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India can add $700 billion to its economy if women workforce doubles: Amitabh Kant

Expressing optimism over growth of Indian economy, the NITI Aayog's chief executive officer Amitabh Kant said that if the women workforce increases to 48% from the 24% present, the country can add an additional $700 billion to its economy. He added that for this, attention should be on women's health and education. He also said that India can grow at a rate of 9% to 10% only if there is gender parity.

Elaborating further he said only 24% of the women in the country work, while the percentage is 48 across the world. In order to achieve this, men have to push women into employment. He 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.

Talking about challenges India faces to achieve growth, Kant said creation of a world-class infrastructure like in China is a challenge to India where there is a mismatch between demand and supply. He also said that the government should take up greenfield infrastructure projects on roads and airports and allow private sector for operations and maintenance.

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