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2024: The Year India Roars – A Billion DREAMS, A Trillion-Dollar REALITY

2024: The Year India Roars – A Billion DREAMS, A Trillion-Dollar REALITY

By Ramakant Chaudhary

As the clock ticks down to welcome New Year 2024, economists and experts are painting a promising picture for India, marking it as a defining year that will herald the nation’s future trajectory. With a boost to Union Government spending and consumption anticipated in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha 2024 Polls, receding geopolitical uncertainties, and a strong likelihood of the economy expanding by 7 percent, India is calling the shots to rule the roost on the world arena in the New Year 2024: unlocking economic potential, political dynamics and global influence.

In the arena of Indian politics, competitive welfarism has become a key player, and it is expected to be on full display during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central Government under the stewardship of PM Narendra Modi, riding the wave of cultural nationalism, is eyeing a historic third consecutive term. The BJP’s cultural nationalism push has been a defining theme in recent years, and it appears poised to continue into 2024. The party’s emphasis on national pride, identity, and tradition resonates with a significant portion of the electorate. As India looks toward the future, the political landscape is likely to be shaped by a continuation of this cultural narrative. Opposition’s hoopla and the ruling party’s hurrah over the inauguration of Ayodhya Temple, slated on January 22-2024, are destined to echo persistently.

Themes shaping 2024

Beyond the political sphere, several themes are expected to dominate the narrative in 2024. India tom-tommed by hosting the G20 summit for the first time, which signalled a growing influence on the global stage. This prestigious event brought together the world’s major economies, providing India with a platform to showcase its economic prowess and diplomatic finesse. Hosting the G20 summit is not just a diplomatic achievement; it’s a chance for India to actively contribute to global discussions on crucial issues such as climate change, sustainability, economic stability, and international cooperation.

Additionally, the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament has been hailed as a historic move, laying the groundwork for a more inclusive and empowered India. This landmark legislation ensures that women have a fair representation in political decision-making, a crucial step toward gender equality. As the implementation of the bill unfolds, it is expected to reshape the political orientation and underline a more diverse and representative leadership.

According to the International Monetary Fund, economic shifts are favouring India. While Japan’s GDP is expected to decline to US$4.2 trillion by the end of 2023, India is positioned to surpass both Japan and Germany by 2025, emerging as a formidable economic force. This economic ascendancy positions India as a key player in the global economic equation, with the potential to influence international trade, investment, and development.

Union Budget: Strengthening economic standing

The Union Budget for the financial year 2023-24 has essentially solidified India’s economic status despite global headwinds. In the 75th year of Independence, the world recognizes India’s economy as a ‘bright star,’ with a projected growth of 7 percent, the highest among major economies. The vision for Amrit Kaal outlined in the budget focuses on three pillars: providing opportunities for citizens, fostering growth and job creation, and maintaining a strong and stable economic environment.

The seven priorities, termed Saptrishi, adopted in the Budget 2023-24 to guide the country towards Amrit Kaal solidified the base for an empowered and inclusive economy of India. Inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power, and financial sector reforms form the core of these priorities. This strategic roadmap not only addresses immediate economic challenges but also lays the foundation for sustainable and inclusive growth in the long run.

This development-centric approach is not just a policy framework but a commitment to transforming India into the third-largest economy in the world by 2029, as stated by Union Minister Piyush Goyal. Currently a 3.5 trillion-dollar economy, India envisions reaching the 30-35 trillion-dollar mark by 2047, celebrating 100 years of independence. This ambitious goal reflects a holistic vision that encompasses economic prosperity, social welfare, and global leadership.

Financial markets indicate positive outlook

India’s financial markets tell a story of resilience and growth. In 2023, the blue-chip Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex recorded a remarkable 20% increase, making it their second-best year since 2017. Nifty surged by 3,600 points, reaching the 21,800 mark, while Sensex soared by 11,000 points, surpassing the 72,000 mark. These figures underline India’s positive outlook, with the country likely to boast the world’s fastest-growing economy in the face of global economic uncertainties.

This stellar performance in the financial markets is a witness to India’s economic fundamentals and the confidence of investors. The robust growth of the stock indexes reflects not only domestic economic strength but also positions India as an attractive investment destination on the global stage. With a population exceeding 1.4 billion people, India’s economic resilience is a crucial factor in stabilizing the global economy amid uncertainties.

PM Modi’s Infrastructure Bonanza: Viksit Bharat Campaign

Adding to the optimism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kickstarts the New Year 2024 with a grand inauguration and foundation stone-laying ceremony in Tamil Nadu for projects worth a staggering Rs 20,000 crore. This marks his initial visit to South India in the New Year, with plans to cover Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep, and Kerala over two days. The PM’s recent endeavours in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi, and Gujarat underscore a concerted effort towards infrastructure development.

The next two months are anticipated to witness a slew of infrastructure projects unveiled by PM Modi across the nation—a campaign of “Viksit Bharat” ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. This strategic move aligns with the government’s vision to boost economic development, create employment opportunities, and enhance connectivity across the country. The sectors in focus include roads and highways, aviation, railways, petroleum and natural gas, and telecom.

This ambitious initiative is poised to set the tone for the transformative year ahead. The “Viksit Bharat” campaign not only addresses immediate infrastructure needs but also positions India for sustained economic growth in the long term. The emphasis on diverse sectors reflects a comprehensive approach to development, ensuring that the benefits reach every corner of the nation.

India’s global influence and responsibilities

As India assumes the role of hosting the G20 summit for the first time, the nation is presented with a unique opportunity to shape global discussions and policies. This responsibility comes at a crucial juncture when the world is grappling with challenges ranging from the economic fallout of the pandemic to climate change and geopolitical tensions. India’s active participation and leadership in these discussions will not only solidify its position on the world stage but also contribute to finding sustainable solutions to global challenges.

The economic projections that place India ahead of traditional economic powerhouses like Japan and Germany underscore the nation’s potential to become a driving force in the global economy. As the world’s largest democracy, India’s success story resonates globally, offering a model for inclusive and sustainable development.

A year of promise, progress

As the world ushers in the New Year, India stands at the cusp of a defining era. A combination of political determination, economic resilience, and global influence positions the country as a beacon of progress. The positive indicators in financial markets, coupled with ambitious infrastructure projects and global leadership responsibilities, paint a vibrant picture of India’s resurgence in 2024—a year that promises to shape the destiny of the world’s largest democracy.

As India navigates through the challenges and opportunities of the coming year, the collective efforts of the government, businesses, and citizens will play a pivotal role in realizing the vision of a vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous nation. The echoes of India’s success are not confined within its borders but reverberate globally, offering inspiration and hope for a brighter future. The stage is set, and as the curtain rises on 2024, India prepares to take center stage in the narrative of global progress.

Ramakant ChaudharyRamakant Chaudhary is senior journalist and currently working with PRP Group as Content Head. He has worked in various editorial roles with Financial Express, Mint (Hindustan Times Group), The Times Of India, Jagran Post (Dainik Jagran Group), The Pioneer, and The Political and Business Daily. He writes on politics, government policy, economy, infrastructure, real estate, social issues, lifestyle, and health

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