Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged Indian industry leaders to set up globally-competitive domestic supply chains and turn the coronavirus crisis into an opportunity to become a self-reliant nation.
Addressing the 95th annual plenary session of the Indian Chambers of Commerce (ICC) in Kolkata through video conferencing, Modi said that this is not the time for a conservative approach but for “bold decisions and bold investments.”
“We have to take the Indian economy out of ‘command and control’ and take it towards ‘plug and play’ mode. The coronavirus crisis has given us a pressing reason to turn the corners and become self-reliant. Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission is the reflection of that reason,” the Prime Minister said.
He added that while the world is battling coronavirus, India is fighting other issues as well such as flood, locusts, hailstorm, fire in an oil well, small earthquakes, cyclones.
Modi further stressed that the country must exercise restraint on imports to strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Some of the areas where India can take a lead include medical equipment, defence production, solar panels, batteries, chip manufacturing and aviation, he said.
The Prime Minister assured that the government will work on setting up relevant industrial clusters close by for specific local produce of all regions, adding that it will surely turn farmers into producers and their crops into products for the larger market.
Stressing that India is experiencing another major mission at present – to reduce the use of single-use plastic, Modi said that North-East India can become a major hub for organic farming by creating bamboo and organic product clusters in the region.
This again, said the Prime Minister, is great for all three elements — people, planet and profit.
“Five years ago, an LED bulb would cost Rs 350. But the same bulb is now available for as little as Rs 50. This has been a relief on the pockets of people. It is good for the environment and the planet has also benefitted. And, of course, with mainstreaming of LED bulbs, manufacturers’ profits have also increased,” he said.
Earlier on June 2, the Prime Minister had addressed a meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) where he said that Indian industries should take advantage of the trust developed towards India as the world is looking for a trusted and reliable partner.