Retail traders must not run away from global challenges, says Narendra Modi

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 27 2014, 23:32pm hrs
Narendra ModiA small town buyer is also looking for branded products, says Narendra Modi. AP
Narendra Modi today asked the trading community not to run away from global challenges but face them and promised to scrap unnecessary laws as it appears that government believes "all are thieves".

He also batted for complete overhaul of governance, saying the fashion of running the affairs of country from Delhi should stop and states must be trusted to govern.

"I don't know if it will benefit me politically... Trading community should not run away from global challenges. They should not think they will die if businesses go online... You demand from government to help build your capacity to meet challenges...

"A small town buyer is also looking for branded products. We should not meet to decide how to escape from this but how to take it on. You should enhance your quality and filter out those whose quality is suspect," he said addressing the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

The BJP's prime ministerial candidate said there are too many laws in the country and the government seems to believe that all are "thieves".

"The country cannot run like this and whether it is government or society, they should have trust in each other and law should come in force only when this trust is broken," he said.

Narendra Modi said the trading community should focus on capacity-building and quality to take on the global challenges.

He shared the traders' concerns over "complicated and too many" laws in the country and said he felt at times that a law should be made which stipulate that a new law will come into force only when 10 old laws are scrapped.

"There is a web of law. You give us strength so that we (when in power) could repeal one law every week," he said. He said he was for reforms of laws.

"System does not run on laws but on trust. The law enters when the system is broken. This is the basic principle from which will begin the total overhaul of the governance I am talking about," he said.

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Though Narendra Modi did not offer any categorical promise to traders on their charter of demands, he referred to BJP's pro-trader image to offer them assurance. BJP's Manifesto Committee head Murli Manohar Joshi, who was also present, will take their legitimate concerns into account, he said.

Lauding the risk-taking ability of traders, which he said is more than that of a soldier, Narendra Modi said government must help them spread the influence and reach of India across the globe.

He said Ministry of External Affairs still worked in an old way, focusing on diplomacy and intelligence gathering.

"Trade is the biggest tool of spreading your influence across the world... MEA should instead focus on trade and commerce."

He said there is a need to develop a spirit that whether it is government or traders, farmers or society, we are all working for the country. "If this spirit had developed, then there would not be any bribe-giver, nor bribe-taker. From PM to peon, the whole government needs to undergo overhaul."

When his party comes to power, a lot of work will be required to "fill the potholes" created by the 60 years of poor governance, he said.