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With an aim to foster dialogue amongst Indian students regarding societal, cultural, economic, and political issues revolutionizing the fast-changing Indian landscape, the Harvard US-India Initiative (HUII) hosted its annual India Conference in Mumbai which was held between January 3 and 4, 2020. This event brought together prominent keynote speakers and panellists to attend the conference, the theme of which was “India 2020: The Path Ahead.” 

Several speakers hailed from a wide range of backgrounds, such as politics, media, law, activism, Bollywood, academia, the arts, technology, and humanitarianism. One of the prominent keynotes delivered on the first day of the event was by Subramanian Swamy who offered his remarks on the current scenario in India. 

While speaking on the current health of the country's economy, Former Union Law Minister Subramanian Swamy, being his witty best, suggested that the path of Indian being strong financially is divided into phases. The first phase includes making him the Finance Minister, to which the audience burst out laughing. 

On a serious note, he suggested "reducing the rate of interests for bank loans, giving impetus to small industries". He said that he doesn’t believe in the concept of fiscal deficit and stated that there should be more notes printed.

While answering the queries from the audience, Swamy said, “I have always suggested the centre to abolish Income Tax as the rich get away with it after their CA finds a loophole and the poor don’t pay it. The burden of Income Tax falls on the middle class. There should be changes in our taxation policies. Income tax is total harassment.” 

The senior BJP leader took a toll on his government and said that his party have had an incompetent policy while stating that a change in policy which incentivises people much more is necessary. 

India is sitting at an inflexion point, at a cusp. Either we can go down or really up. Economically, it is all within reach. But we have had an incompetent policy. A little change in policy will make us go on the path of 10 per cent GDP growth," said Swamy.

In the recent wake of CAA and NRC protests, Swamy stated, “We may have disappointed the minority community but I can say that 50 per cent of the population has supported us. ” 

After several questions being raised on India’s GDP growth, he said, We are now at an inflexion point and from this point, a single policy can result is in going really high or the rock bottom. There will be certain policies formulated that will create drastic change. However, I certainly believe that India will overtake China by 2030 and will be a challenge for the US. India really needs to learn from the US about the healthy risk-taking attitude which will help us a lot in the long run.” 

Being his candid best, Swami acknowledged that the current government has done some mistakes, “the problem with my government is that we did not estimate the demand and supply side appropriately. We overestimated the demand which has caused many problems and therefore our focus is now on the supply side. Another major issue is that the economists are too scared to speak and the politics don’t know economics. There needs to be a perfect amalgamation of the two.”

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