In a short set of remarks that were marked by rambling references to Einstein and gravity, Goyal also controversially noted that it would be unwise to get into mathematical calculations, and that innovation would help the Narendra Modi government transform India into a $5 trillion economy.
“Don’t get into the calculations that you see on television saying ‘Oh if you are looking at a $5 trillion economy, the country will have to grow at 12% and today its [only] growing at 6%-7%,” the minister noted, after a ‘Board of Trade’ meeting in New Delhi on Thursday afternoon.
“Don’t get into those maths,” he added. “Those maths have never helped Einstein discover gravity.”
German-born physicist Albert Einstein, however, did not ‘discover’ gravity, although his work played a significant role in understanding its mechanics.
Nevertheless, Goyal continued with his analogy, implying that if Einstein had gone only by what was past knowledge, he may not have discovered gravity. The implication here is that India’s financial press should also not view Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $5 trillion economy goal through the lens of the current economic slowdown.
“If he [Einstein] had only gone by structured formulae and what was past knowledge, I don’t think there would have been any innovation in this world,” Goyal said.
The commerce minister also decried the outrage by the media over other contentious economic issues including the ‘angel tax’.
“Why do we get carried away by the media which has made a haoohah [brouhaha] about an angel tax? Maybe 2-3 people wrongly got a notice, that can be resolved. So I think let’s go with a spirit of confidence, a spirit of understanding, and a confidence that this government led by Prime Minister Modi resolves issues in real-time.”‘Mischievous and baseless’
In remarks made later in the day to news agency ANI
, Goyal said there was a “baseless narrative” being created about his comments.
“There is a very mischievous & baseless narrative sought to be presented about my closing comments at the board of trade meeting this morning,” he said.