‘Reforms, CEZs to aid growth’

June 29, 2017 09:45 pm | Updated 10:15 pm IST - MUMBAI

Labour, land and agriculture reforms along with development of coastal economic zones (CEZs) and new cities will help India achieve rapid economic growth, according to NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya.

“No doubt we can grow, but that will require a lot of reforms like labour reform, agri-related reforms and coastal zones... new cities will have to come up,” he said adding that some States were keen on creating such zones that will create employment opportunities as well.

Mr. Panagariya, speaking at a discussion on ‘NITI Action Agenda and the Indian Economy’ organised by the Reserve Bank of India, suggested that India should undertake projects with a lower gestation period, similar to China. “We should start on a limited scale and create a few models,” he said.

The three-year action plan — prepared after extensive consultation with state governments — that was recently released by NITI Aayog enlists 300 specific action points. The Aayog has also proposed reduction of fiscal deficit to 3% of the GDP by 2018-19 and the revenue deficit to 0.9% of the GDP by 2019-20.

Mr. Panagariya also said that one should not be worried about migration (between sectors) especially people moving from agriculture to non-agri sectors. “Let us facilitate migration and make it easier,” he said.

On the issue of robots taking away employment opportunities, he said that China needs to be more worried if ‘bots’ are taking over jobs done by human beings. “I think there is just this ‘robophobia’. Bots have been there for ages... China has to fear the most,” he said adding that while we all talk about driver-less and automatic cars, the demand for manual cars is still there.

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