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Excerpts of Shri Narendra Modi’s interview given during his appearance on ‘Aap ki Adalat’ with Rajat Sharma:

Rajat Sharma: Important leaders of our country – Sonia, Chidambaram, Sharad -they are all worried that wherever they go, they get to hear “Abki baar, Modi Sarkar”.

I didn’t know that high profile people could be worried about such issues. If they are worried they it’s a sign of being small minded not big. 

RS: Sonia said that advertisements are being circulated in every corner of the country that project one man being the cure of all ailments. He is being presented as a miracle.

Even I heard her saying that BJP has got a magician. I thought magicians make items vanish on stage. But these days Delhi is plagued with black magic. They have made jobs and coal disappear. Electricity has vanished. So they think this kind of magic is better than Black magic. 

RS: They say he pretends that there is no other patriot than himself. By chanting false slogans he wants to grab the PM’s post.

Every citizen is a patriot. Neither do I doubt anyone’s patriotism nor do I claim to be the most patriotic person. 

RS: Rahul Gandhi says that our nation doesn’t need a single chowkidaar. Modi wants to change the entire nation. I say that the nation needs crores of chowkidaars. What can a single chowkidaar do?

It a good thing that he listens to my speeches carefully and he knows that crores of chowkidaar will serve him good. One could pose a problem. I am worried that if there are 150 crore chowkidaars then will they include Adarsh Scam culprits and those who have snatched lands of widows of Kargil martyrs? Their LS candidates who have been accused of land acquisition of the farmer of Rajasthan – will they also be chowkidaars? If this is the case then it seems that cat will be made in-charge of milk. 

RS: Their slogan goes- Har haath shakti har haath tarakki.

They need to come up with ideas to put a lid on their work. Their hand that commits sin has to be portrayed in some other way. That is why, for them, it’s- har haath loot har honth jhooth (Every hand loots, every lips speak a lie). 

RS: Nitish alleges that this is mere publicity. On TV, Radio FM and on newspapers – only Modi sarkar is publicized. Modi has created his wave. It is self-created.

I don’t say it myself. You (audience) all are shouting my name on your own. Has anyone taught you? (Audience: Nahi) You all are chanting on your own? (Yes) Do you think that the nation is saying this on its own? (Audience: Yes) Don’t listen to me or Nitish. At least listen to the people. 

RS: We get messages on our mobile phones. They go as follows: twinkle little stars, Abki baar Modi sarkaar; Rahul Gandhi ne khayi chocolate bar, abki baar Modi sarkaar, parathon ke saath khao achar, Abki baar Modi sakar, dil ka bhawar kare pukaar abki baar Modi sarkar, Sonia ji ne Manmohan se kaha ab to apna moun tod do sardar, abki baar Modi sarkar.

I am grateful to the creative people of this nation. Had social media not existed then we would have not been able to hear about this creativity. 

RS: Akhilesh Yadav said in Aap Ki Adalat that Narendra Modi had hired an American agency to create such slogans for publicity. He is giving Rs 1000 crore to that agency.

I have not done anything as such. This lie has been circulating for quite some time. Had I hired such a company, is it possible that it would have been in the newspapers. They would have managed it. 

RS: Anand Sharma, Congress Union Minister said in a press conference that BJP has spent Rs. 10000 crore on publicity.

The first thing that Anand Sharma needs to do is to write to the EC. Then there is a govt agency named Enforcement Directorate. Since they don’t do anything, I’m giving them an idea of doing some work. Let them fully investigate it. Let Anand Sharma do it as fast as possible. If there is any objection from EC, I’m willing to writing to EC to let them do it. 

RS: But Rahul Gandhi says that you are a person who can sell combs to even those who are bald.

I used to sell tea. I never sold combs but the information that I can do it has reached them, is sort of achievement for me. 

RS: Rahul mentions in his public speeches that you are filling balloons and it will burst the same way it got deflated in 2009.

They said the same thing in 2002, 2007 and 2012 when Gujarat assembly elections took place. Their balloons got deflated. They have been defeated in primary match. Now the people will decide the outcome in the final match. 

