India's prime minister Narendra Modi Photograph:( PTI )
The economic package under this self-reliant India initiative, which was announced in the aftermath of the coronavirus shock, has supported the Indian economy and mitigated significant downside risks
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for an "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" (self-reliant India) is an important initiative, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday.
"The economic package under this self-reliant India initiative, which was announced in the aftermath of the coronavirus shock, has supported the Indian economy and mitigated significant downside risks, so we do see that initiative as having been important," Gerry Rice, Director, Communications Department, IMF, told reporters at his fortnightly news conference here.
Looking ahead, as the prime minister has said, for India to play a more important part in the global economy, pursuing policies that stimulate by improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the economy is critical, he said, responding to a question on Modi's call for an "Aatmanirbhar Bharat".
"To achieve the stated 'Make For The World' goal in India, the priority is to remain focussed on policies that can help further integrate India in the global value chain, including through trade, investment and technology," Rice said.
Responding to another question, he said the IMF's joint study with the NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Finance shows that to achieve a high performance in health-related sustainable development goals, India would need to gradually increase its total spending in the healthcare sector from the current 3.7 per cent of the GDP.
"More generally, beyond the health sector, comprehensive structural reforms are needed to achieve more inclusive and sustainable medium-term growth.
"We have talked about those reforms before -- infrastructure, land reforms, product market and labour market reforms, increasing female labour force participation, access to finance and better jobs," Rice said.