New Delhi: NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar on Tuesday made a strong case for accelerating growth to provide good jobs to 'aspirational youths' and compete with China on various fronts.
Unless good jobs are created for growing population of youth, the demographic dividend will become demographic nightmare, he said. "Our young generation of the country is not going to accept poor quality of jobs and growth rate which does not meet their aspirations," he said.
Kumar made these comments in a lecture at Foundation Day Function of Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID). "If we don't wish this massive energy, this repeatedly talk of demographic transition converting itself into demographic nightmare, which I can assure you can happen very quickly...if we don't not want that(to happen) then we must accelerate our rate of growth and make rate of growth growth more inclusive," he said.
He also said that India is facing external challenge from its Northern border, referring to China. He said China was at the same level of economic development as India 30 years ago but is now five times the size of the Indian economy.
"China has a very deep pocket and prowess and is around us in South Asia... China has given USD 40 billion to Bangladesh, USD 43 billion to Pakistan, and USD 18 billion to Sri Lanka for port development," Kumar noted.
He said the time has come to take "our destiny in our hand and strengthen ourselves because at the end of the day it is the hard strength that will save us from the calamity". He further said: "At the end of the day, it is the hard strength that will save us from the calamity that could occur in case we decide not accelerate our economic growth." He further predicted that India's transmission to upper income country will be completed in our life time.
"Our growth rate has accelerated in recent times. I hope we will reach double digit growth at the end of 2022," Kumar said, adding that the size of the Indian economy is USD 2.5 trillion and by 2022-23 it will be about USD 4 trillion.
He suggested that promotion of exports should become the business of the government. "We need come out with Export Promotion Policy... We also need to try and ensure much better and effective supply side response to reduce cost of energy, " Kumar said.
He said that although there has been significant increase in Ease of Doing Business, much more needs to be done and NITI Aayog will come out with perception based measures of EODB.