New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at ASSOCHAM Foundation Week 2020 via video conferencing on Saturday, 19th December. The Prime Minister also presented the ‘ASSOCHAM Enterprise of the Century Award’ to Ratan Tata, who received the award on behalf of the TATA Group. According to a press statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Modi commended the business community for their contribution to nation-building. He declared that now the industry has complete freedom to touch the sky and urged them to take full advantage of this, urging them to put full strength in the coming years for a self-reliant India.
The Prime Minister said the country today is with enterprise and wealth creators giving opportunities to crores of youth. The Government is continuing efforts to build an efficient and friendly ecosystem. He urged the industry to ensure that its benefits reach the last mile by bringing reforms within the industry like more inclusion of women and young talent, adopting the best practices of the world as soon as possible, corporate governance, and profit sharing.
PM Modi said even during the pandemic when the whole world is troubled for investment, record FDI and PFI have come to India as the world trusts the Indian economy now. He called for the industry to increase the domestic investment drastically in line with the increased confidence of the world.
He lamented the poor investment in Research & Development by Indian Industry, comparing it with USA where 70% of the investment in R&D is from the private sector. He asked the Indian industry to increase their investments in R&D, especially in sectors like agriculture, defense, space, energy, construction, pharma, and transport sector. He further said in every sector, all the companies should earmark a certain amount for R&D.
The Prime Minister remarked that the world is moving rapidly towards the fourth industrial revolution, and that challenges will come in the form of new technology, and many solutions will follow. He said today is the time to plan and act. He urged the business leaders to come together every year and connect every goal with one larger goal of nation building. He said the coming 27 years, when free India will reach its century, will not only determine India’s global role, but it will test both the dreams and dedication of Indians, adding that this is the time to show the capability, commitment, and courage of Indian Industry to the world. The PM stressed that not only is achieving self-reliance is important, but how soon this goal is achieved is equally important.
Prime Minister Modi remarked that there was never so much positivity in the world about India’s success before. He credited this positivity to the unprecedented confidence of over 130 crore Indians. Now India is making new avenues to move forward, moving ahead with new energy, he said, adding that reforms in the country have influence in changing the sentiment of the industry from ‘Why India’ to ‘Why not India’ in investing.
PM Modi remarked that New India, by relying on its strength, relying on its own resources, is pushing forward for “AtmaNirbhar Bharat” and a special focus is on manufacturing to achieve this goal. He said reforms are constantly being undertaken to promote manufacturing in India.
The Prime Minister said today, as India is moving forward on mission mode to make local a global one, the country has to react quickly to every geopolitical development. He stressed on the need to have an effective mechanism for how India will meet any sudden demand in the global supply chain. He said the need of the hour is to achieve better synergy between industry organisations such as ASSOCHAM with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce & Trade to achieve this goal, asking the industry for suggestions and ideas on how to react quickly to global transformations, and how to have better mechanisms for a faster response.
Prime Minister Modi said India is also capable of helping the world while meeting its needs. Even during the period of Covid-19, India has taken the responsibility of the pharmacy of the world and delivered essential medicines around the world, he observed, adding that now even in the case of vaccines, India will fulfill its needs and also meet the expectations of many countries. He urged members of ASSOCHAM to provide a global platform for showcasing the products of rural artisans, saying this would help in bridging the rural-urban divide. He stressed the need for the Government of India to work together with state governments, farm organisations, and industry associations for better promotion of organic farm products, better infrastructure, and a better market. This will help the entire rural economy reach a new high, he said.
PM Modi said that at the beginning of the 21st century, then-Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee aimed to connect India with the highways. Today, there is a special focus on physical and digital infrastructure in the country, he observed, saying India is engaged in providing broadband connectivity to every village in the country so that the reach of the village farmer is also up to digitally global markets. He urged using every avenue associated with funding to build better infrastructure, saying strengthening public sector banks and increasing the potential of bond markets are efforts in that direction. Similarly, Sovereign Wealth Funds and Pension Funds are being tax exempted, REITs and INVITs are being promoted, and infrastructure-related assets are being monetised, he remarked.
Prime Minister Modi said the Government can provide the necessary facilities, create the right environment, give incentives, and change policies. But it is the industry partners who can convert this support into success. He concluded by saying that for the dream of a self-reliant India, the country has made up its mind for the necessary changes in the rules and regulations and the country is committed.
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