India has grown faster than ever before

India has grown faster than ever before Tue, 11 Mar 2014

India has grown faster than ever before

Since the 18th century Industrial Revolution that catapulted the world from horse-carts to space travel over an incredible short span of two centuries, Industry has been the gold standard for economic growth.

If a nation aspires towards all round success and prosperity, its Industrial engines have to fire on all cylinders. The formula is actually pretty simple: greater industrial growth means more employment opportunities, which in turn means greater prosperity for a nation. We had it all figured out when we got down to work ten years ago.

And we can tell you we left no stone unturned. At the end of our first term, India had reached an average industrial growth of 9.2 per cent. It made our chests swell with pride because we knew we had set a precedent for India'€™s political class, and the world, to follow, but we still had the humility to refrain from making an '€œIndia Shining'€ kind of a claim, which had a bare 5.5 per cent average Industrial growth to show. 

UPA-II had a much tougher task as the global economic crisis pulled us down. But we still managed a 6.6 per cent Industrial growth.

Today India is the second fastest growing economy in the world.

India'€™s exports shot up by over five times from 2.93 lakh crore in 2004 to 16.34 lakh crore in 2013. Special Economic Zones alone contributed Rs 4.76 lakh crore to exports in 2012-13. These SEZ'€™s have provided direct employment to over 12 lakh people.

Under the new manufacturing policy, we are developing 16 smart sustainable cities along the industrial corridors: Delhi-Mumbai, Amritsar-Kolkata, Bengaluru-Mumbai, Chennai-Bengaluru. They will transform India into a global manufacturing hub. They will push manufacturing growth from 16 to 25 per cent, and create 100 million new jobs.

In the last one year alone we have cleared over 125 projects worth Rs 4 lakh crore. The power sector has been the biggest beneficiary, with as many as 83 power projects worth Rs 3.41 lakh crore being cleared.

Credit and loan facilities to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises have been more than doubled. In the last two years, 80 thousand Micro Enterprises have been supported by the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme creating job opportunities for 9.23 lakh people.

India'€™s per capita income has increased three fold from 24,143 (2004) to 68,747 (2014).

We increased investment on road construction by five times. More than 2.67 lakh kilometres of new all-weather roads have been added to the rural road network. Over 17 thousand kilometres of highways have been built or upgraded. Connectivity has aided growth. In rural areas, it has helped small farmers in getting better prices for their products.

We have invested a lot in your happiness. But our biggest drawback, as Rahul Gandhi frequently points out, has been our inability to market ourselves. Our adversaries have, on the other hand, invested little on work, and a lot on marketing gimmicks. 

This is what Economic and Political Weekly recently wrote about Gujarat: '€œ'€¦a careful analysis shows that Gujarat, always one of the richest states, has done no better than before. In neither industry nor agriculture has its position radically changed. The only dramatic difference has been the emergence of import-dependent and export-oriented petroleum refining, which has few linkages with the state economy. As in the past decades, Gujarat's social development continues to lag behind its economic development.'€

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