previous estimate of 6.5%, and the trend is expected to continue for the next few years.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has attributed the Indian economy’s “resilience” to “robust domestic demand, strong public infrastructure investment, and a strengthening financial sector.”

The Modi-led BJP won the general election in a landslide in 2019 and is widely expected to make a clean sweep yet again.  A joint opinion poll by the ABP News channel and the C-voter polling agency predicted that the BJP-led bloc would secure a majority, with 295-335 seats in the 543-member lower house. The INDIA bloc, a coalition of 27 parties led by the Congress, has been projected to win 165-205 seats.

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