Bhubaneswar: Stating that India has overtaken the US in steel production, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the country has to compete with China, which is far ahead.
"India has surpassed America in steel production. But, we are still behind China and when I talk about Make in India, we would not accept to stay behind anyone. We have to increase our production," said Modi after inaugurating the modernized and expanded steel unit of Rourkela Steel Plant at Rourkela in Odisha.
The Rs.12,000-crore project has more than doubled the plant's capacity to 4.5 million tonnes per annum from 2 mtpa. The prime minister said India can grow with its youth power, which accounts for about 65 percent of the total population.
He said if the youth get employment and proper skill development, the country would prosper and move fast in the coming 10 years. He said mineral resources should be properly utilized for development of the people and industries.
Modi said trading of mineral resources to other countries may help the economy, but it would not build the future of India.
Stating that minerals should have value addition and generate employment, he said the whole world is now interested in investing in the country, which was not the case in the last decade.
"We want to invite the world to invest in India and I can assure that they would get highest return compared to other parts of the world," said Modi.
Emphasizing the need for balanced development of all states, the prime minister said his focus is on the development of the country's eastern parts, which are lagging behind the western region.
"The eastern region should be developed. When the western part of India is developing, we have to concentrate on the eastern region," Modi said.
He said the central government has hiked royalty on minerals benefiting Odisha after coming to power, and increased allocation to Rs.25,000 crore in the 14th Finance Commission, which had reached to Rs.18,000 crore in last 60 years.
"Odisha must be developed if country has to progress," said the prime minister.
He said the coal bearing states, including Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Bihar, would be benefited following the auction of the minerals.
He said through a transparent auction of just 20 out of 204 coal mines cancelled by the Supreme Court, the country has earned over Rs.2 lakh crore.