New Delhi, July 9
Wooing global companies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his government’s self-reliant India campaign is not about being closed to the world and Asia’s third-largest economy continues to be one of the most open in the world that offers investment-friendly and competitive business environment.
Speaking at the India Global Week 2020, he said Aatmanirbhar Bharat, or self-reliant India, is “not about being self-contained or being closed to the world.”
“It is about being self-sustaining and self-generating. We will pursue policies that promote efficiency, equity and resilience,” he said.
In response to the biggest economic crisis since 1979 triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown – one of the harshest in the world, the government announced a Rs 20.97 lakh crore fiscal relief package that encompassed free ration and cash to poor and structural reforms with a call to boost domestic capabilities so as to cut imports.
“India remains one of the most open economies in the world. We are laying a 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,” Modi said in his address through video link.
Sectors such as agriculture, defence, and space have been opened up for investments.
“We are making the economy more productive, investment-friendly and competitive,” he said citing deep structural reforms undertaken during the pandemic.
With reforms and calibrated opening of the economy, green shoots of revival are already visible. “In India, we are already seeing green-shoots when it comes to economic recovery,” he said.
While the COVID relief package used technology to deliver benefits directly to needy, the government launched one of the world’s largest public works programmes to provide employment to millions of workers as soon as lockdown restrictions were eased.
“This will not only re-energise the rural economy but also help in creation of a durable infrastructure in the rural areas,” he said.
He cited reforms in micro, small and medium enterprises as well as relaxation of foreign investment norms in the defence sector and opening up of commercial space technology for private investment.
“There are investment opportunities in the defence sector. With relaxed FDI norms, one of the world’s biggest militaries invites you to come and make products for it,” he said. “Now, there are more opportunities for private investment in the space sector.”
Also, reforms in agriculture provide a very attractive investment opportunity to invest in storage and logistics.
“We are opening the doors to investors to come and invest directly in the hard work of our farmers,” he said. “There are many possibilities and opportunities in various sunrise sectors in India.”
Modi said it was natural to link global economic revival with India, as “there is faith that the story of global revival will have India playing a leading role.”
The combination of talent and the country’s ability to reform and rejuvenate are factors for this thought.
“Indians are natural reformers! History has shown that India has overcome every challenge, be it social or economical. India has done so with a spirit of reform and rejuvenation. The same spirit continues now,” he said adding the country talks of revival that is caring, compassionate, and sustainable.
The Prime Minister cited reforms of the past six years including the rollout of GST to state that the gains from them have set the foundations for the next round of development initiatives.
The pandemic, he said, has once again shown that India’s pharma industry is an asset not just for India but for the entire world.
“It has played a leading role in reducing the cost of medicines, especially for developing countries. Vaccines made in India are responsible for two-thirds of the vaccination needs of the world’s children,” he said adding Indian companies are active in the international efforts for development and production of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I am certain that India will have an important role in developing and in scaling-up production of the vaccine once it is discovered,” he said.
India, he said, is ready to do whatever it can to further global good and prosperity.
“This is an India that is reforming, performing, and transforming. This is an India that offers new economic opportunities. This is an India that is adopting a human-centric and inclusive approach to development,” he said. “India awaits you all.” PTI
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