RS: Sonia Gandhi says that you are being presented as if nothing has been done in the past and you will change things overnight.

I have already said that everything has vanished because of black magic. In the first decade of 21st century, we had such a good opportunity to take off in this era of globalization, from the point Vajpayee had left things. But instead of taking off, we collapsed on the runway itself. It has caused a great damage to the country. Have you ever seen a country that exports wheat and import breads? We are exporting iron-ore and importing steel. In this country, power units of 20,000 mw capacity are closed down. On the other hand, coal mines are also closed down. Why? Because the files have disappeared. For them, files have disappeared but for me, the life of nation has disappeared. Had coal been available, we would have got power. Small industries could have been set up that would have given employment to youth. When we raise these questions they think that they are ruling the nation for four generations, how can a ‘chaiwallah’ challenge them? In a democracy, everybody including kids have the right to ask questions from rulers. 

Rajat Sharma: Their problem is that a ‘chaiwallah’ is trying to become the prime minister.

I am a person who never dreamt of becoming anything. And I tell the youth don’t dream of becoming anything. You should always dream of doing something. I come from a background that my mother would have distributed sweets had I become even a school teacher. It’s the blessings of people in a democracy that can decide the future of a person. In a democracy, no one can decide his future. Even today, I have dreams of doing things but not one dream of becoming anything. 

RS: Rahul has said that Modi can go to any extent to become the PM. He says that if you come to power then you will break nation into pieces. You will create infighting among people.

I think he has borrowed this (cutting into pieces) from his candidate in UP. We will sacrifice our lives for the unity and integrity of nation. Look at the history of the Congress. Look at their track record. Who got the reins of power first? Who divided the country? Who spread the poison of casteism? Who created communal tension? For the first time, the govt asked the army to provide info on the basis of religion. Fortunately, the army refused to share the info saying the army consists of Indians only. They refused to count Hindus and Muslims in army. They should look within themselves.

In Gujarat, I talk about 5 crore Gujaratis only. I talk of 125 crore Hindustani only. I have tried to avoid the sectarian terminology. Gradually every Chief Minister has started doing the same thing. 

RS: Omar Abdullah says that you went to Punjab and accepted their attire, you went to Arunachal and wore their cap, you went to Assam and wore their dress but you refused to wear skull cap offered by Imam.

I have never seen Gandhi, Patel or Nehru wearing such skull cap. Indian politics has deteriorated. They can do anything for appeasement. I believe in respecting traditions of all religions. But at the same time, I have to respect my own tradition as well although I respect all traditions. I can’t hoodwink people by wearing such skull caps. But I believe in taking action against those who show disrespect to other’s caps. 

RS: Nitish Kumar said that in public life, you have to wear both tilak and skull caps. You have to take care of sentiments of others.

If he thinks that it helps in taking care of sentiments then it’s his thought. I believe that their children should get better education. They should have Quran in one hand and computer in the other hand. 

RS: Azam Khan said that after 60 years of independence, we are being called puppies.

Whoever said this was wrong. I will not say anything like this. 

RS: You had said, “we are human beings. It pains even when a puppy comes under my car.”

Modi: In our country we say it pains even if an ant dies. These are proverbs. This should not be interpreted otherwise. And you should know that the person who had taken my interview, despite being a foreigner, had tweeted that I did not mean anything like that. But the news traders, and am not talking about media, used this to sell their stuff. 

RS: Azam Khan while referring to you has said today that we don’t need the sympathy of Modi, the elder brother of puppies.

I should say- thank you very much- to him because the loyalty of dogs is unparalleled. I’m proud that somebody saw this quality in me that will benefit the country. 

RS: Manmohan Singh said that it will be disastrous if you become the PM.

I think his own partymen, including his cabinet ministers said that he should not have said that. And now he has stopped saying that. 

RS: He actually reminded people that it will be disastrous for people if a person, under whose regime killings took place on the roads of Ahmedabad, becomes PM.

