Narendra Modi addresses sixth Niti Aayog meet, says reforms needed in farm sector to provide funds, technology

The prime minister also said that the private sector should be given full opportunity to become a part of the government's Aatmanirbhar Bharat programme

Press Trust of India February 20, 2021 17:47:58 IST
Narendra Modi addresses sixth Niti Aayog meet, says reforms needed in farm sector to provide funds, technology

Narendra Modi addressed an event in Assam on Saturday. ANI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong case for repealing archaic laws and making it easier to do business in India, stating that the Centre and states need to work closely to boost economic growth.

Addressing the sixth Governing Council meeting of Niti Aayog, the Prime Minister said that the private sector should be given full opportunity to become a part of government's Aatmanirbhar Bharat programme.

"The whole country succeeded when the state and the Central Government worked together during the coronavirus pandemic," he said, adding that "the basis of the country's progress is cooperative federalism and today's meeting is to brainstorm to make it more meaningful and move towards competitive cooperative federalism".

Modi said there is a need to bring competitive cooperative federalism not only among states but districts too. The prime minister also underlined the need for reducing compliance burden and repealing obsolete laws.

He asked the states to form committees to reduce regulations that are no longer relevant in the wake of technology growth. Observing that the positive response received on the Union Budget for 2021-22 expressed the mood of the nation, he said, "the country has made up its mind, wants to move fast, and does not want to waste time."

Modi further said that the private sector of the country is coming forward with more enthusiasm in this development journey of the country.

"As a government, we also have to honour this enthusiasm, the energy of the private sector, and give it as much opportunity in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign," he added.

"The campaign," he said, "is the way to develop an India that produces not only for its own needs but also for the world and this production also stands the test of the world."

Modi said that the initiatives taken by the government would provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in nation-building to its full potential.

Referring to the farm sector, the prime minister said that efforts should be made to produce agriculture items like edible oil and reduce their imports. "About Rs 65,000 crore is spent in the import of edible oils which should have gone to our farmers. This can be done by guiding farmers," he said.

The prime minister said government policies will help farmers raise productivity and cut imports, adding that reforms needed to provide funds and technology for the farm sector.

He said the Central Government introduced production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes for various sectors providing an excellent opportunity to increase manufacturing in the country.

The states, he added, should take full advantage of this scheme and attract maximum investment in themselves and also reap the benefits of reduced corporate tax. He said the government is spending on infrastructure to boost demand and create jobs.

Further, the Prime Minister noted that bank accounts, free electricity and gas connection and proper vaccinations have brought changes in the lives of the poor. Stressing on need to strengthen start-ups and MSMEs, Modi said, "Aatmanirbhar Bharat is not just to make India self-reliant, but also to meet the world's needs." He also urged states to form committees to celebrate India's 75th Independence Day.

The Prime Minister said the campaign to provide a pucca roof to every poor is also going on now and added that, since 2014, construction of more than 2.40 crore houses has been completed in both cities and villages put together. He said over 3.5 lakh rural houses are provided with piped drinking water within 18 months of the launch of Jal Jeevan mission and the Bharat Net Scheme for internet connectivity in villages is becoming a medium for a big change.

"When the central and state governments work together in all such schemes the speed of work will also increase and the benefits would also reach the last person," the Prime Minister said. He further said that keeping in mind the aspirations of a young country like India, modern infrastructure has to be built.

"Innovation has to be encouraged and more technology should be used to provide better opportunities for education and skills," he said, adding there is a need for strengthening businesses, MSMEs and startups.

He said shortlisting the products of hundreds of districts of the country according to its speciality has led to a healthy competition among the states.

These initiatives have to be taken to the block level, making full use of the resources of the states and increasing the exports from the states, he said, while underlining the need for a better coordination and policy framework between the Centre and the states.

He also announced that there would be a major increase in the economic resources of local bodies in the 15th Finance Commission.

The council, the apex body of Niti Aayog, includes all chief ministers, lieutenant governors of Union Territories, several union ministers and senior government officials. In a first, Ladakh is also participating the sixth edition of the Governing Council meeting, in addition to the participation of Jammu and Kashmir as a UT.

This time, other UTs headed by administrators have also been invited to join. The meeting is also being attended by the ex-officio members of the council, union ministers, vice-chairperson Rajiv Kumar, members and CEO of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant, and other senior officials from the government. .

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