New Delhi: High growth of 8-9 percent could be driven by focus on manufacturing and urbanisation, G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said on Wednesday. About 5,500 census towns need to have master planning, and sustainable urbanisation is the way forward, which is a huge opportunity to drive growth in India, he said speaking at an event for release of report titled 'The Rise of India's Middle Class'.
The bulging middle class holds immense power to drive sustained economic, political and social growth in India, he said.
As the number of middle class rises, he said, this will drive demand for quality healthcare, education, housing, consumer goods and many other things.
The government increasingly will have to focus on education and health as well as creating job opportunities.The vision of India becoming a fully developed country by 2047 really implies that the middle class needs to be the key driver of India's growth story, he said.
"Rise of the Indian middle class is also indicative of economic transformation that the country has undergone over the decades. Since the 1991 reforms, millions have been propelled into the middle class. Technological advancements and sustained growth have also led to a growing and expanding middle class," he said.
Talking about challenges Kant said, the southern part of India is growing and urbanising rapidly while the eastern part of India needs to do a lot of catching up because it's the most populous part of the country.Therefore, there is a need to ensure that there is a regional balance in growth.
If India has to achieve sustained growth over a long period of time, he said, India has to fire on all cylinders."It can't be that you only depend on services sector that some economists are saying. If you have to grow jobs then you need to fire on all cylinders, you need to grow in services, you need to grow even more in manufacturing, you need to grow your food and you have to enhance your agricultural productivity, and you need to grow rapidly in urbanisation," he added.