He should have remembered, there was attack on Akshardham temple in September 2002, so many people were killed inside the temple, yet Gujarat maintained peace. Gujarat maintained peace even after serial blasts. There was a time when Gujarat used to have riots over kite flying and cricket matches. Gujarat has not witnessed riots for last 12 years. The children of Gujarat don’t know what is curfew all about? Gujarat has progressed because of peace and harmony. And this is what the nation needs for growth as these things will have catalytic effect in achieving that. 

Q: Akhilesh Yadav recently said in ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ that Muzaffarnagar riots were incited by Narendra Modi.

I don’t know whether he is having a sound sleep these days. I have been to UP 4-5 times in recent times and I can understand his real concern. He sees Modi in everything- from lion to laptop. This is his problem. 

Question from audience: What will you do for education sector in your first 100 days of rule?

In our country, we should think about poor first. Whenever I meet a person, like a driver, I ask about his family and life. He tells me that he has taken loans for better education of his kids. Nowadays even drivers are taking loans for the better education of their kids. We have always focused on degrees only. Now is the time to focus on skill development that will bring employment to our youth. If we have to compete with China then we have to focus on three things- skill, scale and speed. We need better skill, greater scale and faster speed. 

Question from audience: You are campaigning relentlessly for last two months. From where do you get the motivation?

Modi: I had started the campaign from 15th September. So now it’s 6-7 months since I started the campaign. I am a labourer and my childhood was very tough and physically I am used to all this. I also do my Yoga and Pranayam. But the important point is that I believe you never get tired by doing work. You get tired when you don’t work. When you clean your house, you don’t get tired, it gives you satisfaction.

People’s blessings give you the power to work tirelessly. The only thing required is commitment. The love and affection that I have received from people in last 6 months keeps me running. 

Question from audience: When will we come out of caste based politics?

That’s why I say unless we start using saying – we the 1.25 crore people- the poison of caste will keep creating fissures in the society. There is no harm in feeling proud of your caste but the poison of casteism that creates hatred does not benefit anyone. 

Rajat Sharma: But Sonia ji says that you do what she calls ‘zeher ki kheti’.

It’s good that you have given me the opportunity to speak on this. In Jaipur in last June-July, there was Congress convention going on where Rahul made a speech. He said that I went to Mom’s room this morning and I found her crying. She told me that power is poison. Now the question is who has been in power for the longest time? Who tasted the poison for the longest time? Who has the maximum amount of poison in the stomach? So who will spew poison the most? 

Rajat Sharma: Maulana Madani has said that Muslims are being made to feel scared in the name of Modi. You talk about national integration but it can actually break the country.

What he said was that those who are saying all this are trying to break the nation. 

RS: He says that Muslims are being made to feel scared in your name. What is it in you that scare Muslims?

I don’t think they feel scared. In Gujarat, Muslims feel greater enthusiasm when my name is mentioned. 

Audience: America had banned your entry in that country. Will you go to US if you become PM?

When it happened in 2005, I had told media that we want to create an India where Americans will have to stand in cue to seek visa. 

RS: American ambassador Nancy Powell had to leave after she met you. What did you do?

 (Laughs)…This is something that journalists should investigate. 

RS: You opponents allege that all your developmental claims in the state are hollow. Mulayam Singh Yadav recently asked you to explain whether Gujarat, like UP, also has free irrigation, free education and free medicines.

He should have taken it further- free goondaism, free killings of innocents. 

RS: He responded when you said that it takes 56 inch chest for running the government.

I had responded to him when he said that he will not allow UP becoming another Gujarat. It is then that I had said, “Neta ji, it takes 56 inches chest to make Gujarat. And then I went on to say, in order to make a state like Gujarat, you need to give electricity for 24 hours and 365 days. Most houses in Gujarat have the facility of drinking water from taps, 99% roads in rural regions have proper roads. I said, “You don’t have that kind of stamina. You continue with caste oriented politics because you cannot go beyond that.” Today Ram Manohar Lohia must have been very upset with his disciples. 

Rahul: Rahul Gandhi alleges that you have created Gujarat’s image just through marketing as far as facilities like electricity, water and employment are concerned.

