Former President Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday that it is because of the strong foundation laid by the previous governments that India would become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.
The former President was addressing an event at the Mavalankar Hall, Constitution Club of India in the national capital. Speaking at the event, Pranab Mukherjee asserted that even as others have also contributed, the foundations of modern India were laid by the founders who firmly believed in a planned economy, expressing dissent over the dissolution of the Planning Commission in today's economy. Hitting out at the critics of the Congress government, he said:
"Those who criticise Congress rule for 55 years are ignoring where India was at independence and how far we have come. Yes, others also contributed, but the foundations of modern India were laid by our founders who firmly believed in a planned economy, as opposed to today, when the Planning Commission has been disbanded," said Pranab Mukherjee.
Taking down the critics of Congress rule of 50-55 years, the former Finance Minister added that if the Indian economy is to be built to US$5 Trillion at present, it is because the previous governments left a strong foundation of US$1.8 Trillion from almost zero.
"Those who criticise Congress rule of 50-55 years, they forget that from where we began and where we left. If the Indian economy is to be built to US$5 Trillion, we left a strong foundation of US$1.8 Trillion from almost zero," he said.
Hailing the efforts of the Indian leaders post independence who led solid foundations for the country, he later said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's statement that India's economy will reach US $5 trillion by 2024 is not coming out of heaven.
"Finance Minister, while presenting the budget, had said that by 2024 India's economy will reach US $5 trillion. It isn't coming out of heaven. There's a solid foundation and the foundation has been built not by Britishers but by Indians after Independence. India has grown in leaps and bounds because Jawaharlal Nehru and others established IITs, ISRO, IIMs, banking network etc. This was built upon by Dr Manmohan Singh and Narasimha Rao when they liberalised the economy. That unleashed India's economic potential. It is on that foundation that the Finance Minister can claim today that India will be a 5 trillion dollar economy," he added.
Earlier, the Centre had announced that India is set to become a five trillion-dollar economy by 2024 and is likely to overtake the UK this year to become the fifth-largest economy in the world.
(With PTI inputs)