Nilesh Shah, a part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM (EACPM) and a mutual fund industry veteran, has stated that if it weren’t for the habit of importing gold, India could have achieved Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $5 trillion GDP target “long before”. According to Mr. Shah, in the last 21 years, Indians have spent around $500 billion on gold imports alone.
India is currently working towards achieving its $5 trillion GDP target. However, Mr. Shah believes that had the practice of importing gold not been prevalent in our country, we would have become a $5 trillion economy much earlier. He pointed out that according to official data cited by him, Indians have spent $375 billion on gold imports on a net basis in the last 21 years.
Mr. Shah also mentioned the rampant smuggling of gold evidenced by Customs’ regular gold seizures. He emphasized 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 said is another way Indians are spending money on this precious metal instead of investing it in Indian entrepreneurs like the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Wadia, and Adani.
If Mr. Shah’s words hold true, then investing money traditionally into gold could have significantly boosted India’s GDP growth and per capita GDP if it were put into Indian entrepreneurs who could create jobs and drive economic growth in our country.