India can sustain 9% GDP growth for many years: EAC member Sanyal

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Economic Advisory Council member Sanjeev Sanyal on Sunday said that India is capable of sustaining an economic growth of 9 per cent for several years, even as he stressed that more needs to be done to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030. A high sustained GDP growth rate is important for the world. ,

Speaking at a side event of the first Sherpa meeting under India’s G20 chairmanship, the economist said India’s per capita income is only USD 2,200 and this has been achieved after several years of high growth.

“Especially for the Global South, maintaining high GDP growth rates is critical to achieving the SDGs and without this, all we end up with is redistribution of poverty.

“Even for relatively advanced countries, most of them have very high levels of debt. For them too, maintaining a high level of GDP growth will be very important,” he added.

Sanyal was speaking at the first side event of India’s G20 presidency and the topic was ‘Transforming Lives: Accelerating the Implementation of the SDGs’.

Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, SDG 17 is a collection of global goals “for peace and prosperity for people and planet, now and in the future” that are intended to be achieved by 2030.

The goals are: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and reduced inequalities.

The remaining goals are: sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and partnerships for the Goals.

Sanyal said that despite the recent global crises, the GDP growth rate has been good for India, but there was still room to do better.

“We can sustain 9 per cent growth for many years. But it is not just about India. A lot needs to be done from the perspective of the Global South,” he said.

India’s economic growth slowed to 6.3 per cent in the September quarter of 2022-23 due to contraction in output from the manufacturing and mining sectors, according to the latest data, but the country remains the fastest growing major economy ahead of China. Recorded an economic growth of 3.9 percent in July-September 2022.

On a lighter note, talking about economic forecasting models, Sanyal said that making sausage was far cleaner.

Sanyal is currently a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. Earlier, he was the Principal Economic Advisor to the Finance Minister for five years till February 2022.

He also said that most of the international organizations froze during the Covid crisis and did not provide the kind of help that was needed in those circumstances.

“The only organization that functioned during that chaos in 2020-2021 was the G20,” Sanyal said, calling for new ways of dealing with real issues and collecting real-time data from new sources.

He said that G20 is the only organization to provide such a leadership which can give rapid solutions in real time.

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