Economic self-reliance, the way forward

Crisis should be viewed as an opportunity to scale new heights and self-help is the first step in transforming a crisis into an opportunity. On May 12th, 2020, the prime minister gave a clarion call to “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India), a step in the direction of prosperity to counter the adverse situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic self-reliance is necessary not only to bounce back from the crisis but also to propel the nation towards economic supremacy.

India’s GDP Situation

India is currently the 5th largest economy of the world with a nominal GDP of $2.94 trillion and in 5 years, India might surpass both Germany and Japan to become the 3rd largest economy of the world but India’s per capita GDP has an entirely different story to narrate. India currently ranks 139th in the world in per capita GDP. The Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is the best tool India possesses to emancipate its per capita GDP situation.

Path Towards Self-Reliance

Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan ensures that the country becomes economically self-reliant. This campaign consists of a 20 lakh crore stimulus package which is divided into multiple tranches pertaining to various sectors including cottage industries, MSMEs (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Industries) etc. to fulfil the proposed mission. This package also included the earlier reforms like “PM Garib Kalyan Yojna,”which was 1.7 lakh crores. These reforms are expected to enhance the supply chain capabilities for agriculture. If a country’s agriculture is self-sufficient, even during a crisis, an issue like food shortage will not be present. The reforms aim to strengthen the “Make in India” initiative by attracting investments and promoting businesses. The measures announced for agriculture and allied sectors aim at one nation, one market , taking a step towards a self sustained rural economy. To strengthen the country’s agriculture, the government aims at creating a unified market for agriculture. This would ease the investments by providing a better price realization for farmers. 

 5 pillars of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan  

  1. Economy- India aims to achieve a quantum jump in the economy making an incremental growth a thing of the past.
  2. Infrastructure- To gain supremacy in infrastructure and post COVID, India should be a global model for infrastructure.
  3. System- There will be incorporation of more E-Governance and will include all the 21st century technologically driven arrangements.
  4. Vibrant Demography- The real strength of Atma Nirbhar Abhiyan is the demography of India. People are the energy centers to achieve the dream of self-reliance. The vibrant demography includes all the people who will script India’s future as an economic superpower.
  5. Demand- The strength of demand and supply chain should be utilized to the fullest. This is only possible when production is increased at a large scale.

MSME push

MGNREGA’s (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) 40,000 crore infusion also helps to counter the distress faced by migrants. This tranche is essential for providing the digital push and upskilling for the unorganized sector. The biggest push of this scheme is the 3 lakh crore collateral free loan facility for MSMEs. Measures like these reduce the burden on the sector as the pandemic has disrupted the economy to a great extent. Considering the fact that MSMEs provide the second highest amount of employment, this facility is a big boost. 

Healthcare and education sectors

Due to high emphasis of technological advancement in healthcare and education sectors and privatization of certain public sector units, the overall efficiency of multiple sectors increases by multiple times which will strengthen the 5 pillars of the economic self-reliance we aim for. In the healthcare arena, the technological push can be seen by the development of apps like Arogya Sethu which is a great way to track and notify people about the presence of the virus in their vicinity. The e- Sanjeevani tele-consultations is another great step in making healthcare services reach out to more number of people, a step towards solving the perennial problem of lesser number of hospitals in the country. In education, Swayam Prabha DTH channels are able to provide quality education to school children even under lockdown.

Demand based economy

This Abhiyan is the way forward for developing India into a demand based economy that is self-producing and self-consuming. To summarize it all, post COVID, India’s supply chain capabilities should be utilized to the fullest.With the disruption created by the pandemic, the primary objective to recovery should not be limited to undoing the damage caused. But, to become an economic superpower, India needs a huge leap in the coming decade and the best way to achieve this leap is by becoming self-reliant. 

In order to bolster the mission of self-reliance, Indians must become vocal for local commodities. The use of indigenous products is a prime component of self-reliance. With such great measures taken, it is in our hands to whole-heatedly contribute to this Abhiyan. As mentioned earlier, the first step in making the dream of self-reliance a reality, self-help is very essential. Progress of India contributes greatly to the world’s progress. Hence, get vocal for local to develop global.