India will become a $4 trillion economy before the upcoming general elections, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on January 3.

“…And in 2-2.5 years, the country will become a $5 trillion economy. India will have the third largest GDP in the world latest by 2027 as per every street estimate,” Goyal said while speaking at the inauguration of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Utsav in New Delhi.

General elections in India is likely to take place around April-May 2024.

Goyal’s comments align with Bibek Debroy’s, chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. Debroy, in an opinion piece for the Economic Times on December 31, said that “for the moment, $4 trillion in 2024 is a certainty.”

Back in November, unverified reports suggesting that India had become a $4 trillion economy was shared by a few leaders and ministers. However, data suggests that given the budgeted target of 10.5 percent for nominal GDP growth in FY24, India is aiming for a $3.7 trillion figure in the current fiscal.

The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook database for October 2023, which contains GDP projections of various countries up to 2028, forecasts that India’s GDP will be $4.95 trillion in 2026.

The $5 trillion figure is crucial since Narendra Modi after beginning his second term as the prime minister of India in 2019 had gave a clarion call for the country to achieve this target by 2024.

India continues to retain its position as the fastest growing major economy in the world. Data released by the National Statistical Office on November 30 showed that India’s real GDP had grown at a robust 7.6 percent in the second quarter, sharply higher than market expectations of 6.8 percent and the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) forecast of 6.5 percent.

GDP growth for the first half of 2023-24 stands at 7.7 percent, down from 9.5 percent in the first six months of 2022-23. Back in December, the RBI revised its forecast for India’s GDP growth, projecting a growth rate of 7 percent for FY24.

Speaking on India’s exports strategy, Goyal said, “Atmanirbhar Bharat does not mean India is anti-import. We will increase our exports and for that if we need to import certain products, we will do so.”

At the same event, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that in the era of globalisation, many societies are beginning to lose their identities. And, given that there is a danger of cheap, subsidised goods invading Indian markets, efforts should be made to instill pride in producers as well as consumers to not only Make in India, but also Buy in India what is Made in India.

According to latest available data, India’s merchandise exports were down 6.5 percent year-on-year in April-November, while imports contracted by 8.67 percent during the same period. The commerce ministry hopes that given the usual track record, exports should rise during the last quarter of the current fiscal.