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India has already seized the moment: Union ministers at WEF

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Davos, Jan 18 (PTI) Asserting that the Indian economy has undergone a significant transformation in the last one decade, three union ministers on Thursday said the country's economic growth now is not only high but also inclusive.

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Speaking at a session on 'Can India seize its moment' at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024, union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said India has already seized the moment.

"I say so because of the GDP growth we are clocking and the expectations from all quarters for a continued growth momentum," he said.

Speaking in the same session, his Cabinet colleague Ashwini Vaishnaw said the last decade has seen a significant transformation in the Indian economy.

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"Major investments have happened in physical and digital infrastructure. That has had a huge impact on manufacturing and overall economic activity," he said.

Smriti Irani, Minister for Women and Child Development, said she agrees with minister Puri that India has already seized the moment.

She said India used to have phases of double-digit inflation for a period of several months continuously, but the situation has changed now and the country was recording a multi-faceted growth momentum.

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Besides, the simplification of laws and regulations have made doing business much more simpler and all global and Indian companies can vouch for that, she added.

In the same panel, James Quincey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, said it is India's moment and the country is already one of the biggest markets for the group.

He said the government has done amazing work in the last ten years and the only thing it can do more is further raise its targets and accelerate the things that are already working fine.

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Puri, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas as well as Housing and Urban Affairs, said that global uncertainties of the last few years required a smart navigation on the energy front and India succeeded in doing that.

"We are also well ahead of targets and India stands out on various factors including biofuel blending and green hydrogen. We have demonstrated that we can produce solar energy at a lower cost. We will do more than what have been our targets," he said.

"On the urban development front, we are building space equivalent to one Chicago every year," he said.

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Asked what more India can do, Quincey said maybe India can target building 1.5 Chicagos every year.

Vaishnaw, Minister for Railways, Communications as well as Electronics and Information Technology, said another big change that has happened in India is that the growth of the Indian economy has been inclusive with those at the bottom of the pyramid brought up to the centrestage.

"Focus on manufacturing is another major pillar of India's growth story in the last one decade. A huge amount of simplification in laws, regulations and compliance requirements is another major pillar," he said.

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Debjani Ghosh, President of National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), said there is a tremendous lesson that the world can learn from India on a large-scale is the use of technology for inclusive growth and for building a digital public Infrastructure.

"The world can benefit a lot by looking at what India is doing with technology," she said.

Ghosh also hailed the public private partnership on skilling in India as the biggest in the world.

"The India story is that India is in the business of building businesses and also it is in the business of saving lives. That makes India's success story very distinct," Irani said.

At the same time, India can also understand a space mission at a cost less than that of a Tom Cruise movie, she added. PTI BJ DRR

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