India’s $5tn push: Gujarat gets taskforce

The Gujarat government has formed a high-level taskforce under former Union finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia to enhance Gujarat’s contribution to achieve PM Narendra Modi’s aim of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024.

The taskforce has also been mandated to prepare a blueprint to achieve GSDP (gross state domestic product) of Rs 27. 5 lakh crore by 2024. Currently, Gujarat’s GSDP is Rs 16. 5 lakh crore.

A resolution of the state finance department reads, “The matter of formation of a taskforce under the chairmanship of Hasmukh Adhia for working out a strategy of Government of Gujarat for making India a five trillion dollar economy as per the vision of the PM was under consideration. ” The resolution further says: “The taskforce formed by the GR will give recommendations in the next three months about the possible action for maximizing Gujarat’s contribution for the $5 trillion GDP size by 2024. ”

Other members of the taskforce will be Manoj Das, additional chief secretary, ports & transport; Mamta Verma, principal secretary, energy & petrochemicals; Millind Torwane, secretary (economic affairs),finance department; and Rakesh Shankar, secretary, planning and general administration department.

A key officer aware of the developments said: “The taskforce has been formed very late to assess Gujarat’s contribution to achieve the PM’s vision of a $5 trillion economy by 2024. ” The officeradded: “The committee will give its report after three months, while our budget will be decided for 2022-23 in March. ” The officer went on to say: “Effectively, all suggestions of the taskforce will be considered for the 2023-24 budget. Two years is a short span to achieve such a drastic rise in the GSDP. ”

Another source said: “Gujarat’s share in the GDP is 8%. To help the country become a $5 trillion economy, Gujarat’s GSDP will have to be Rs 27. 5 lakh crore from Rs 16. 5 lakh crore in two years.” This will be very challenging, the source said.

Sources said Gujarat will have to register close to 25% annual growth rate to meet the GSDP target.

The projected growth rate for 2020-21 was only 0. 6% over the 2019-20 growth rate. “The budget estimate for 2021-22 is Rs 18. 7 lakh crore; for 202223, it is Rs 21. 3 lakh crore; and for 2023-24, it is Rs 24. 1 lakh crore,” the source said. “To incorporate the Adhia committee’s suggestions for the GSDP quantum jump, the Gujarat government will have to revise all the budgetary projections first,which is a major challenge due to several factors. ” The source added: “The Gujarat government does not have any major extra resources to fund economic stimuli. ” Many officials are not very bullish about the effectiveness of the new taskforce, as the Gujarat government has overlooked key suggestions in a report given by a committee chaired by Adhia for the post-pandemic economic revival.

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