‘Not random, aimed at self-reliant India’: PM Modi on policy announcements
The government’s policy announcements are not “random”, underscored Prime Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, adding that they will help create a self-reliant India that aims to cater to the world’s economy. The PM also put his faith in the country’s entrepreneurship for “definitely” getting the growth back.
Addressing a conference on ‘Getting Growth Back’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at its 125th anniversary, he said he would go beyond the theme to say, “Yes ! We will definitely get our growth back.”
“Some of you may think in this time of crisis how could I say this with such confidence? There are many reasons for this confidence. I’ve confidence in India’s capabilities and crisis management. I’ve confidence in India’s talent and technology. I’ve confidence in India’s innovation and intellect. I’ve confidence in India’s farmers, MSMEs and entrepreneurs,” he said in Hindi through a virtual address.
The Covid-19 pandemic has battered the global economy and India is not an exception. According to official data released on Friday, the Indian economy grew by 3.1% in the first three months this year and 4.2% in the financial year 2019-20. Prolonged nationwide lockdown is expected to dent the economy further in this financial year.
The PM said Covid-19 has slowed India’s growth, but the biggest truth is that India has left behind the lockdown and has entered into the “un-lock phase one” and a major part of the economy has restarted.
“Today we are able to do this because when Coronavirus was spreading globally, India took the right steps at the right time. When we compare ourselves with other countries, we come to know about the effectiveness of the lockdown in India,” he said.
One of the “highest priorities” of the government, the PM added, is to strengthen the economy again. “For this, the government is taking decisions required to be taken immediately. And simultaneously, such decisions have also been taken that would help the country in the long run,” he said.
Modi was referring to the Rs 20.97 lakh crore economic stimulus package announced between March 26 and May 17 that included free foodgrains and direct cash benefits to the poor, credit guarantee schemes for the industry, monetary measures by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and wide-ranging policy reforms.
“The Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) helped in giving immediate relief to the poor. Under this scheme, ration has been provided to 74 crore beneficiaries. Free ration is also being supplied to the migrant labourers,” he said. The package helped the poor and 80 million of them got a free cooking gas cylinder under the scheme, he added. The PMGKY was the first response to Covid-19 that was announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 26.
The entire package is a combination of providing relief to the underprivileged section of the society and restoration of the economy along with policy reforms, Modi said.
“For us reform is not a random or scattered decision. For us, reform is a systematic, planned, integrated, inter-connected and futuristic process. For us, reform means dare to take decisions and take them to the logical conclusion,” he said.
On the things necessary to take India on a higher growth trajectory, the PM spotlighted five things: intent, inclusion, investment, infrastructure and innovation. “You can get a glimpse of them also in the bold decisions taken recently,” he said.
The PM was referring to the recent decision of giving full freedom to the farmer to sell produce without involving the middleman. He said that labour laws are being reformed to create more job opportunities and private sector participation has been allowed in strategic sectors such as space and nuclear energy.
The path of growth is self-reliance and the world has great expectations from India, said Modi. “India has potential, strength and ability. “All of you should, India’s industry should take full advantage of the trust the world has for India,” he said.
“Getting growth back is not that difficult. And, above all, Indian industries have a clear path, which is the path of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India),” he said.