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Subsidies will be rationalised for poverty alleviation: Modi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted his government will rationalise and target subsidies towards the poor for their welfare and strive for reforms that positively impact the people and transform their lives.

He also said in his address at the Economic Times Global Business Summit here that India’s economic efforts should also have a positive global impact.

I am not arguing that all subsidies are good. My point is that there cannot be any ideological position on such matters. We have to be pragmatic. We have to eliminate bad subsidies, whether or not they are called subsidies,

“But some subsidies may be necessary to protect the poor and the needy and give them a fair chance to succeed. Hence, my aim is not to eliminate subsidies but to rationalise and target them,” he said.

Stressing that reforms in a country should be linked to people’s welfare, he said: “True reforms are those which results in a transformation in the lives of citizens. My goal is reform to transform. The biggest beneficiary of any reform should be the poor.”

Holding that creating new opportunities for citizens to progress is crucial for the growth of the nation, he said: “New opportunities are like oxygen to the aspirational citizens.”

Modi said that reforms will be fruitful only if they succeed in impacting the lives of citizens for the better.

We have to increase the quality of life of the common citizen and even more so, the quality of life of the poor. If a government is progressive, and runs an honest and efficient administration, the biggest beneficiaries are the poor. Poor governance hurts the poor more than it hurts others,

“I believe in the politics of empowerment. I believe in empowering the people to improve their own lives. We need to value enterprise and hard work, not wealth. Creating opportunities for cities and towns to grow is very crucial. Urban areas are an engine of growth,” he added.

Modi noted foreign direct investment (FDI) in India has increased by 39 percent in the last 18 months even while falling globally.

“The FDI in India increased by 39 percent in the last 18 months, when global FDI has fallen,” he said noting that at present, the global economy is going through a period of uncertainty.

Saying that “no country can be alone” in the globalised world today, he said: “India’s policies must be such that they make a positive contribution to the rest of the world. For the last four quarters, India has been the fastest growing large economy in the world,” he said.

Modi also noted that protecting the planet from climate change is “one of the most important tasks for this generation”. “We are committed to reducing the emission intensity of our GDP by 33 percent by 2030 even while growing at a fast pace,” he added.

Listing the government’s achievements, he said: “India’s highest ever urea fertiliser production was achieved in 2015. India’s highest ever production of ethanol as blended fuel, benefiting sugar cane farmers, was in 2015. the highest number of new cooking gas connections to the rural poor was achieved in 2015.

India’s highest ever output of coal was achieved in 2015. Shipping Corporation of India which made a loss of Rs.275 crore in 2013-14 made a profit of Rs.201 crore in 2014-15.

The prime minister also cited the benefits of the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme of cash transfers in a rationalisation of subsidies and weeding out illegal cooking gas connections.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see a noteworthy reduction in leakage, simply by eliminating those who were double counted and ineligible,” he said.(Inputs from IANS)(Picture Courtesy: economictimes.indiatimes.com)

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As per Assocham, the Indian economy may reach 7% in 2018

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As per Assocham, the Indian economy may reach 7% in 2018.
As per Assocham, the Indian economy may reach 7% in 2018. IANS
  • Because of demonitisation, the economy may reach 7% in 2018: Assocham
  • Inflation may range between 4-5.5 per cent towards the second half of the next calendar year
  • Assocham expects the forthcoming Union Budget to be “heavily tilted” towards the farmers

New Delhi, Dec 24, 2017: With government policies set to tilt more towards the “stress-ridden rural landscape” next year in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Indian economy may reach a 7 per cent growth in 2018 while recovering from the lingering effects of demonetisation and GST, industry chamber Assocham said on Sunday.

“After ‘disruptions’ from the lingering effects of demonetisation and GST roll-out, the Indian economy may reach a 7 per cent growth in 2018 with government policies tilting towards the stress-ridden rural landscape in the penultimate year before the Lok Sabha elections,” according to the industry body’s “Year-Ahead Outlook”.

“Against GDP growth of 6.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2017-18, the economic expansion may reach the crucial 7 per cent mark by the end of September 2018 quarter, while inflation may range between 4-5.5 per cent towards the second half of the next calendar year with the monsoon being a key imponderable,” it said.

Assocham President Sandeep Jajodia said the projections were based on the assumption of stability in government policies, good monsoons, pick-up in industrial activity and credit growth as also stability in the foreign exchange rates.

“The worries on account of crude oil shooting up are likely to abate, if there are no fresh geo-political shockers.”

According to the Assocham outlook, while the underlying bullish sentiment should continue to prevail in the Indian stock market in 2018, the returns on equity may not be as robust as in 2017.

“This is because the 2017 bull run has already factored in the return of growth steadiness in 2018 and the corporate earnings witnessing a pick-up,” it said.

The industry lobby said in the run-up to state assembly elections in several politically important states, the political economy is set to tilt towards the farm sector “which has been witnessing some stress”.

“The stress in the agriculture sector is traceable to lack of reforms in the rural economy. Despite political promises, several of the states have not been able to reform the APMC Act, which restricts farmers to sell their produce to a particular set of cartels.”

Assocham expects the forthcoming Union Budget to be “heavily tilted” towards the farmers while the industrial focus would be on sectors which create jobs.

“A realisation seems to be dawning that growth per se is not enough, the benefits must be seen in the form of higher employment. The year 2018 would see policies in this direction”, the statement added. (IANS)

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