Economic slowdown caused by too much reforms: Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog

Amidst the economic whirlwinds in the country, Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog has blamed too much of reforms behind the economic slowdown. Kant reportedly said: “A spate of reforms undertaken by the government has led to the current slowdown in the country.” Mr Kant was speaking at BloombergNEF summit held in New Delhi.

The remarks that could be sensed as convoluted as when the Modi government is adamantly pushing policy reforms across almost every sector including that of data assessment.

Economic growth has hit a five-year low of 5.8% in the January to March quarter. This was the slowest pace of growth in 17 quarters. A number of economists have raised questions about the methodology of assessing official growth numbers.

In four points Kant said –

  • Firstly, you need to bring in greater levels of liquidity.
  • Secondly, you need to revive the animal spirit of the private sector, you can never create wealth without the private sector.
  • Thirdly, the government needs to get out of business in a range of areas and you need to recycle a lot of government assets such as roads.
  • Fourthly, we must push for major structural reforms as we did earlier.

Pushing for more privatisation Kant said: “NITI Aayog has recommended a vast range of public sector for privatisation. Once we have private sector coming in, bank credit will start flowing in and this is critical.” We have done this with airports. Gas grids, gas pipelines, transmission lines should be privately-owned.  

“One of the reasons for the slowdown is that it has had too much of reforms — GST, IBC, RERA — a huge set of reforms which we have undertaken and I think the next round of reforms must revolve around sectors like oil and gas, mining, coal. We must commercialise coal mining, railways and they will really drive the growth in India,” he said.

Talking about the government’s push for electric vehicles in the country, the NITI Aayog CEO said that the government would work to develop India as a hub for manufacture and export of EVs.

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