Kant said that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report found India’s Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018, has benefited almost 21 per cent of the nation’s population and improved their quality of life.
He said that the UNDP report found the ADP acted as a “catalyst for expediting development” that brought about “major changes” in sectors such as health care, nutrition, and education.
When asked about the impact of coronavirus on the Indian economy and path to its recovery, he said, “India is seeing a huge improvement in its exports. The world is awash with liquidity because of the different packages which countries have put in so there’s money available across the world. There’s a need to push for consumer demand as the economy opens up, providing greater liquidity,” the Niti Ayog CEO said.
“Covid has accelerated the change, global supply chains will get relocated, there will be a China plus one strategy for manufacturing. A lot of foreign direct investment (FDI) has come into India which can now attract the best manufacturers from all over the world,” he added.
He also encouraged Indian companies to think big and produce at global scale in order to penetrate new markets. “What you get from the export market is far more than what’s available in the domestic market. Use the strength of the latter to penetrate global markets. If you are at that size and scale, then your cost of production will fall. Therefore, India will become highly competitive in the global market and that is the objective,” Kant said.
Kant said that although Covid has disrupted business in a big way, it has also provided an opportunity to maximise the use of technology and make India the easiest place to do business. “This is also an opportunity to do away with a lot of rules, regulation that we built over the years. I think this is also an opportunity to get into cutting edge areas of growth,” he added.
“I’m a great believer that for this economy we need to vaccinate fast which we are doing now in a very big way. The government has ordered a lot of vaccines to come in the subsequent months, so I agree with the government that by December we should be vaccinated,” said Kant.
Talking about the initial steps for Indian economy on future roadmap post pandemic, the Niti Aayog CEO said that it needs to be careful as nature of this virus is unpredictatable. “Some countries became too adventurous and opened up early only to announce lockdowns as the second wave of Covid came like a tsunami,” said Kant.