Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged India Inc to increase investment in tandem with the government’s decision to raise capital expenditure (capex) and take advantage of the opportunities unveiled in the Budget 2023-24.
Addressing the 10th webinar on the Budget, Modi said the government has increased the outlay on capital expenditure to Rs 10 lakh crore, the highest ever.
He further said that India is described as a bright spot in the global economy and the country has attracted the highest FDI in 2021-22, with a major part going into the manufacturing sector.
“I would also call upon the private sector to increase their investment, just like the government, so that the country gets maximum benefit from it,” he said while talking about the key proposals of the Budget.
He stressed that applications were pouring in to avail of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, which makes India an important part of the global supply chain.
On tax-related post-Budget narratives, the Prime Minister said as opposed to the past, the tax burden has come down significantly due to GST, and reduction in income tax and corporate tax.
This had resulted in better tax collection as the gross tax revenue was about Rs 11 lakh crore in FY14, which could rise 200 per cent to Rs 33 lakh crore in 2023-24.
The number of individual tax returns filed has increased to 6.5 crore in 2020-21 from 3.5 crore in 2013-14, he said.
“Paying tax is directly related to nation-building. The increase in the tax base is proof that people have faith in the government, and they believe that the tax paid is being spent for public good,” he said.
He said the Amrit Kaal Budget had laid the roadmap of an all-inclusive financial sector for India’s growth and India is moving with new capabilities, the responsibility of those in the financial world of India has increased.
The banking sector was operating in a robust global financial system and a banking system that is in profit after being on the verge of collapse 8-10 years ago.
The government is taking policy decisions with courage, clarity and confidence.
“Today, the need of the hour is that the benefits of the strength in India’s banking system should reach the maximum number of people,” he said.
Giving an example of the government’s support to the MSME sector, the Prime Minister asked the banking system to reach out to the maximum number of sectors.
“1 crore 20 lakh MSMEs have received huge help from the government during the pandemic. In this year’s Budget, the MSME sector has also got additional collateral-free guaranteed credit of 2 lakh crores. Now, it is very important that our banks reach out to them and provide them adequate finance,” he said.
Modi pointed out that the government’s policies related to financial inclusion have made crores of people part of the formal financial system.
The government has helped fulfill the dreams of crores of youth by giving Mudra loans of more than Rs 20 lakh crore without a bank guarantee, he said.
For the first time, more than 40 lakh street vendors and small shopkeepers received help from banks through the PM Swanidhi Yojana.
The Prime Minister said the entire world was witnessing the impact of India’s fiscal and monetary policy during the Covid-19 pandemic, and lauding its efforts in strengthening the fundamentals of the country’s economy in the last nine years.
Recalling the time when the world looked at India with suspicion, he said discussions on India’s economy, budget and goals would often begin and end with a question.
He highlighted the changes in financial discipline, transparency and inclusive approach and noted that the question mark at the beginning and end of the discussion has been replaced by ‘vishwas’ (trust) and ‘apeksha’ (expectations).
Vocal for local
Touching upon the issue of ‘vocal for local’ he said that this is not a matter of choice but ‘vocal for local and vision of self-reliance is a national responsibility’.
“Our exports have been at an all-time high, whether in goods or services. This indicates growing possibilities for India,” he said, adding, stakeholders like organisations and chambers of industry and commerce should promote local artisans and entrepreneurs up to the district level.
He clarified that ‘vocal for local’ is bigger than just buying products from the Indian cottage industry.
“We have to see which are the areas where we can save the country’s money by building capacity in India itself,” he said, citing examples of higher education and edible oil, where a lot of money goes out.
Talent, infrastructure and innovators can take the Indian financial system to the top.
“In the era of ‘Industry 4.0’, platforms developed by India are becoming models for the world,” he said, giving examples of the Government e Marketplace (GeM) and digital transactions.
In the 75th year of Independence, 75,000 crore transactions were done digitally, which shows how wide the expansion of theUnified Payments Interface (UPI) has become.
“RuPay and UPI are not just a low-cost and highly secure technology, but our identity in the world. There is immense scope for innovation. UPI should become a means of financial inclusion and empowerment for the whole world, we have to collectively work for it. I suggest that our financial institutions should also forge partnerships with fintechs to increase their reach,” he said.
Sometimes, even a small step can make a huge difference in boosting the economy, he said and gave the example of buying goods without the bill.
Pointing out that the feeling that there is no harm done by this, Modi underlined the need to increase awareness about getting a copy of the bill that will benefit the nation in return.
The benefits of India’s economic development should reach every class and person, he said, urging all stakeholders to work with this vision.
He also stressed on creating a large pool of well-trained professionals.
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