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Doubling women workforce can drive GDP up: NITI Aayog CEO

The country would be adding an additional $700 billion to its economy if its share of the women workforce increases to 48 per cent from the present 24 per cent, chief executive officer of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant said on Thursday.

For this, attention should be on women’s health and education, Kant said while delivering his speech during the 7th N J Yasaswy Memorial Lecture at ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education.

Yasaswy was a finance and investment writer and a founding member of ICFAI University.

“Nation can grow at a rate of 9 per cent to 10 per cent only if there is gender parity,” he said.

Only 24 per cent of the women in the country work, while the percentage is 48 across the world. To achieve this, men have to push women into employment, Kant said.

There is a need to create jobs for women for which their education and nutrition, especially in rural areas and eastern parts of the country, were imperative, he said.

Creation of a world-class infrastructure like in China is a challenge to India where there is a mismatch between demand and supply, Kant said while touching upon challenges India faces to achieve growth.

The government should take up greenfield infrastructure projects on roads and airports and allow private sector for operations and maintenance, he said.

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