On the evening of Monday 17th June 2013 Shri Narendra Modi attended an interactive session on ‘Achieving India’s Full Economic Potential’ with Mr. Jim O’Neill, a world-renowned economist with an expertise on emerging markets. Mr. O’Neill also headed Goldman Sachs. The interactive session was a part of Vibrant Gujarat Lecture Series.
Shri Modi recalled that it was back in 2003 when Goldman Sachs, led by Mr. O’Neill predicted that BRIC nations would overtake G-6 nations by 2050. “The world was taken aback and we were pleasantly surprised,” Shri Modi affirmed. However the Chief Minister pointed out that India has not been able to grow to its full potential during the last decade due to uncertain and uneven growth, which is further compounded by policy paralysis and mis-governance. “We have lost a historic opportunity in the process,” said Shri Modi.
During his speech, the Chief Minister complemented Mr. O’Neill for his 2008 paper, ’10 Things for India to Achieve its 2050 Potential’ and stated that he had read his paper with keen interest.
He recalled how Gujarat bounced back from the destruction of the 2001 quake to scaling new heights of progress in the last twelve years. Shri Modi affirmed that transparency, openness and people’s participation remained key aspects of the Government from the very beginning. He avowed, “The overall idea was to move from Government to Governance, from rules and acts to responsible action.” The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction in the fact that the seeds sown by the Gujarat Government a decade ago are now giving the desired fruits of development for the people. He shared that the Gujarat Government’s innovations in social sector and progress on HDI parameters have been appreciated far and wide and that initiatives of the Gujarat Government have won laurels at the national and international level.
Shri Modi listed the various qualitative and quantitative changes in Gujarat that have greatly benefitted the people. He even spoke on Fiscal Responsibility Act, which has heavily reduced non-development expenditure. He said that Gujarat has grown both in agriculture and industry. He gave the example of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit and Gujarat’s consistent double digit growth in agriculture as compared to the national average of 2-3% to illustrate his point. Shri Modi attributed Gujarat’s growth in agriculture to the farmers and the steps taken for better irrigation practices and in ensuring greater use of latest advances in science and technology. The Chief Minister mentioned Gujarat advances in solar energy.
Shri Modi said the Gujarat Government believed in the motto of ‘Gujarat’s Growth for India’s Growth’ and added that the development journey of Gujarat can be taken even higher if the Centre’s policies are aligned towards a greater vision of a developed India.
In his speech, Mr. Jim O’Neill spoke about the ten challenges for India to achieve its 2050 potential. The challenges included improving governance, raising basic educational achievements, increasing quality & quantity of users, controlling inflation, introducing a credible fiscal policy with a medium term strategy, liberalizing the financial market, increasing trade with neighbours, increasing agriculture production, improving infrastructure and improving the environment quality.