India’s $5 Trillion GDP Target Hindered by Gold Imports, Says PM’s Adviser
Mumbai: A member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic advisory team stated that India could have achieved the ambitious goal of a $5 trillion GDP much earlier if it hadn’t been for the habit of importing gold.
Nilesh Shah, a mutual fund industry veteran and part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM (EACPM), highlighted that over the past 21 years, Indians have spent approximately $500 billion on gold imports alone.
“We are working towards achieving the PM’s $5 trillion GDP target. But by avoiding this one habit, we would have become a $5 trillion economy long before. We have potentially lost one-third of India’s GDP by neglecting proper financial investments,” said Shah, the MD and CEO of Kotak Asset Management Company.
Referring to official data, Shah revealed that Indians have spent a net amount of $375 billion on gold imports in the past two decades. He also pointed out the frequent gold seizures by Customs, indicating widespread smuggling.
Furthermore, Shah noted that people often return from destinations like Dubai with gold jewelry and easily bypass the Green Channel at the port of entry.
“If the money spent on gold imports had been invested in our golden entrepreneurs like the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Wadia, and Adani, just imagine the impact on our GDP, growth, and per capita GDP,” he emphasized.
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