Govt has no business to be in business: PM on economic policy

Modi, who was speaking to news agency ANI, also highlighted foreign investments and the robust response to pro-business government schemes as indicators of the strength of the Indian economy and the direction where it was headed.
PM Narendra Modi during an interview with ANI. (ANI)
PM Narendra Modi during an interview with ANI. (ANI)
Published on Feb 10, 2022 12:35 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The government’s job is to care for the poor, ensure food, toilets, houses, and supply of clean drinking water, and has “no business to be in business”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday.

Modi, who was speaking to news agency ANI, also highlighted foreign investments and the robust response to pro-business government schemes as indicators of the strength of the Indian economy and the direction where it was headed.

“The government’s job is to care for the poor, to ensure food, toilets, houses, clean drinking water, drinking water, roads for people. The government’s job is to care for the poor if they are sick,” Modi said.

“The job of the government is to see how the produce of small farmers reaches markets. My priority is to provide all this. If somebody calls it Samajwad (socialist), it is acceptable to me,” he added, responding to questions about the economic principles of his Bharatiya Janata Party.

The BJP’s principal challenger in UP is the Samajwadi Party, which counts economic socialism as its mainstay principle. Modi attempted to draw a distinction between the two.

“If you listen to our economic principles since the days of Jana Sangh, we have faith in the people, on their capabilities and the government policies should give them opportunities. We are making such policies that they get the maximum opportunity. This is our view that government has no business to do business. How does it connect with socialism? This is against socialism,” he added.

“Why is it that India has the highest volumes of FDI, FII? Why is it that when the pandemic struck, countries dialled India for medicines? We have now even brought PLI (production linked incentive) schemes that have drawn very good response,” he added.

The Modi government recently executed the significant disinvestment of Air India, which was a major drain on the financial resources of the exchequer. The administration has lined up several other big ticket disinvestment plans, including by selling stake in the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India, although the move has been criticised by the opposition parties.

Countering the Prime Minister, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted: “Today’s king got the reins of a prosperous country with a fast growing economy and democratic values in 2014. He hurt democracy every day... His decisions damaged the country.”

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Tuesday, July 05, 2022