India can create $1T economic value using digital technology by 2025: NITI Aayog's Amitabh Kant
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Thursday said digital infrastructure had become indispensable to the functioning of society and India could create $1 trillion of economic value using digital technology by 2025.
Addressing a virtual event organised by industry body FICCI, Amitabh Kant said the COVID-19 pandemic had provided an impetus to the ever-expanding digital infrastructure.
"Digital infrastructure has become indispensable to the functioning of society... India can create $1 trillion of economic value using digital technology by 2025," he said.
He said digital infrastructure had emerged as more significant infrastructure as compared to traditional infrastructure necessities such as power and roads. This made it crucial for India to augment digital infrastructure to utilise frontier technology in economic development. .
Digital is the future, Kant said, adding that if India wanted to improve the social or health sectors, going digital was critical.
The NITI Aayog CEO pointed out that the global electronics market was estimated to be worth $2 trillion, and India's share in global electronics market had grown from 1.3 percent in 2012 to 3 percent in 2018.
"It is still considered to be miniscule. So, the government came up with the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the electronics industry," he said.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant
Rise in fintech
Amitabh Kant said it was critical for the industry to utilise those schemes and contribute to the overall ecosystem. Stating that India had been rising in the Global Innovation Index (GII), he said there was an immediate need to develop a local supply chain.
Earlier in July 2020, while speaking at the Global Fintech Fest organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), he said the number of Indians who transact digitally–through fintech platforms–will have a three-fold increase in three years to 300 million.
"If you see Google's recent investment in India is testimony to the opportunity in the country. The COVID-19 situation has spurred contactless payments across all segments. Today, you see small merchants and grocery stores owners accepting digital payments," Amitabh Kant said.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)