The Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID), the Delhi-based research institute which specialises in studying India’s industrialisation issues, on May 1, 2018 celebrated its 31st Foundation Day at its campus.
The day was commemorated with a facts and figures-driven lecture on ‘Indian Economy on the Cusp of Change’, delivered by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Government of India.
The lecture was attended by eminent scholars, policy makers, public men, faculty, researchers fellow institutions and universities and media.
T N Chaturvedi, Chairman of ISID and Former-Governor of Karnataka inaugurated the session. The panel on the dais included Prof. V K Malhotra, Member Secretary, Indian Council of Social Science and Research, Ministry of MHRD, Prof. S K Goyal, Vice Chairman, ISID and Prof. M R Murthy, Director, ISID.
Dr. Rajiv Kumar shared his views on various fundamentals of the national economy and elements that will project into the future, taking into consideration the international economic scenario. He listed the ten drivers which place the Indian economy on the cusp of change. He categorically mentioned GST, Ease of Doing Business, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, RERA which were taken up during the last four years as the key policy initiatives that have started accelerating the growth of the Indian economy.
Citing the healthy growth of steel, cement, HCVs, he said,
“It is no longer the consumption driven demand but also investment demand which is now picking up”. He was confident that in 2018-19, India will grow by 7.5%. The Indian economy which is now about $2.5 trillion “will reach to about $4 trillion in 2022-23”.
While emphasizing the utmost importance of increasing export earnings, he also expressed his disagreement with offering incentives to exporters, year after year. Instead, the country should go all out to create the necessary infrastructure, both policy and physical. He stressed that “exports should become the business of the whole government in this country”.
While it is creditable that India improved its ranking on Ease of Doing Business, a lot more needs to be done and Niti Aayog is trying to capture the perceptions of businessmen in different states to get a better idea of the real improvements on the ground.
By referring to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Dr. Kumar highlighted the role of the government in bringing more accountability into the private sector which will usher a new era of Indian capitalism. He said that the businessmen in the country have to be held accountable. In the same way, builders “cannot get away with crime and criminal neglect”. Stating the change that has started becoming visible following RERA, he elaborated that large realty companies like DLF, Hiranandani and Raheja are leading by example and have begun focussing on affordable housing.
He concluded by sharing his thoughts on the paradigm shift in the developmental model being adopted by the government that will usher in sustainable economic development by replacing the crony and corrupt state with a development-led one.
The Institute observes May Day as its Foundation Day and on this occasion it organises special lectures by distinguished academics, public men and administrators on topics of contemporary policy relevance. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prof. Ch. Hanumantha Rao, Shri Mohan Dharia, Prof. G.S. Bhalla, Prof. T.S. Papola, Prof. R. Radhakrishna, Yashwant Sinha, Dr. Yash Tandon were among those who had delivered Foundation Day Lectures at the Institute in the past.
Interestingly, Dr. Manmohan Singh, then Prime Minster of India, in his address covering India’s industrialisation strategy, on May 1, 2007, raised the questions: “Are we encouraging crony capitalism? Is this a necessary but transient phase in the development of modern capitalism? Are we doing enough to protect consumers and small businesses from the consequences of crony capitalism?” Last year, Shri Nitin Desai, former Under-Secretary-General, UN-ESA, spoke on ‘Competition Policy’. The topics covered by the earlier speakers included Public Delivery System at the State Level, Public Private Partnerships, Global Banking and New Drivers of Global Change.