Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of India becoming a “Five Trillion Dollar” economy. Let us find out how soon we can reach the 5T mark? How can we become a 5T economy by 2025 with over 10 percent annual growth rate?
What is the plan?
- Model farms –
- Transform agriculture by setting up a thousand world-class farms across the country. Most farmers do not have the capacity or means to benefit from the existing schemes. Time to try a new model where farmers learn to be productive by working in association with a professional firm which takes care of farming, marketing, and exports.
- The implementation will cover less than one per cent of the arable land and cost no money to the government.
- To implement, the government will need to identify 1,000 agriculture development regions (ADRs) each with a minimum area of 200 sq. km. State governments will take this land on a 10-year lease from the willing farmers. In return, the State governments will assess a farmer’s 10-year income and agree to pay double the amount in annual instalments. Farmers will remain the landowners.
- Next, the States will invite corporate farming ventures (CFVs) to work on each of the ADRs for 10 years. In return, CFVs will pay the money that the States promised to pay the farmers. The CFVs will apply modern techniques and investments to produce and market high-quality products.
- Farmers may work on the land and imbibe the right practices. Soon, the best practices will spread to adjoining areas. Farmers who participated with such CFVs will pool their land and start collaborative farming where external CFVs will not be needed.
- Manufacturing ecosystem –
- To transform manufacturing, India has to focus on setting manufacturing ecosystem for the four product groups.
- First, machinery that makes the products.
- Two, specialty materials, biologics, nanotechnology, integrated circuits, embedded systems, medical imaging devices.
- Three, computers, TVs, mobile phones, and telecom equipment.
- And, four, auto components, toys, furniture, footwear, and apparels. This skill and labour-intensive products group can absorb part of surplus people from the agriculture or informal sector.
- Successful operations would require sector-specific policies and inviting an anchor firm for each major product group. Flexible labour laws are an essential precondition for large-scale manufacturing.
- Transform services –
- The travel and tourism sector created 40 million jobs and contributed a significant 10 per cent to GDP. Considering the variety of experiences India offers, the sector can grow manifold with project-driven investments in budget hotels, medical tourism, tourist safety, and top 100 attractions.
- India as a global healthcare jobs provider can be another big story. Global healthcare and wellness is a $8 trillion industry, which would require over 100 million health workers in the next 15 years. Dr Devi Shetty proposes that we should convert India’s 600 district hospitals as medical nursing and paramedical schools to train 5 million doctors, nurses, and paramedics to meet the global requirement. They can remit about $100 billion of foreign currency every year.
- The construction sector’s potential is largely untapped. It has over 8 per cent share in GDP. It is the largest job-generating sector after Agriculture. The sector lacks transparency, and millions of buyers stand cheated in the hands of builders every year. Ensuring transparency and ease will revive the sector attracting FDI and create millions of new jobs.