Nilesh Shah, a part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM (EACPM), has stated that if India were not for the habit of importing gold, it could have achieved Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $5 trillion GDP target “long before”. In the last 21 years, Indians have spent around $500 billion on gold imports alone.
Mr. Shah emphasized that despite official data suggesting that Indians spent $375 billion on gold imports on a net basis in the last 21 years, he also highlighted the rampant smuggling of gold, as evidenced by Customs’ gold seizures on a regular basis. Furthermore, he noted that people often come back with gold jewellery from destinations like Dubai and successfully walk out of the Green Channel at the port of landing.
According to Mr. Shah, if the money traditionally invested in gold had been invested in Indian entrepreneurs like the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Wadia, and Adani, India’s GDP growth and per capita GDP could have been significantly higher. He believes that this would have led to a much earlier achievement of the $5 trillion GDP target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.