India will definitely get its growth back: Modi
New Delhi, June 2, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed confidence that India, whose economy had suffered a setback due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, would get its growth back soon, given the capabilities and talent of its people.
“Yes! We will definitely get our growth back," he said in his inaugural address to the 125th session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) through video conference.
The theme of this years annual conference is “Building India for a New World: Lives, livelihood, growth”.
The event is taking place against the background of a major slowdown of the Indian economy as a result of various factors, including the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdown imposed by the Government to contain the spread of the disease.
Modi said such online events and video conferences are becoming the new normal because of coronavirus. It also shows the biggest strength of human beings who find a way out of every difficulty, he 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 stabilize the economy and speed it up," he said.
Referring to the theme of the conference, the Prime Minister praised the industry for starting a discussion on "getting growth back".
He urged the industry to go beyond it and said that his trust in India's capabilities and crisis management, talent and technology, innovation and intellect, and its farmers, MSMEs and entrepreneurs made him confident that the country would get its growth back.
Modi said the coronavirus pandemic might have slowed down the speed of the economic growth but the biggest fact is that India had overtaken the lockdown phase and entered Unlock Phase One. He said that a large part of the economy had opened in Unlock Phase One and a lot more would open after June 8. "Getting Growth Back has started," he said.
According to him, when coronavirus was spreading in the world, India took the right steps at the right time.
“Today we get to know how widespread the effect of lockdown in India is, by comparing it with other countries. Re-strengthening the economy against corona is one of our highest priorities. For this, the government is taking the decisions that are required immediately and also those that are required in the long run," he added.
The Prime Minister went on to list the steps taken by the Government to help people during the crisis.
"Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana has helped a lot in providing immediate benefits to the poor. Ration has been delivered to about 74 crore beneficiaries under this scheme. Free ration is also being provided to migrant workers. Be it women, disabled persons, elderly, labourers, everyone has benefited from it. During the lockdown, the government has delivered more than 8 crore gas cylinders to the poor -- that too free. 50 lakh private employees have got the Government contribution of 24% of EPF amount in their bank accounts, which amounts to Rs. 800 crore," he said.
Modi said the five things most important to build an "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" (self-reliant India) and to bring the country back on the path of rapid development were: Intent, Inclusion, Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation.
"These are reflected in the bold decisions taken by the Government recently. Many sectors have been made ready for the future," he 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 means having the courage to take decisions, and taking them to a logical conclusion," he said.
He listed out the initiatives of the Government to make an encouraging ecosystem for the private enterprises like Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), bank mergers, GST and faceless IT assessment.
Modi said the Government was carrying out policy reforms about which the country had given up hope. He said that, in the agriculture sector, the rules and regulations made after independence had left the farmers in the hands of middlemen. After amendment in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, farmers now have the right to sell to anyone, in any state of the country.
He said labour reforms were being carried out to increase employment opportunities, keeping the welfare of the workers in mind. Non-strategic sectors, in which the private sectors were not allowed, have also been opened. Commercial mining is now allowed in the coal sector, he added.
“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," he told the industry.
The Prime Minister said the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector is like an economic engine of the country and contributes around 30% of the GDP. He said that a long time demand of the industry to update the definition of MSMEs has been fulfilled. This will enable MSMEs to grow without any worries and they will not have to follow other paths to retain the status of MSMEs. Global tenders have been scrapped in government procurement of up to Rs 200 crore to benefit crores of associates working in MSMEs of the country, he added.
Modi said the world's expectations from India had increased and they trust India more. India helped more than 150 countries with medical supplies, he added. The Prime Minister 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 has developed towards India.
He stressed that Getting Growth Back is not so difficult either. The biggest thing is that now Indian Industries have a clear path that is Aatmanirbhar Bharat. He clarified that Aatmanirbhar Bharat means that India will become stronger and embrace the world. Aatmanirbhar Bharat means to be fully integrated with the world economy and also supportive, he said.
The Prime Minister stressed the need to invest for the creation of a robust local supply chain that strengthens India's stake in the global supply chain. He urged institutions like CII to come forward in a new role post-coronavirus to make India self reliant. He stressed the need to have products made in the country, 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 Equipments - PPEs industry worth hundreds of crores within 3 months.
He urged the industry to take full advantage of opening up investment and partnership with farmers in the rural economy. Now necessary infrastructure is being prepared for clusters of local agro products near the villages. He said that the government considers the private sector as a partner for the country's development journey. He promised them that every need of the industry related to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan will 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.