Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reiterated his call for using the current crisis to make Indian self-reliant. He said it was time to make bold decisions and investments to set up a globally competitive domestic supply chain, and not have a conservative approach.
Speaking at the annual plenary of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) via videoconferencing, he said it was time to “pull the Indian economy out of the ‘command and control’ mode and take it to a ‘plug and play’ mode.”
While the nation was putting up a brave front, along with the entire world, in the current COVID-19 crisis, it was also facing challenges due to disasters such as locust attacks, hailstorms, oil well fire, series of mini earthquakes and cyclones. but such difficult times have made India more resolute. “…Every countryman is also now filled with the resolve that this adversity is to be converted into an opportunity, we have to make it a big turning point for the country. What is this turning point? Self Reliant India.”
Self-reliance had been an aspiration of every Indian for years. But still it had remained just a wish. “Self-reliant India campaign simply means that India should minimise its dependence on other countries. How can things, which the country is forced to import, be made in the country and how can India become an exporter of such goods. We have to work fast in this direction,” he said.
There was need to change the trend of buying the same goods, which were made by small businesses, handicrafts makers and self-help groups within India, from abroad. “This is the time to recognise the opportunity, to test ourselves and to move towards newer heights. If this is the biggest crisis, then we need to take big learnings from it and take full advantage of it. I assure you that the government is fully committed to this,” he added.