Budget 2019: Those criticising Centre's $5T economy target are 'professional pessimists', says PM Narendra Modi

In Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses confidence that as a nation, and with ‘collective efforts’, India can become a $5 trillion economy in the next five years. New India, he says, is ‘ready to sprint’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday dismissed as “professional pessimists” the critics of the Centre's target to achieve a $5 trillion economy within the next five years and asserted that the “new India” was on the threshold of sprinting forward.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India can be a $5 trillion economy in the next five years.

Modi was addressing a gathering in his Lok Sabha constituency, after launching the BJP's membership drive on the occasion of the 118th birth anniversary of party ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee.

“I am fully confident that as a nation, with our collective efforts, in the next five years we will definitely reach the destination of $5 trillion economy. But, some people are questioning the need for this (goal) and asking why all this is being done,” Modi said.

“These are people we can call pesheywar nirashawadi (professional pessimists). These professional pessimists are totally different from common people. If you approach a common man with a problem, he will offer you a solution. But if you go to these people with a solution, they will convert it into a problem," he said a day after presentation of the Union Budget 2019-20.

“It is important to know about the $5 trillion economy because some people are casting doubts over the competency of Indians, saying achieving the target is very difficult," he said in his hour-long speech.

Call for transformation

Referring to the budgetary provisions, Modi said a "new India" was on the threshold of sprinting forward and recited a few couplets in Hindi, which conveyed that the challenges before one also offer immense opportunities to surmount them and everyone's contribution in the development the country will be a true gift to Mother India.

The prime minister also said, "The rich and the poor are the arms of the new India. This is the call of a transforming country. The nation has moved ahead in the past too, but now new India is ready to sprint."

"People have the power to turn the impossible into possible. Try to remember, there was a time when the country used to reel under the problem of foodgrain. The country had to import foodgrain. But, at that time (Lal Bahadur) Shastriji gave the clarion call of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, and the farmers filled the storehouses of the country with foodgrain."

He also recited a Sanskrit couplet that said that hard work eventually leads to success, and not merely the wish to do so, as “a deer does not enter the mouth of a lion on its own”.

“The country moves ahead on achieving targets. The need is willpower to achieve that target,” Modi said, adding the strength of BJP has been its simplicity and virtue.

Incrementalism sans vision: Tharoor

Meanwhile, in Chennai, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Saturday said the Union Budget 2019-20 reflects "incrementalism sans vision" and the government's aspiration to push the economy to the $5 trillion mark does not have any roadmap.

“I think there is a fundamental problem. It reflects the same incrementalism, there is no bold idea, no vision, it mentions aspirational numbers like $5 trillion economy without any roadmap of how to get that,” Tharoor said.


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