Govt committed to helping farmers, increasing their income: PM Narendra Modi at FICCI convention

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed the 93rd Annual Convention of FICCI and hailed the country’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. While addressing the convention, the PM said the COVID-19 situation in the country is improving significantly and public health remains the top priority of his government.

”When the COVID-19 pandemic began in February-March, we were fighting against an unknown enemy. There were a lot of uncertainties – be it production, logistics, the revival of the economy – there were multiple issues. The question was, how long will this go on? How will things improve?” the PM said.

The PM added, “In the match of 20-20 we saw a lot of things changing rapidly. But 2020 baffled everyone. The nation and the entire world saw a lot of ups and downs. When we’ll think of the Corona period a few years later, perhaps we won’t be able to believe it. It’s good that things are improving swiftly.”

The Prime Minister further said that though India has been through ups and downs in 2020, things have improved fast and there is a road map for recovery.

The PM stressed that by December, the COVID situation has changed. “We have answers as well as a roadmap. The economic indicators today are encouraging. The things learned by the nation at the time of crisis have further strengthened the resolutions of future,” the PM said in his address to the 93rd Annual Convention of FICCI.

With regard to foreign capital inflows, he said India has seen record FDI and foreign portfolio investments during the pandemic. PM Modi further stated that the faith that the world placed on India in the last 6 years, has further strengthened in the past few months. Be it FDI or FPI – foreign investors have made record investments in India and are continuing to do that, he said.

“Policies of past promoted inefficiency in many sectors and stopped new experiments. ”Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” promotes efficiency in every sector. Emphasis is being laid to re-energise technology-based industries in sectors in which India has long-term competitive advantage,” the PM said.

On the economic front, the PM said that recovery is faster than expected and economic indicators are encouraging. He said that India prioritised saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s policies and actions were oriented towards that.

PM Modi, while referring to the farmers’ protest, said that his government is fully committed to resolving all issues of conflict-related to farmers. He said recent farm reforms will give farmers new markets and access to technology, and help bring investments in the agriculture sector that will benefit the farming community.

“We’d seen walls between the agriculture sector & other areas associated with it – be it agriculture infrastructure, food processing, storage or cold chain. All walls and obstacles are being removed now. After reforms, farmers will get new markets, options and more benefits of technology,” PM said while adding, ”The cold storage infrastructure will be modernised. This will result in more investments in the agriculture sector. Farmers will be benefitted the most out of it.”

FICCI’s Annual Convention is being held virtually on 11, 12 & 14 December. The theme of this year’s Annual Convention is “Inspired India”. The event will see the participation of several ministers, bureaucrats, captains of Industry, diplomats, International experts, and other leading luminaries.

The convention will witness various stakeholders deliberating on the implications of Covid-19 on the economy, reforms being undertaken by the government, and the way forward for the Indian economy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with a large number of Cabinet Ministers and Secretaries to the Government of India will address the FICCI’s annual general meeting at which a former journalist, Uday Shankar, will take over as chief of the apex chamber.

Among overseas industry leaders expected to address the three-day virtual AGM from December 11 are Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; former Chairman, Alphabet, Eric Schmidt; CEO, Zero Gravity Corporation, Peter Diamandis; Abu Dhabi Investment Authority CEO Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; and National Health Services (NHS) England Chair Lord David Prior.