Lauding “big, bold” moves by the government, telecom czar and Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal today said the challenge going forward is to ensure India that has opened its economy in the “most dramatic” way now “asks for rightful movement of people”. “My expectation for the next 2.5 years would be really in the area of people, ensuring the advantage we have on demographic side, the young population…,” Mittal said at Media India Economic Conclave (IEC) here. Mittal further said: “I look forward to this government in ensuring that as we open our country to the rest of the world, which we have opened in a dramatic manner… we need to ask for a rightful movement of people from India.” The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) chairman noted that some countries are already raising a red flag on visas and cross-border movement of people. “Wherever the finance minister goes and he is on to many bilateral and multilateral forums and so is Nirmala Sitharaman, I think a major ask for India by this government in the next 2.5 years has to be how do we use our people not only for India, but for the globe,” he said. Mittal stressed that India’s policymakers will also need to ensure enough jobs are created while economy grows at a reasonable pace. “… the growth that is coming through — small globally and it is reasonably good in India — is a jobless growth. That to my mind is a cause of worry for political leadership as to how you ensure that while we are growing at a reasonable clip… we are generating enough jobs for the country and a country as young as India,” he said. Noting that the markets are “shrinking” globally and that WTO has cut its 2016 global (trade) growth estimates, he held that in spite of this, India is doing “extremely well”. “… the world is coming to India, FDI is rising, but our aspirations are rising (too). So, we have to find our aspirations within a smaller global growth rate,” he pointed out. He noted that the fierce noise around demonetisation has a positive spin, given the push for digitisation of Indian economy. Taking a dig at the previous government, Mittal said the period of uncertainty is over and the situation has changed “dramatically”.
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