(Reuters) – India’s new government will use public and private investment to create jobs for the millions who enter the workforce every year and will make containing inflation its top priority, President Pranab Mukherjee told parliament on Monday.
Outlining Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic plan following his landslide election victory last month, Mukherjee said the government would introduce a general sales tax, encourage foreign investment and speed up approvals for major business projects. It would also tackle bottlenecks that have caused food prices to rise more quickly in India than in any other major economy.
Although Asia’s third-largest economy is in its longest slump for a quarter-century, consumer inflation has been stuck at an average of nearly 10 percent for the past two years and was one of the main issues that brought Modi to the helm of the world’s largest democracy.
Ten million people enter the workforce every year as the largest youth bulge the world has ever seen reaches working age. The demographic shift may help propel India into the league of developed nations, but risks causing economic and social disaster if it is not harnessed effectively.