India to overtake England next year as 5th largest economy: Jaitley

India is expected to overtake England by next year and will become the fifth largest economy in the world, Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.

‘This year, by sheer size, we have overtaken France. Next year, we expect to overtake the size of England’s economy and will become the 5th largest in the world,’ he told a gathering while inaugurating the new office complex of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) here.

Currently as the sixth largest economy, India has a GDP totalling 2.59 trillion dollars compared to the United Kingdom’s 2.62 trillion dollars, according to a World Bank report. The country’s economy grew at a seven-quarter high of 7.7 per cent in the three months ended March 2018, buoyed by higher government spending and investment.

Due to its sheer size and population numbers, the country can emerge among the top three economies in the world in the next decade or two, he added.

The Finance Minister said the function of the CCI is going to expand further as the size of the economy becomes larger.

On the role of CCI in a fast growing Indian economy, Mr Jaitley said, ‘India can already see the ripples of a consumption economy in India. The exponential growth taking place in several sectors will lead to large number of domestic and international players. That size of economy is going to expand and some will not comply with fair market regulation, indulge in cartelisation, have vertical or horizontal tie ups, abuse dominant position to impact prices or dilute competition.

“Therefore, the regulatory mechanism to regulate all the mergers and acquisitions would be required. These changes to be extremely large and the impact on markets is going to be very large.’

About the growth potential of eastern India amid the growth pattern pan-India, he said “Over the next 10-20 years, we still have a lot of avenues for pushing up our growth. India has seen growth more in the north, south and western parts of the country. The eastern side has to still grow faster. We are expecting to see growth there.”

The Commission was established on October 14, 2003 and became fully functional in May 2009. It is a statutory body of the Union Government and is responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 throughout the country.

The body aims to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.

Acting CCI chairperson Sudhir Mital and Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Sriniwas, Commission members, senior government officials and advocates attended the inauguration ceremony.

 

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