India is on track to surpass Britain next year to become the fifth largest economy in the world and to emerge among the "big three" global economies by 2040, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.
He said that while India’s per capita income may still be modest, but the size of the economy was very large and growing at a fast pace.
"This year, in shear size, we have overtaken France. Next year, we’re likely to overtake Britain. And therefore we will be the fifth largest (economy in the world)," Jaitley said at the inauguration of the new building of Competition Commission of India.
The Minister said that other economies in the world were growing at a rate much slower than India’s.
"It won’t take a very long time to overtake those economies which are growing at 1 to 1.5 per cent if we grow at 7 to 8 per cent on an average. And if you look at 2030 or 2040, we are unquestionably going to be – as world projections are – among the big three in size," he said.
Jaitley added that India still had a lot of avenues for pushing up growth over the next 10 to 20 years.
"For instance, growth is more in the north, south and the western parts of the country. The eastern side still has to grow faster. That’s an area where we will see growth. Women employment is an area where we will see their contribution coming into the growth process."
The Minister added that as the market and the economic activity expand, the role of the Competition Commission of India would also expand.
"Our population is large, our consumer base is large, the size of the economy and its potential is going to be large, and hence the market is also going to be very large. And if the market is large, we will certainly have aberrations in the market, and therefore the need for you to step in is also going to be there," he said.
"So over the next 10 to 20 years, your role is going to expand.">