Growth had hit a wall in the country due to various factors

Change is needed in the political movement to ensure India seizes its economic opportunity and surges ahead instead of missing the moment and regressing two decades backward, said Padma Bhushan awardee and former Chairman of ICICI bank K.V. Kamath here on Saturday.

Mr. Kamath was among the five “eminent alumni” to be given the “Eminent Alyosian Alumni Award-2014” instituted by the St. Aloysius College Alumnae Association (SACAA).

Iterating that this was the “best time to be born” in the country, he said India was undergoing rapid changes that the young can leverage. “By 2004, it had taken 28 years for the per capita income to double to $500 (Rs. 30,475). In just four years after, it had doubled to $1,000 (Rs. 60950). And by 2011, this had been again increased to $1,500 (Rs. 91,475),” he said.

However, since 2011, due to rupee depreciation, and lack of political will, the growth had “hit a wall”, he said.

“Issues of land, environment, fuel and fuel pricing, mineral rights have been left unresolved. Leadership is required to resolve it. The next government should address this and take decisions,” said Mr. Kamath, who steered clear of politics in his speech.

An immediate decision that needed to be made were completed projects that were awaiting approvals and resolution of bottlenecks to start operations, he said. “Nearly 150 billion dollars (Rs. 91,425 crore) worth of projects remain, a quarter of which are power projects. These need clear policies to start operations and kick start the next period of growth. Funding is not a constraint; instead, there is the physical constraint of policy,” he said.

Social worker and the first lady Principal of St. Aloysius Evening college, Lena Fernandes; former Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Maharashtra Allen C.A. Pereira; District Commissioner of Bharath Scouts and Guides, N.G. Mohan; and president of India Social and Cultural Centre Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty were felicitated.

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