PM Modi says import reliance should come down, stresses need for bold reforms

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June 12, 2020 2:34 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the reforms integrated with the Atmanirbhar Bharat package would help minimise India’s reliance on imports, and assist the industry’s efforts to become exporters of products, which it has been importing.

Prime Minister Modi said the country has to be self-reliant in medical equipment, defence manufacturing, coal and minerals, edible oil, fertilisers, electronic manufacturing, solar panels and batteries and aviation sector, among others.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said current crisis times while being challenging afforded an opportunity to adopt bold economic reforms, rather than sticking to conservatism.

He said the reforms integrated with the Atmanirbhar Bharat package would help minimise India’s reliance on imports, and assist the industry’s efforts to become exporters of products, which it has been importing. “Now, it is the time to get vocal about local”, he said addressing the plenary session of the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Highlighting that India is facing multiple challenges at the same time — Covid-19, locusts, fire in gas well in Assam, two cyclones and earthquakes of smaller scales, Modi said: “We have to convert this crisis into opportunity. This will be a major turning point through a self-reliant India. The aspiration of a self-reliant India is turning into a reality. In the last 5-6 years, our policy was focused into making India self-reliant.”

He said the country has to be self-reliant in medical equipment, defence manufacturing, coal and minerals, edible oil, fertilisers, electronic manufacturing, solar panels and batteries and aviation sector, among others.

Referring to the reforms under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, including in commercial coal mining and the MSME sector, the prime minister called upon the industry to come forward to increase competition in coal and mining and reap benefits of the integration of industry and agriculture.

“Now, Indian farmers can sell their products anywhere in the country. By reforming APMC Act and the Essential Commodities Act, we are making sure a better integration of farmers and industries. This will help farmers in becoming a strong market force”, he said.

Local industrial clusters will be formed and strengthened, he said. There will be clusters for jute, forest products and organic farming.

Eastern and north-eastern India can gain from such efforts, said Modi. Kolkata, he said, could become the hub of such businesses. “We have to revive the manufacturing sector in West Bengal. This is the time for bold reforms, not conservative decisions — time to shift the economy from command and control to plug and play mode.”

“DBT and JAM have helped millions of beneficiaries. The use of RuPay card should rise for Atmanirbhar Bharat. Through government e-marketplace (GeM), the scope of profit-making has increased for MSMEs and larger traders as well. Now, everyone can sell their products to the government,” he said.

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