Okay, we can go to Delhi, Bengal and Assam for marketing. But I cannot do that in front of the people of Gujarat, right? They can see through right away. I say that I have constructed roads and if there are no roads, then the people there will never believe me. They would call me a liar if I had not done anything for the agricultural sector. Then I would have not won elections in 2002, 2007 and 2012. I did not lose a single election. Gujarat is the only State that can fight the elections with the agenda of development. Even today our agenda is development and others are running away from this zone.

They don’t have courage to touch this issue. Because they feel that they will be answerable for this. When I had gone to visit Gujarat in 2001, people gathered to meet me. I hadn’t visited my State for quite some time. I had nothing to do there. Before becoming the CM I had not even seen the CM’s chamber. I was not even an MLA and I had not even fought teacher’s elections.

People would come to me and say, we are not asking for anything big.

But at least provide us electricity during dinner time so that we don’t have to eat in the dark. That means, during that period, Gujarat didn’t even get electricity in the evening for dinner. Today Gujarat has electricity all around the year. This cannot be proved through marketing. When people switch on their bulb and see light, it is then that they believe that Modi has provided electricity. 

RS: But it is also true that you got Amitabh Bachchan for promotion and marketing.

This is true… 

RS: It’s the same Amitabh who was once a part of Congress and then SP…?

There is difference between Modi and others. He is indeed close to Mulayam Singh Yadav. He is from UP and thus he has his attachments. But Mulayam Singh used him. He used him in his election campaigns with the slogan – “UP mein hai dum, zulm hai kam”. But that didn’t work.

Amitabh’s role needs to be reflected with intellect. I used him to talk about Gujarat and not of Gujarat government. He advertises Kutch, its handicraft and lifestyle. So if I have that thought, that is my work. I use Amitabh Bachchan as a productive resource for the welfare of Gujarat. It’s been around 5 years that he’s been working with me. Neither he has ever spoken about politics and nor have I. And today let me clarify, when I had given him the proposal that I wanted to promote tourism in Gujarat, he said, “I give you my voice and my face, you may use it”. He refused to take money from me. He does not take a single rupee for promoting tourism in Gujarat and for this I am extremely grateful to him. 

RS: We thought he must be earning a lot from your Government.

I’m a “pakka Ahmedabadi” (pure Ahmedabadi). Our specialty is to find someone on whom we have least expenditure. We believe in single fare, double journey. We don’t give money to people easily. 

RS: If you don’t give then why is it being said that you gave cheap land to Tata, Adani and other builders?

All these accusations are influenced by politics. Our Congress friends keep bringing up such issues. I say, is the Government of India asleep? Isn’t it its responsibility to reprimand a Chief Minister if he is involved in such malpractices? Why aren’t they taking any action?

This means that they don’t have courage to do even that. Secondly, as far as land allocation is concerned, the Supreme Court has said that the policy of Gujarat government is so good that all States must implement that model. Thirdly, a lie that is circulating is that Nano was given land. In reality, Nano was not given a single inch land from the State government. No agricultural land was given to Nano. 

RS: But there are accusations that farmer’s lands were seized and given to Nano?

These people don’t know anything. The Supreme Court has given approval. We had given land to the industries on more than the market rate. Not the present market rate, but the rate that existed then. Gujarat is a policy driven state. Even if you go there, you will get the same benefit that the richest man of India will get. 

RS: Rahul Gandhi says that Gujarat’s credibility cannot be proved because the state does not have RTI, the biggest information right that he has given to the citizens.

Modi: These days he goes around saying that he has given this law and that law…ask him, does RTI apply to J&K? Do Right to education and Anti – corruption Bill apply to Kashmir? First he should see what his government has done. Moreover, Gujarat has RTI and there have never been any complains in Gujarat on RTI. 

RS: Now that you have mentioned Supreme Court I will have to take my case back.

Audience: If your government is formed, will you give an assurance to Christian brothers and sisters that their churches will not be broken down?

I have never heard of such incidents taking place… 

Audience: That they won’t be burnt…?

