Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at “Invest India Conference” in Canada through video conference. Prime Minister said India is undisputedly the only country shining in all the investment parameters viz., having political stability, investment and business friendly policies, transparency in governance, skilled talent pool and a large market.
Mr. Modi said in the post-Covid world, India showed resilience and emerged as a land of solutions to overcome various kinds of problems related to manufacturing, supply chains, etc. He added, despite disrupted logistics, money was directly delivered into bank accounts of over 400 million farmers, women, poor and needy people within a matter of days. He listed various initiatives taken by the Government to overcome the disruption owing to the pandemic and stressed that this shows the strength of governance structures and systems that have been built over the last few years.
Prime Minister said while the entire country was in lockdown, India was providing medicine to around 150 countries and played the role of the pharmacy to the world. He added during March-June of this year, agricultural exports rose by 23%. He said before the pandemic, India hardly manufactured PPE kits but today not only does India manufacture millions of PPE kits every month, it exports them too. He committed to ramping up production and helping the entire world in vaccine production for Covid-19.
Prime Minister Modi explained how India’s story is growing stronger by listing the initiatives of the Government in creating a business friendly environment. He listed initiatives like liberalizing the FDI regime, creating a friendly tax regime for Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds, bringing significant reforms for developing a robust Bond market, Incentive schemes for ‘Champion’ sectors. He said schemes in sectors like Pharma, Medical Devices and Electronics Manufacturing are already in operation. He added for ensuring high-level attention and effective hand-holding for investors, a dedicated Empowered Group of Secretaries has been formed. He emphasized proactive monetization of assets across sectors like Airports, Railways, Highways, Power Transmission lines, etc. He said Real Estate Investment Trusts and Infrastructure Investment Trusts have been fully enabled for monetization of both public and private assets.
The Prime Minister said, today India is undergoing a rapid change in mindsets as well as markets. It has embarked on a journey of deregulation and decriminalization of various offences under the companies act. He said India has risen from 81 to 48 in the Global Innovation Index rankings and risen from 142 to 63 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings in the last 5 years.
Mr. Modi observed that India has already received over US$ 20 Billion FDI during the first 6 months of this year from across the globe when Covid-19 had been at peak. He said India has adopted a unique approach posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. He said relief and stimulus packages were given to the poor and the small businesses and at the same time this opportunity to undertake structural reforms which will ensure more productivity and prosperity.
The Prime Minister added India has undertaken a slew of reforms in the field of education, labour and agriculture. He said India has ensured reforms of old laws in the field of labour and agriculture. They ensure greater participation of the private sector while also strengthening the government’s safety nets and will lead to a win-win situation for entrepreneurs as well as for our hard-working people.
He said these reforms will support our efforts to build an AatmaNirbhar Bharat or self- reliant India. By working towards self-reliance, India seeks to contribute to global good and prosperity. He highlighted that India is the place to partner in the field of education, to invest in manufacturing or services and to collaborate in the field of agriculture.
Prime Minister said India-Canada bilateral ties are driven by shared democratic values and many common interests. He said the trade and investment linkages between us are integral to our multifaceted relationship. He highlighted that Canada is home to some of the largest and most experienced infrastructure investors. He said Canadian Pension Funds were the first ones to start investing directly in India. Many of them have already discovered great opportunities in a range of areas like highways, airports, logistics, telecom and real estate. He said mature Canadian investors who have been in India for many years now can be our best brand Ambassadors.
Script: Kaushik Roy, AIR: News Analyst