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Subbarao: India’s third-largest economy status not cause for celebration

Even after becoming the third largest economy in the world by 2029 as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India may still be a poor country and therefore there is no reason for celebration, former Reserve Bank Governor D Subbarao said here on Monday.

Addressing a gathering at a book launch programme, Subbarao also said, citing Saudi Arabia, that becoming a rich country does not necessarily mean becoming a developed nation.

Recalling PM Modi saying that if he returns to office, India will become the third-largest economy before 2029 — before the end of his third term, he said many economists predict that the country would become the third largest after the US and China, much sooner.

  • Read: Subbarao’s memoir exposes government pressure on RBI for rosier growth narrative

“In my view, that is possible (India becoming the third-largest economy), but it’s not a celebration. Why? We are a large economy because we are 1.40 billion people. And people are a factor of production. So we are a large economy because we have people. But we are still a poor country,” Subbarao said, adding that India is now the fifth largest economy in the world, with the figure standing at USD 4 trillion.

With a per capita income of USD 2,600, India is in the 139th position in the league of Nations in terms of per capita income. And the poorest among BRICS and G-20 nations, he further pointed out.

So the agenda for moving forward is quite clear. Accelerate the growth rate and ensure that the benefits are going to be shared, he said.

Subbarao also recalled that the Prime Minister said that India must become a developed country by 2047.

According to Subbarao, in order to become a developed nation, four essential ingredients — rule of law, strong state, accountability and independent institutions — are required.


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