INCHEON: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday underlined the need for focussing on four Is — infrastructure, investment, innovation and inclusivity — to achieve sustainable growth in the long-term. The global economy in the past few years has faced trials and tribulations, she said, adding countries have made efforts to protect the vulnerable section of the society at the cost of higher government borrowing.
Speaking at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Governor’s seminar on ‘Policies to Support Asia’s Rebound’, Sitharaman stressed that there is also a need to involve the private sector to step up investment and innovation.
Elaborating on the four Is, the Minister said investment is essential to spur infrastructure development, which has a potential to generate jobs.
The third I is for innovation, she said adding innovative solutions from startups are required to deal with issues facing the countries.
Unless you have innovative thoughts to address your local problems, and encourage your local youth to come up with solutions, you would end up spending more for solutions which may not be right, she said.
“The fourth I is for Inclusivity,” she said, adding unless all the people are included in the development process, there could be conflict in the society.
“So 4Is for the long-term and in which private sector involvement, not just public sector investment, (is essential). India in the last 3-4 years has spent trillions on infrastructure development,” she said.
The Minister further said that there was a need to focus on labour intensive industries and provide skill development.
“Industries are re-setting themselves in the Web 3.0 era. Governments, together with industry, will have to bring in the skill sets required for a technology-driven society,” she said.
Sitharaman said there should be a conscious effort to move to capital expenditure from revenue expenditure. Capital expenditure helps to create assets and creates a multiplier effect in the economy. It benefits the labour & semi-skilled workers.
Pitching for global coordination, Sithraman said, the world is not decoupled so anything happening anywhere does have an impact on every country.
She further said that under the G20 Presidency, India is trying to talk to every country so that nations come together to give solutions to the problems facing the world. PTI DP JD CS DRR
The PTI correspondent is in South Korea on invitation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).