I have never heard of such instances. Our country does not believe in the concept of your God and my God. We believe that all Gods are one. We have different ways of accepting Him. All ways lead to Him. That is why our constitution does not allow any discrimination. We cannot have communal discussions. We can be religious but not communal. That is why BJP’s motto is Sarva Panth Sambhav. In Gujarat we have the world’s smallest community – Parsi. They even have a pilgrimage centre there. Look at the rich history of India. We have never tried to bring down any community’s place of worship through sword or violence. Castes and religious divides are holding the nation back from growing. I want you all to be at peace. 

RS: You have given consolation to Parsis and Christians. Can you give assurance to Muslims?

Every citizen of this nation has those rights and privileges that Narendra Modi has. 

RS: So nobody has to fear you.

Some people will have to be afraid. Those who plunder the nation, deliver injustice, will have to feel scared of me. And I am not afraid of admitting this. Government cannot be so lenient that it forgives them. People must have sense of security. This does not exist and that is what causes all the trouble. You have to maintain some decorum even at home. And if it is a crime to maintain discipline then I admit my crime. 

RS: There’s one man’s rule in BJP. Modi’s name is chanted everywhere. Even on all the posters. It appears that there is no other leader left in BJP.

This is not true. BJP is a huge organization. It works in that structure. There is a galaxy of leaders who are equally competent. During elections we have to set a goal and prioritize issues. Even for this there is a committee of which Modi is not a part. Previously we worked under Atal ji’s guidance. Then we worked under Advani ji, Harshvardhan in Delhi, Shivraj Singh in MP and in Rajasthan we worked under Vasundhara Raje. So responsibilities are distributed according to the party’s goal. Right now I have been given this role and I have to do what the party has asked me to do. I am a worker of the party. We are a team. 

RS: If you are a team then why did Advani get upset three times?

I don’t think he is angry. 

RS: He was first annoyed when Narendra Modi was made the national convener for the elections in Goa. Then the party went to appease him. Next he was upset when Narendra Modi was declared BJP’s PM candidate. He didn’t attend that meeting and once again the party had to persuade him. Recently he was upset over ticket distribution in the Lok Sabha elections. He wanted to fight from Ahmedabad and party insisted that he contests from Bhopal.

All these three issues have been clarified by Advani and the party. They were all fiction. Because after Goa meeting, he called me up to congratulate me. He was not well so he couldn’t come to Goa. But this made juicy news for media. 

RS: And Jaswant Singh…

Jaswant Singh has just written a review of one of my biographies. 

RS: And you didn’t give him ticket…

I don’t distribute tickets. State election Committee sends its recommendations. Central committee approves of it. Recently we helped his son win elections. BJP has lakhs of workers. It becomes difficult to manage when tickets are distributed. 

RS: But the situation is so grave that Rahul Gandhi is worried that influential leaders like Jaswant Singh, L K Advani have been sidelined by Narendra Modi.

These are people who held Modi’s hand to make him walk. And even today I seek their advice by sitting at their feet. BJP does not work that way. But in their party, look what happened to Sitaram Kesri. He was the President of All India Congress Committee. They threw him out of his office to bring in Sonia Gandhi. 

RS: But now that culture is creeping into BJP. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted- Sabir Ali has joined the party, now Dawood Ibrahim is next in line.

Let those exchanges remain between them only. 

RS: Party workers say that very few people like you within the party although you have fan following outside. Raj Thackeray said that he will make Modi the Prime Minister.

First part of your statement is not correct. Today there are senior and more experienced members than me in the party. But they have handed immense responsibility to me. My party workers are working relentlessly. If I am anything today, I owe it all to my party workers. That is why I cannot think that my party people do not support me because I would have not even been even at grass root level had it not been for them. 

RS: I have heard that Kumar Vishwas has been praising you and dedicating poems to you. He said that Narendra Modi used to talk to him.

Now that is true. I used to talk to a lot of people. Many say that Modi does not talk to anyone, but at least he is honest in claiming that I talked to him. 

RS: But there is no confusion on the leadership in Congress…

That is what has led to Congress’ fall. Instead of improving the economy of the nation, they are busy generating income for one family. 

