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Modi calls on India Inc for ‘bold investments’

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on June 11, 2020 Published on June 11, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Says its time to unshackle Indian economy from the ‘command and control model’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India Inc should convert the Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity with bold decisions and investments. The need is to unshackle the Indian economy from a “command and control” model; and opt for a “plug-and-play” approach.

Addressing the annual plenary of the Kolkata-based Indian Chamber of Commerce via video conferencing, the Prime Minister pitched for a “self-reliant” India (Atmanirbhar Bharat) and import substitution, while asking industrialists to “go vocal for local”. Industries will have to think how they can turn India into a net exporter of products.

“The Indian economy has to shun a command and control approach and move towards plug-and-play model. This is not the time for a conservative approach; but for bold decision making; for bold investments,” he said.

The pitch for a self-reliant India can be realised as “globally competitive supply chains” with value addition come up; and industry captains have to “bring all stakeholders on-board” and also “hand hold them”.

“This is the right time to set up a globally competitive domestic supply chain. Industry has to step up to the challenge, bring on-board all stakeholders, hand-hold them if required and also ensure that there is value addition,” Modi said.

He chose to cite the example of LED bulb manufacturing in India and how this resulted in economies of scale, benefits for manufacturers and the common man, and reduction in carbon footprint. Savings of ₹19,000 crore have accrued every year on electricity bills.

Incidentally, global ratings agency, S&P has maintained that the Covid-19 outbreak posed a major challenge to India’s long-term economic growth rates. It has expressed hope that reforms initiated by the government, if executed well, should keep the company ahead of peers.

Pitching for reforms

The Prime Minister pitched for exploring manufacturing opportunities across sectors like medical equipment, aviation, defence, electronics and mobile making, edible oils and solar-panel making. The government would not shy away from reforms or supporting businesses, he assured.

“We have now made the coal and minerals sector competitive, and industrialists now need to come forward,” Modi said.

Agri reforms and a cluster-based regional approach could see further economic revival across different regions of thecountry. Changes in the APMC Act and Essential Commidities Act have led to Indian farmers getting “their true freedom”. They can now go to any part of the country to sell their produce. The changes would also open up the space for private investments in the agri sector.

“Recent decisions taken by Centre for farmers have freed the agriculture economy from years of slavery,” he said.

Modi pitched Sikkim and North-East India as a major hub for organic farming by creating bamboo and organic product clusters in the region; Bengal could lead a revival in jute by popularising jute-based clusters and products. The state could also be a path-breaker in India’s manufacturing resurgence; while Kolkata can “lead the way” amongst eastern States.

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Published on June 11, 2020
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