Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed 95th annual plenary session of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata over video conference and emphasized on making India self-reliant saying this is the time to make bold decisions and investments for the country to scale new heights as world deals through coronavirus.
Insisting that the COVID-19 crisis should be turned into an opportunity to create an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', PM Modi said steps have to be taken to ensure that products imported from abroad are manufactured in the country.
"India's goal of self-reliance has been paramount in the policy and practice of the country. The COVID-19 crisis gave us lessons on how to speed up efforts in that direction," he said.
The Prime Minister also said that people-centric, people-driven and planet-friendly development has become part of the BJP-led Central government's governance.
India fighting multiple challenges: PM Modi
"India is fighting multiple challenges along with COVID-19, including floods, locust attack, earthquakes.
'Need to turn crisis into an opportunity for creating Atmanirbhar Bharat'
We have to turn crisis into an opportunity for creating Atmanirbhar Bharat and take steps to ensure that products which we import from elsewhere are manufactured in India," Modi added.
Talking of the "bold" reforms the government has taken and what the country's business environment requires, Modi said it is time to move from "command and control" mode to "plug and play" mode, implying the minimal requirement of government intervention in businesses.
He said that the country needs to make this pandemic a turning point for the country and make itself self reliant. India should be able to produce every product that it imports, Modi said.
The Prime Minister further said that the industry needs to have a globally competitive domestic supply chain.
Referring to the much talked about relationship of environment, livelihood and industries, Modi said that "people, planet and profit" should be the focus of business, which according to him can be balanced.
Citing the creation of the International Solar Alliance as a "great opportunity", he noted that Indian companies should invest in the research and development (R&D) for solar equipment manufacturing and solar battery storage which would help companies cater to all the three aspects of "people, planet and profit".
According to him, timely investment in R&D for solar rechargeable batteries would be the next big thing and will give India the edge in this emerging sector.
Kolkata-based industry body need to come up with investments: Modi
He also asked the Kolkata-based industry body to come up with investments in the segment of jute bags and other accessories as the country moves towards a plastic-free future.
Talking of the banking reforms taken by the government in the past few years, he said that those considered "have-nots" also have bank accounts now under the Jan Dhan scheme.
PM Modi acknowledged contribution of Indian Chamber of Commerce in manufacturing sector
Prime Minister also acknowledged the contribution of the Indian Chamber of Commerce for developing the manufacturing sector in the east and north east India.
Asking the industry to move ahead and invest more to achieve growth, he assured them of government's commitment to support businesses and corporates.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)