prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India was already witnessing green shoots of economic recovery.
Delivering the inaugural address at India Global Week 2020, the PM said India, in this time of Covid-19 pandemic, is undertaking deep structural reforms and making the economy more investment friendly and competitive.
While the PM did not go into specifics on his statement about “green shoots of economic recovery”, he did seem to try allay apprehensions that India could turn more protectionist with his call for an ‘aatmanirbhar Bharat’, or self-reliant India.
Modi said India remained one of the most open economies and invited investments in India’s defence, space and agriculture sectors.
“Atmanirbhar Bharat is not about being self-contained or being closed to the world. It is about being self-sustaining and self-generating,” he said. Modi said ‘aatmanirbhar Bharat’, or self-reliant India, has the objective of merging domestic production and consumption with global supply chains.
The PM said India remains an open economy like few other countries in the world. “We are laying the red carpet for all global companies to come and establish their presence in India. Very few countries will offer the kind of opportunities India does today,” he said.
Modi also said that there are many possibilities and opportunities in various sunrise sectors in India. “Our reforms in agriculture provide a very attractive investment opportunity to invest in storage and logistics,” Modi said.
He spoke of reforms carried out in the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector. Modi said a booming MSME sector will also complement big industries.
The PM said the pandemic has shown that India’s pharmaceutical industry is an asset not just for India, but the entire world. He said Indian pharma companies are involved in global efforts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. Modi said he was certain India will have an important role in making and scaling up vaccine when it is discovered.
The PM said the story of global economic revival will have India playing a leading role. He said India’s contribution will be two pronged. Modi said, “India is ready to do whatever it can to further global good and prosperity. This is an India that is reforming, performing and transforming”.
Modi said Indian will contribute with their talented professionals, its doctors, nurses, bankers, lawyers, scientists, particularly its IT professionals and also its hard working labourers.
Second, he said India’s ability to reform and rejuvenate will help in global revival. Modi said Indian are natural reformers. History has shown that India has overcome every challenge, be it social or economic, and it has done it with a spirit of reform and rejuvenation, and the same spirit continues now, the PM said.
Modi said India is fighting a strong battle against the pandemic with an increased focus people’s health, but it is equally focused on the health of the economy. He said revival in India will take place with care and compassion, a revival that is sustainable both for the environment and economy
Listing the achievements of his government, Modi said India has made significant gains in the last six years in areas such as total financial inclusion of people, record housing and infrastructure construction, better ease of doing business, bold tax reforms, like the GST (goods and services tax) and the rollout of the world’s largest healthcare initiative, Ayushman Bharat. He said these steps will form the foundation for the next round of measures.
The PM spoke of welfare measures for the people that his government has undertaken during the pandemic, including distributing free cooking gas and free food grains. He said the benefits have directly reached beneficiaries. Modi also spoke of the MNREGS rural employment guarantee scheme helping rural economy and creating durable infrastructure.
The India Global Week 2020 is a three-day virtual conference being held from July 9 to July 11. The event, whose theme is ‘The Revival: India and a Better New World’, will have 5,000 global participants from 30 nations being addressed by 250 global speakers across 75 sessions.