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The country is with enterprise and wealth creators, says Modi
New Delhi, December 19, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country today was with enterprise and wealth creators who were giving opportunities to crores of youth with the Government continuing its efforts to build an efficient and friendly ecosystem.
Delivering the keynote address at the ASSOCHAM Foundation Week 2020 via video conferencing, the Prime Minister commended the business community for their contribution to nation-building.
"Now the industry has the freedom to touch the sky. They should take advantage of the situation, exert maximum strength in the coming years for a self-reliant India," he said.
On the occasion, he also presented the "ASSOCHAM Enterprise of the Century Award" to Ratan Tata, who received the award on behalf of the Tata Group.
He urged the industry to ensure that its benefits reach the last mile by initiating reforms at the workplace including the inclusion of more women and young talent, adopting the best practices of the world, corporate governance and profit-sharing.
Even during the pandemic, when the whole world found it difficult to attract investment, a record Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) have come to India as the world trusts the Indian economy now. He gave a call for the industry to increase the domestic investment drastically in line with the increased confidence of the world.
He lamented the poor investment in research & development by Indian industry, compared to the United States where 70% of the investment in R&D came from the private sector. He asked the Indian industry to increase their R&D investments especially in sectors like agriculture, defence, space, energy, construction, pharma and transport sector. In every sector, all the companies should earmark a certain amount for this purpose, he said.
He noted that the world was rapidly moving towards the fourth industrial revolution. Challenges will come in the form of new technology and many solutions will also emerge. Now was the time to plan and act. Business leaders should come together every year and connect every goal to the one larger goal of nation-building.
The coming 27 years, when India completes a century as an independent nation, will not only determine the country’s global role but test both the dreams and dedication of the people. This was the time to show the capability, commitment and courage of Indian Industry to the world. He stressed that not only achieving self-reliance but how soon the goal was achieved as important.
Modi said there was never so much positivity in the world about India's success. This positivity was due to the unprecedented confidence of over 130 crore Indians. Now, India was creating new avenues to move forward and forging ahead with new energy.
Reforms in the country have influenced in changing the sentiment of the industry from "Why India" to "Why not India" in investing, he added.
The new India, by relying on its strength, relying on its own resources, was pushing forward for AtmaNirbhar Bharat and special focus was on manufacturing to achieve this goal. Reforms were continuously being undertaken to promote manufacturing in India, Modi said.
“Today, as we are moving forward on the mission mode to make local a global one, we have to react quickly to every geopolitical development.” He added. He stressed the need to have an effective mechanism for meeting any sudden demand in the global supply chain. The need of the hour is to achieve better synergy between industry organizations such as ASSOCHAM with the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Commerce & Industry to achieve the goal.
He asked the industry for suggestions and ideas on how to react quickly to global transformations and how to have better mechanisms for faster response.
India was also capable of helping the world while meeting its needs. Even during the period of COVID-19, India took up the responsibility of being the pharmacy of the world, delivering essential medicines around the world. Now even in the case of vaccines, India will fulfil its needs and also meet the expectations of many other countries.
He urged Members of ASSOCHAM to provide a global platform for showcasing the products of rural artisans. He said this would help in bridging the rural-urban divide. He stressed the need for the Union Government to work together with State Governments, farm organizations and industry associations for better promotion of organic farm products, better infrastructure and better market.
The Prime Minister said at the beginning of the 21st century, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee aimed to connect India with the highways. Today, there was a special focus on the physical and digital infrastructure in the country.
“We are engaged in providing broadband connectivity to every village in the country so that the reach of the village farmer is also up to the digitally global markets.
"Every avenue associated with funding should be used to build better infrastructure including strengthening public sector banks, increasing the potential of bond markets, were efforts in that direction. Similarly, Sovereign Wealth Funds and Pension Funds are being tax-exempted, REITs and INVITs were being promoted and Infrastructure related assets being monetized," he said.
The Prime Minister said the Government could provide the necessary facilities, create the right environment, give incentives and change policies. But it was the industry partners who can convert this support into success, he added.