Charting India's economic revival and global competitiveness - Hindustan Times
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Charting India's economic revival and global competitiveness

ByHindustan Times
Feb 20, 2024 11:23 AM IST

Authors- Niranjan Shastri, associate professor, SBM, SVKM’s NMIMS and Madan Dhanora, assistant professor, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal.

In her budget presentation, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled a remarkable achievement in India's economic landscape, emphasising the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) surge. With the FDI inflow reaching an impressive $596 billion between 2014 and 2023, she heralded it as a golden era, noting that this figure stands as twice the inflow witnessed in the period from 2005 to 2014. Signifying a commitment to fostering continuous economic growth, the finance minister announced a dedication to negotiating bilateral investment treaties, underscoring the government's proactive approach to encourage sustained foreign investment. These strategic measures align with India's vision of positioning itself as an attractive destination for global investments, contributing significantly to the nation's economic prosperity and international standing.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the Budget Session of Parliament. (ANI)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the Budget Session of Parliament. (ANI)

A new scheme unveiled in the budget sets the stage for green growth through a dedicated focus on bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry. This initiative is strategically designed to offer sustainable alternatives, ranging from biodegradable polymers and bioplastics to cutting-edge biopharmaceuticals and bio agri-inputs. By prioritising environmentally friendly solutions, the scheme aligns with global sustainability goals, fostering innovation and propelling the nation towards a more ecologically conscious future.

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The budget's significant increase in capital expenditure, rising by 11.1% to 11.11 trillion rupees in fiscal year 2025, holds the promise of fostering innovation and technological advancement. By allocating substantial resources to capital expenditure, the government signals a commitment to investing in critical infrastructure projects that lay the foundation for technological progress. This increased spending is poised to create a conducive environment for innovation, enabling the development of cutting-edge technologies and providing essential support for research and development initiatives.

Emphasising the empowerment of women, the finance minister highlights key initiatives such as the Mudra Yojana, which has facilitated an impressive 30 crore loans for women entrepreneurs. This targeted financial support is instrumental in fostering entrepreneurship, especially in technology-driven sectors, where innovative ideas often require initial capital. Additionally, the noteworthy 28% growth in female enrollment in higher education over the last decade signifies a growing pool of educated and skilled women entering the workforce, thereby contributing to the technology-driven growth of the country. By nurturing female participation in entrepreneurship and higher education, the budget aligns with a strategic vision for a technologically advanced and inclusive economic landscape. Emphasising the pivotal role of the Skill India Mission, she underscores its impact with 1.4 crore youth successfully trained and an additional 55 lakh upskilled. This robust initiative signals a dedicated commitment to enhancing the nation's overall skill set, aligning with the imperative for a skilled and adaptable workforce.

Viksit Bharat's vision entails contemporary infrastructure and inclusive opportunities for all citizens, subtly recognising that modern infrastructure is inherently intertwined with technological advancements. This alignment implies that Viksit Bharat's vision embraces the transformative influence of technology, contributing to the nation's advancement and connectivity. Additionally, the envisioned opportunities for citizens may involve skill development initiatives leveraging technology to empower individuals, fostering enhanced capabilities in the dynamic digital landscape.

This article is authored by Niranjan Shastri, associate professor, SBM, SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) and Madan Dhanora, assistant professor, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal.

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