Jaipur– Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Saturday said that sustained economic growth is key to India’s future.

Delivering the keynote address at the ‘Militaria@Jaipur 2021’ event at Hotel Narain Niwas Palace on Saturday, Kant said, “Economies of both east and southeast Asia have transformed themselves within one generation. Also, India has witnessed a substantial transformation over 30 years since 1991 with an average growth of 6.5% per annum.”

Speaking with reference to Covid, he said: “Investment levels and sustained economic growth are critical for security reasons. What the country has done as a fallout of the Covid pandemic is ushering in radical reforms across a range of sectors. The private sector needs to be brought in at the heart of India’s economic growth. Pushing India towards a high growth trajectory is a key challenge. Global Economic Growth is expected to rebound about 5.5% after (-)3.5% in 2020 which has been the worst since post-World War,” he added.

Kant further said that Covid-19 will likely reverse the trend of poverty alleviation.

“India has had the sharpest recovery among major economies during Covid. Size and scale need to be brought to manufacturing for India to penetrate global markets. ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ is not about protectionism but it is about penetrating global markets. There is a need to understand that sunrise sectors will lead India’s growth in the coming decades and it is important we start now,” he further said.

Earlier, former Home Secretary, Government of India, R. Mehrishi, said, “In the face of the recent China confrontation, we used three elements: armed forces, trade measures and diplomacy. All these elements require the backing of a strong economy. In these days of technology, one has to be better and smarter equipped and technological competency will depend on the budget one has. India spends a little over 2% on its defence that translates into Rs. 5 Lakh crore. Whereas, China spends 1.3% of its GDP which translates into Rs. 15 Lakh crores,” he added.

Throughout the day, eminent speakers held forth on thought-provoking sessions which included ‘Defence Indigenisation & Atmanirbhar Bharat’, ‘Defence Technologies for India’, ‘Cyber & Unconventional Threats’ and ‘The Chinese Threat- The Way Forward’. (IANS)