Nilesh Shah, a veteran of the mutual fund industry and a part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM (EACPM), stated that India’s $5 trillion GDP target could have been achieved much earlier had it not been for the habit of importing gold. In the last 21 years, Indians have spent an astonishing $500 billion on gold imports alone.
Mr. Shah emphasized that despite being on track to achieve the PM’s target, India’s GDP growth and per capita GDP could have been significantly higher if the money traditionally invested in gold had been invested in Indian entrepreneurs like the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Wadias, and Adanis. He also highlighted the rampant smuggling of gold and how people bring back gold jewellery from destinations like Dubai without any issues at customs.
Furthermore, Mr. Shah pointed out that Indians have spent $375 billion on gold imports on a net basis in the last 21 years. He expressed concern about the negative impact of this habit on India’s economy and urged people to invest in other sectors like technology or infrastructure instead.
In conclusion, Mr. Shah emphasized that while India is working towards achieving its $5 trillion GDP target, it could have done so much earlier if it had not developed a habit of importing gold. He urged people to think beyond traditional investments and look at other opportunities for growth and development in India.