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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed confidence that India would get its growth back shortly.
“Yes! We will definitely get our growth back,” he said in his video address at the industry chamber, Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII’s) 125th Annual Session. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Building India for a New World: Lives, Livelihood, Growth.’
The Prime Minister said that his trust in India’s capabilities and crisis management, in talent and technology, in its innovation and intellect, and in the farmers, MSMEs and entrepreneurs made him confident about growth returning in the economy.
Prime Minister listed five things which were very important to build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, or a self-reliant India, and to bring the country back on the path of rapid development, viz. Intent, Inclusion, Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation. These five I’s reflected in the bold decisions taken by the government recently, he added. He also said that many sectors had been made future ready.
The Prime Minister said, “On the one hand, we have to take strict steps to fight this virus and save the lives of the countrymen and on the other hand we have to stabilise the economy and speed it up.”
The Prime Minister said that though corona may have slowed down the pace of economic growth, but India has overtaken the lockdown phase and entered in the un-lock phase-1. A large part of economy has opened in un-lock phase-1. A lot would open after June 8. The process of getting the growth back had, therefore, commenced.
The Prime Minister emphasised that when coronavirus was spreading in the world, India took the right steps at the right time. He said “Today we get to know how widespread the effect of lockdown in India is, by comparing it with other countries.” He said “Re-strengthening the economy against corona is one of our highest priorities.” For this, the government was taking the decisions that were required immediately and also those that are required in the long-term, he added.
The Prime Minister listed the steps taken by the government in helping people during this crisis situation. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) had helped a lot in providing immediate benefits to the poor. Ration was delivered to about 740 million beneficiaries under this scheme. Free ration was also being provided to migrant workers. Be it women, disabled persons, elderly, laborers, everyone had benefited from it. During the lockdown, the government has delivered more than 80 million gas cylinders to the poor foro free. Further, 5 million private employees had received the government contribution of 24 per cent of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) amount in their bank accounts, which amounted to Rs 8 billion.
The PM said, “For us reforms are not any random or scattered decisions. For us reforms are systemic, planned, integrated, inter-connected and futuristic processes. For us, reforms mean having the courage to take decisions, and taking them to a logical conclusion.” He listed out the initiatives of the government to make an encouraging ecosystem for the private enterprises like Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), bank merger, GST and faceless IT assessment.
The Prime Minister further said that the government had also undertaken such policy reforms that the country had given up its hope on. In the agriculture sector, the rules and regulations made after independence, left the farmers in the hands of middlemen. The recent amendment in Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, gave farmers the right to sell to anyone, in any state of the country.
The Prime Minister said that labour reforms were being done to increase employment opportunities, keeping the welfare of our workers in mind. Non-strategic sectors in which the private sector was not allowed, have also been opened. Commercial mining was now allowed in the coal sector, he added. The Prime Minister said, “In the direction the government is moving, be it our mining sector, energy sector, or research and technology, industry will also get opportunities in every field, and new opportunities will also open for youths. Going beyond all this, now the participation of private players in the strategic sectors of the country is also becoming a reality. Whether you want to invest in the space sector or want to explore new opportunities in atomic energy, the possibilities are completely open for you.”
The Prime Minister said the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector was like an economic engine of our country and contributed around 30 per cent of the GDP. He said that a long-time demand of the industry to update the definition of MSMEs was fulfilled. Global tenders were scrapped in government procurement of up to Rs 2 billion to benefit millions of associates working in MSMEs of the country, he added.
The Prime Minister said the world trusted India more. India had helped more than 150 countries with medical supplies, he added. He said that the world is looking for a trusted, reliable partner. In India, there is a potential, strength and ability. He urged the industry to take full advantage of the trust that had developed towards India.
He stressed that getting growth back in the economy was not difficult. The programme of Atmanirbhar Bharat had made the path of the Indian industry clear. He clarified that Aatmanirbhar Bharat meant that India would become stronger and embrace the world. Aatmanirbhar Bharat meant to be fully integrated with the world economy and also support it.
The Prime Minister stressed on the need to invest in the creation of a robust local supply chain that strengthened India’s stake in the global supply chain. He gave a call for big institutions like CII to come forward in a new role post-corona to make India self-reliant. He stressed on the need to have products made in the country but made for the world. He urged the industry to set targets to increase productivity in all sectors. He praised the industry for having created personal protective equipment (PPE) industry worth millions within three months.
The Prime Minister urged the industry to take full advantage of opening up investment and partnership with farmers in the rural economy with necessary infrastructure being prepared for clusters of local agro products near the village. He said that the government considered the private sector as a partner in the country’s development journey. He promised that every need of the industry related to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan would be taken care of. He asked the industry to pledge to make the country self-sufficient and put their full strength to fulfill this resolve.