RS: Dr Manmohan Singh has said that Rahul Gandhi has outstanding credentials to become the Prime Minister and I am willing to work under his guidance. Has any big leader in your party made such a statement in your favour?

There’s a reason for that – I say, I am willing to work under their guidance. I work under them. 

RS: But one such leader, Murli Manohar Joshi, wanted a ticket from Varanasi but you went there.

I was given that offer. And he is fighting from Kanpur. I believe he is going to win with largest number of votes this time. 

Audience: Sir your clothes are very stylish, who is your designer?

I left my house when I was very young. I could fit all my belongings in a small bundle. I kept wandering for 40 – 45 years and I spent over 40 years begging for food. I had to wash my own clothes. So I thought my shirt occupied too much effort in washing and space too. I cut the sleeves myself. So my shirt became half sleeved. I have been wearing such clothes for over 25 years. Yes, I like to dress up well and stay clean. God has gifted me the sense of mixing and matching colours. So I manage everything on my own. Since I’m God gifted I fit well in everything. I have no fashion designer but I’m happy to hear that I dress well. 

RS: You are secretive about your personal life. Only recently we got to know that you used to sell tea at the Railway stations.

It is true that I don’t talk much about my personal life. People of Gujarat know a lot. But Media today is so vibrant that even if something falls off from the pocket they come to know. Then one day I’d come to Delhi and some Congressmen went about saying silly things about me, they even abused me. They said that Modi was an American agent and what not. I was hurt. I had my rally in Rohini (Delhi). I said, do you even know me? I have spent my childhood selling tea at railway stations and you are throwing such allegations on me? That’s how you all got to know about me. Other than that, so many things keep happening; I can’t go around telling everything. 

RS: You were so naughty that when you were a child you used to catch crocodile babies from the lake and take them home.

I was brave, not naughty. There was a lake in my village and I loved to swim in that lake. I even had to wash my clothes there. So one day I picked up a crocodile baby and took it home. Later on I even took it to school and my teachers were very upset. 

RS: You left your home when you were very young and went up to the Himalayas.

Yes I’ve left my home on several occasions. I wanted to lead a spiritual life. Like I said I spent some years begging for food for sustenance. Even now I desire that. I was greatly influenced by Swami Vivekananda. I visited Ramakrishna Mission and several other places. I recently visited Swami Atmaghanananda. That was another world which I have loved. 

RS: It’s astonishing that a man who used to sell tea and beg for food has now become a brand himself. Comics are written on you, chips and vegetables are sold in your name. Miscellaneous goods are sold in your name.

It is astonishing, I admit. If you consider my background – I am the Chief Minister of Gujarat and my mother still resides in a small house in the village. I am surprised myself as I don’t have any background. It’s like a miracle that has worked in my life. I don’t understand what people want out of me or the party, I don’t know. 

RS: Congress feels that you have prepared a huge underground team who work constantly on social media to create Narendra Modi’s image.

Congress is right for once. I have worked underground in 1975 and 1977 – two years when Mrs Indira Gandhi had imposed emergency on the nation and had imprisoned important leaders. Police were hunting for me too. Then I would wear a turban and stay dressed as a Sardar to hide my identity. Since then Congress is scared of me. My life is an open book. It is true that lakhs of people are associated with me in this election who have got nothing to do with BJP, politics. They are only concerned about the nation. Over 10000 people have come from overseas to assist. I met around 400 youngsters. They are all IITians. They have been putting efforts in their own way. I don’t even know those people. But if I don’t know that doesn’t not mean it’s underground. 

Audience: If you become Prime Minister then will Advani become the next President?

If Modi becomes Prime Minister, it would mean that Advani has made him so. Those who give me position, how can I give them anything? 

Audience: I know that you will become the PM. I have full confidence. I don’t wish to ask you a question. All I want you to do is to remove black magic from this country with your magic.

 If there are millions of others like you then black magic will anyway vanish. 

Audience: After 2002 Gujarat riots, Indian, International media, politicians – were all after you. How did you cope with all of this?

