Conceding that India would become a $5 trillion economy by 2024, former President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday (July 18) said that India would attain that status only because of the strong foundation left by previous governments. He further said that the founders of modern India firmly believed in a planned economy.
This was in reference to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budger speech in which she had said that the goal is to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024.
Mukherjee was delivering a lecture on ‘Furthering India’s promise’ at the Constitution Club of India in the national capital.
“Those who criticise the Congress rule for 55 years are ignoring where India was at independence and how far we have come,” the former President said. “Yes, others also contributed, but the foundations of modern India were laid by our founders who firmly believed in a planned economy, as opposed to today, when the Planning Commission has been disbanded.”
Mukherjee credited the previous governments led by former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh for laying the foundations for India to become a $5 trillion economy in future.
He said that India grew in leaps and bounds because Jawaharlal Nehru and others established IITs, ISRO, IIMs and banking network. These, he said, were built upon by Dr Manmohan Singh and Narasimha Rao when they liberalised the economy. “That unleashed India’s economic potential,” the former President said.
He also said that all public discourses must be free from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal. “We need to engage in an honest dialogue to understand the problems that our people face today in order to avoid the social and political distortions that are happening in India today,” he said.