Nilesh Shah, a part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM (EACPM), stated that India could have achieved Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $5 trillion GDP target “long before” if it were not for the habit of importing gold. Mr. Shah voiced that the nation is working towards achieving the PM’s $5 trillion GDP target. However, had the habit of importing gold not been prevalent, we would have become a $5 trillion economy much earlier.
According to official data cited by Mr. Shah, Indians have spent around $500 billion on gold imports alone in the last 21 years. He also mentioned the rampant smuggling of gold, evidenced by Customs’ gold seizures on a regular basis. Additionally, Mr. Shah noted that people come back with gold jewellery from destinations like Dubai and successfully walk out of the Green Channel at the port of landing, which he emphasized is a significant hindrance to India’s economic growth and development.
Mr. Shah further stated that if the money traditionally invested in gold had been invested in Indian entrepreneurs like the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Wadia, and Adani, the country’s GDP, growth, and per capita GDP could have been significantly higher. Therefore, Mr. Shah urged Indians to reconsider their investment habits and invest in Indian entrepreneurs for a better economic future.