Updated March 16th, 2024 at 21:56 IST

In Few Years India Will Enter into Top Third Economies, Says Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said India currently needs economic freedom to achieve developed nation status by 2047.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets cos for Viksit Bharat 2047 | Image:X
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Tamil Nadu: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said India currently needs economic freedom to achieve developed nation status by 2047 and assured that the country would move to the third spot in world economy from the current fifth position in the near future.

Criticising those who compared India with China, Sitharaman said that certain things could not be replicated from them.

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"India should attain self sufficiency on economic matters. It should become an economic power. The country has come from 10th position to 5th in global rankings and a few years down the line we will achieve the third spot", Sitharaman said, after unveiling a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Shrimati Indira Gandhi College here.

Appealing to the students gathered at the venue to contribute to the progress of the nation, she said, "It is through the efforts of students like you that our country will become a developed nation by 2047." Referring to people talking about how China has progressed and comparisons with India, Sitharaman recalled that the two countries were at the same level 30 years ago.

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"They have progressed because of various reasons which cannot be followed here. For example, (in China) there is no democracy at all. But we have civil liberty, freedom of speech is here and we have values in our system. And to become a developed nation, we should think positively," she said.

Observing that India was a rich country about 400 years ago, she said that even today there are references to Indian connections in Indonesia and other East Asian countries.

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"Cholas had gone to Indonesia and set up a kingdom there. Even today there are references to that. So, what I am trying to say is that today, on this day when we remember Mahatma Gandhi, we should attain economic freedom and we should be free from imperial forces. That is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks about the Atmanirbhar Bharat (campaign) in his speeches to attain a developed nation with all your contribution", she said.

Maintaining that India is traditionally rich in culture, she said there were many people who have praised the country for its legacy.

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"About 20 years ago, many countries were commenting that India is a culturally rich country. But today most of the world nations are looking in awe on several fronts including how we have progressed by using the digital technology infrastructure. They showcase India as an example in tapping digital technology," she said.

Even a top minister from Brazil which has taken the Presidency from India for hosting the G20 Summit this year has raised doubts about matching the digital technology infrastructure in their own country, she said.

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In her address to the students, Sitharaman said digital technology in India does not refer to the payment mechanism, but it was also about the revolution during the COVID-19 pandemic when digital certificates on vaccination status were issued through mobile phones.

"You were able to receive the time, date, place, what was the vaccine that you were administered along with the certificate in your mobile phone." she said, adding that today's schools and colleges were able to link to educational institutions or to teachers through digital channels.

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"We have been using digital in every section, not only for making payments, but also in education and healthcare. Like this many developmental programmes have been launched in India in the last 10 years," she said.

The Finance Minister said women in rural areas were tapping digital technology by operating drones for development of their farm lands. "While her brother operates the tractor in the fields, the woman spreads fertilisers using drones. Not only that, they can also sell their produce to global markets from their phone," she said.

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Sitharaman said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keen on developing every part of the country and used to tell his cabinet colleagues that India does not mean only Delhi.

"That is why the G20 Summit was conducted in every state in our country last year. He (Modi) wanted every state to gain the experience of hosting a G20 Summit and that it should not rest in Delhi alone. He used to request to take all the benefits across the country to every district. Even those districts which were economically backward needs to be developed and that is how we have announced the aspirational districts scheme. Even in Tamil Nadu, we have announced that Ramanathapuram and Virudhunagar will be developed under this scheme," she revealed.

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Published March 16th, 2024 at 21:56 IST