From Our Bureau
12th May 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday unveiled a massive economic package of Rs 20 lakh crore (Two trillion rupees) to make India self-reliant in the post-Corona Virus scenario.
Addressing the nation, he gave a clarion call for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) and laid down five pillars of this gigantic initiative. He said the comprehensive package was equivalent to 10 percent of India’s GDP. He hoped that bold reforms across sectors will drive the country’s push towards self-reliance.
“It is time to become vocal for our local products and make them global,” he observed
Recalling those who have died battling the pandemic, the Prime Minister said that the crisis that has emerged due to COVID-19 is unprecedented, but in this battle, we not only need to protect ourselves but also have to keep moving forward.
Talking about the pre- and post-COVID worlds, the Prime Minister observed that in order to fulfill the dream of making the 21st century India’s, the way forward is through ensuring that the country becomes self-reliant. Talking about turning a crisis into an opportunity, he gave the example of PPE kits N-95 masks, whose production in India has gone up from almost being negligible to 2 lakh each on a daily basis.
He said that the definition of self-reliance has undergone a change in the globalized world and clarified that when the country talks about self-reliance, it is different from being self-centered. He said that India’s culture considers the world as one family, and progress in India is part of, and also contributes to, progress in the whole world. He noted that the world trusts that India has a lot to contribute towards the development of the entire humanity.
Five pillars of a self-reliant India
Recalling the devastation in Kutch after the earthquake in January 2000, the Prime Minister said that through determination and resolve, the area was back on its feet. A similar determination is needed to make the country self-reliant.
He said that a self-reliant India would stand on five pillars viz. Economy, which brings in quantum jump and not incremental change; Infrastructure, which should become the identity of India; System, based on 21st century technology driven arrangements; Vibrant Demography, which is our source of energy for a self-reliant India; and Demand, whereby the strength of our demand and supply chain should be utilized to full capacity. He underlined the importance of strengthening all stakeholders in the supply chain to increase, as well as fulfill, the demand.
Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan
The Prime Minister announced a special economic package and gave a clarion call for Atmanirbhar Bharat. He noted that this package, taken together with earlier announcements by the government during COVID crisis and decisions taken by RBI, is to the tune of Rs 20 lakh crore, which is equivalent to almost 10% of India’s GDP. He said that the package will provide a much needed boost towards achieving ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
He pointed out that the package would also focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws. It would cater to various sections including cottage industry, MSMEs, labourers, middle class, and industries, among others. He informed that the details of the contours of the package would be provided by the Finance Minister in the coming few days.
Talking about the positive impact of reforms like JAM trinity and others, brought about in the last six years, the Prime Minister said that several bold reforms are needed to make the country self-reliant, so that the impact of crisis such as COVID, can be negated in future. These reforms include supply chain reforms for agriculture, rational tax system, simple and clear laws, capable human resource and a strong financial system. These reforms would promote business, attract investment, and further strengthen Make in India.
The Prime Minister said that self-reliance would prepare the country for tough competition in the global supply chain, and it is important that the country wins this competition. The same has been kept in mind while preparing the package. It would not only increase efficiency in various sectors but also ensure quality.
Highlighting their contribution to the country, he said that the package would also focus on empowering the poor, labourers, migrants, etc., both from organized and unorganized sectors.
He observed that the crisis has taught us the importance of local manufacturing, local market and local supply chains. All our demands during the crisis were met ‘locally’. Now, it’s time to be vocal about the local products and help these local products become global, he added.
Living with COVID
Prime Minister noted that several experts and scientists have said that the Corona virus is going to be part of our lives for a long time. But, it is also important to ensure that our life does not revolve only around it. He exhorted people to work towards their targets while taking precautions like wearing masks and maintaining ‘do gaz doori.’
On the fourth stage of Lockdown, he said that its contours would be completely different from those seen yet. On the basis of recommendations received from the States, new rules would be framed, and information about the same would be conveyed before 18th May. (eom)