Narendra Modi urges CEOs to become soldiers of development at Niti Aayog event

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday exhorted entrepreneurs to become soldiers of development and help India cut dependence on imports, while ensuring that it becomes a 'less-cash' economy.

Addressing over 200 CEOs and Startups, he also asked them to work towards increasing agricultural exports and promoting tourism.

Narendra Modi at Champions of Change event. Twitter @BJP4change

Narendra Modi at Champions of Change event. Twitter @BJP4change

"Gandhiji made Independence a mass movement. Every government has tried to take India forward. But development has not become a mass movement," Modi said at 'Champions of Change', organised by Niti Aayog.

"In the same spirit as what Mahatma Gandhi did for the freedom struggle, we need to make India's development a mass movement," he added.

Calling upon the young entrepreneurs to become soldiers of development, Modi said that by working together "we can solve several problems the country faces."

Stressing that India needs to move towards becoming a less cash society, he asked the CEOs to encourage the use of BHIM app for cashless transactions and ensure by 2022 that employees working for them go cashless.

He also asked them to distribute Khadi coupons as Diwali gifts.

Referring to tourism and enormous potential in job creations, Modi said, "We Indians don't take pride in our rich heritage. If we begin talking about it with pride, the world will desperate to visit India."

He said he was looking at end-to-end solutions for India.

"If this generation thinks of feasible solutions to our unique problems, markets and jobs will automatically be created," he added.

On various initiatives of his government, Modi talked about GeM (Government-e-Market) portal which was introduced recently to increase transparency in government purchases.

He said even small suppliers can sell their products to the government through the portal.

As many as 28,000 small suppliers have sold their products to government worth Rs 1,000 crore through the portal in the last four to six months.

Calling the young CEOs as his team, Modi said India's development must be made a mass movement and entrepreneurs should think of what more they can do for the country's growth and for the poor.

He asked them to provide policy inputs and be the harbinger for change.

For the government, he said, welfare of its citizens and their happiness is supreme.

The prime minister stressed on the need to focus on export oriented agri products, saying that innovative ideas like cultivating timber on fringes of farm land would help achieve the goal of doubling farmers' income.

He regretted that around Rs one lakh crore of agri products - from fruits to vegetables - go waste because of lack of infrastructure.

Creating infrastructure in itself is a business opportunity, he added.

Updated Date: Aug 23, 2017 11:42 AM

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