Days after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke about India becoming $5 trillion economy by 2024 in her Union Budget speech, former President Pranab Mukherjee has cautioned the Modi government and said that the strong foundation laid down by the earlier administrations can’t be overlooked. "Finance Minister, while presenting the budget, had said that by 2024 India's economy will reach $5 trillion. It isn't coming out of heaven. There's a solid foundation and the foundation has been built not by Britishers but by Indians after Independence," Mukherjee said at an event in Delhi on Thursday.
Mukherjee also rued the fact that the Modi dispensation has not only scrapped five-year plans but also done away with the Planning Commission. "These five-year plans built the vision for economy, health, education among others. The investment used to be made based on these plans," he told at the lecture organised by Samruddha Bharat Foundation.
Quoting Chanakya Neeti Sutra, Sitharaman during her Union Budget speech had said that, “Kaarya purusha kare na lakshyam sampa dayate.” This means - with determined human efforts the task will surely be completed. “When we aspire to reach 5 trillion dollars, many wonder whether it is possible; the target is eminently achievable, given our citizens' desire and the leadership of the government,” Sitharaman said. Talking about new plan for investment, Sitharaman said that, “India Inc, our job creators, are the nation's wealth creators; together, we can prosper. I wish to propose number of reforms to kickstart virtuous cycle of growth.” “Several reforms would be undertaken to promote rental housing, current rental laws are archaic as they do not address lessor-lessee relationships fairly,” Sitharaman said.
A day later the Union Budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had slammed the ‘professional pessimists’ doubting the $5 trillion dream. Addressing a gathering on the occasion, the prime minister also talked about the Union Budget 2019-20 and his thoughts on India's growth trajectory in the coming years.
Referring to the provisions in the Union budget, Modi said a "new India" was on the threshold of racing ahead. "It is important to know about the USD 5 trillion economy because some people were casting doubts over the competency of Indians, saying that achieving the target is very difficult," he added.