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Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan has appealed to every citizen of the country to contribute in the making of a prosperous and self-reliant India.
Stating that India was on the way to becoming a role model for emerging economies, he said, “Our focus is on serving the last man in the society and truly achieve the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. India is rich in natural resources, has a demographic dividend, widespread availability of ports that offer a conducive ecosystem to businesses and industries. We are working to build an India of the 21st century that can fulfill its requirements and also of the world.”
Pradhan made these observations at a web conference on ‘Building Atmanirbhar Bharat’ by the industry chamber PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on Wednesday evening, where he provided a perspective on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of #AatmanirbharBharat and its role in transforming India into a global manufacturing hub that was not only capable of catering to own requirements but also of the world. Pradhan was addressing the 115th annual session of the industry chamber based in the national capital.
Pradhan said that from the swadeshi movement and the Dandi March by Mahatma Gandhi to the clarion call of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the philosophy of ‘aatmanirbharta’ or self-reliance had been the constant driving force behind building a more resilient and self-reliant India. He said that the coronavirus crisis had not dampened the spirit of the country and the economy was on the path of recovery. The GST collections last month were 4 per cent more than for the corresponding period last year, the Railways’ freight collection had also increased 15 per cent and exports were up 5 per cent. The sale of petrol and diesel had also reached normal levels.
The minister said that the Central Government was working to make India a manufacturing hub, and also move towards a knowledge-based economy. He reiterated that the government had no business to be in the business should instead focus only on people’s welfare. With that objective, he said, the government had taken initiatives for ensuring the ease of doing business, adopted transparent procedures, eliminated corruption and extended respect to wealth creators.
Talking about the initiatives in the petroleum and natural gas sector, he said that liquified petroleum gas (LPG) connections had reached 95 per cent of the population, including over 80 million poor families. The Bharat Stage (BS)-VI standard fuels had been introduced this April. Energy justice was being ensured. The minister pointed out that the steel sector had also been contributing to provide a major export push.
India’s Energy Sector Has Exhibited Resilience
Earlier, in his welcome address, Sanjay Aggarwal, Senior Vice President, PHDCCI, mentioned that India’s energy sector had shown the highest resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with supplies holding up admirably, despite the global turmoil in financial and commodity markets.
Aggarwal added that there was a need to make the auction of commercial mines faster and efficient, ensuring provision of hassle-free disbursements of loans vis-à-vis enhanced liquidity, setting up of single one window facility to give clearance for all requisite permissions, reducing the cost of doing business, among others to boost the overall competitiveness of the steel and mining industry.
Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHDCCI, thanked Pradhan for providing his valuable insights to strengthen India’s manufacturing capabilities and to bring in economies of scale to reduce the dependency on imports and emerge as a prominent global manufacturing hub.
Multani said that despite the pressing COVID-19 challenges, India was poised to emerge as one of the primary drivers of growth in the oil & gas sector in Asia owing to a combination of the government’s consistent reforms agenda as well as fast-developing pipeline infrastructure.
The session also witnessed the launch of the ‘Annual Report 2019-20’ of the PHDCCI.