If you are dependent on truth, then you get the strength to face all accusations. Even today I face all sorts of indictments. Maybe my life’s strife has made me strong. Had I not been so strong, maybe I would have not won the hearts of millions of people. I’m privileged to have suffered. I now convert all strife into an opportunity and so far I’ve been successful. 

RS: You had strength and were supported by truth, so why didn’t you discuss this before. Why are you saying all this today in Aap Ki Adalat?

Modi: First of all, whenever I was asked on this issue, I answered all the questions. But I feel that some people do not want answers to questions. They want to hear what they have to say. And their problem is that they don’t do their homework. That’s why they can’t ask me much. 

RS: They just want Narendra Modi to apologize.

Even when I step down from my bed in the morning, I ask mother earth for her forgiveness. Who am I? I’m just a child of this earth. 

Audience: All the parties have stressed on women protection in their manifesto. What will you do that women feel secure?

If you get the opportunity, in October on Navratri, we have a ceremony that continues till over midnight. You can walk around. You will see young girls, clad in jewellery, will be hanging out and riding their scooties. Everything is possible. 

RS: Mulayam Singh Yadav has made a statement at a public meeting that rape is a minor offense and capital punishment is not justified. He said that I become the Prime Minister then I’ll change this law.

If you start collecting such mean statements then, after Mumbai’s terror attack, a Congress minister had said, such minor incidents keep happening. This mindset is very dangerous for the country. Don’t we feel the pain when such crimes take place? I understand that it takes time to bring about social change. But how can we be so insensitive. For a moment imagine that you are that girl who has been raped. Will you then think that it is a small incident? Or think that your own daughter has been raped and then you’ll understand. Every daughter of India is our daughter. The kind of things that we are hearing nowadays, are so troubling to the mind. And even then some ministers add salt to the wound because of their ignorance. It is very painful. I don’t want to give a political answer for this nor do I want to score a political point. I pray to God that at least he doesn’t give us such mentality.

 

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Comments

1.It’s been seven months since India launched its fight against coronavirus through the first lockdown in March. What’s your assessment on how we have fared?

I am sure we all agree that this virus is something unknown, nothing like what has happened earlier in the past. So, while tackling this new unknown enemy, our response also evolves

I am no health expert but my assessment is based on numbers. I think we should assess our coronavirus fight against the metric of how many lives we are able to save.

The virus is proving to be very fickle. At one time, some places like Gujarat were seen as hot spots while the situation seemed to be under control in Kerala, Karnataka etc. After a few months, things have improved in Gujarat but turning for the worse in Kerala.

This is why I feel there is no room for complacency. I stressed the same in my recent message to the nation on October 20 that the only way forward is to take precautions such as wearing mask, hand washing and social distancing because ‘Jab tak dawai nahin, tab tak dhilai nahin.’

2. But has it broadly panned out the way you expected or have you had to improvise and innovate constantly?

We decided to be proactive and introduce a timely nationwide lockdown. When we introduced a lockdown, the total number of cases was in a few hundreds, unlike many countries that adopted a lockdown when the cases were in the thousands. We imposed lockdown at a very critical point in the pandemic trajectory.

We not only got the broad timing of various phases of lockdown right, we also got the unlock process right and much of our economy is also coming back on track. The data for August and September indicates that.

India has taken a science-driven approach in response to Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Such an approach proved beneficial.

Studies now show that this response helped avoiding a situation which could have led to rapid spread of the virus with many more deaths. In addition to the timely lockdown, India was among the first countries to mandate wearing of masks, use a contact-tracing app and deploy rapid antigen tests.

For a pandemic of this dimension, it would not have been possible to manage if the country was not united. The entire country stood together to fight this virus. The Covid warriors, who are our frontline healthcare workers, knowing well the threat to their life, fought for this country.

3. What’s your biggest learning?

One positive learning in the past few months has been the significance of delivery mechanisms that reach the last mile. Much of this delivery mechanism was built in the first term of our government and it has helped us immensely in facing this once-in-a-century pandemic.

I will give just two examples. First, through the Direct Benefit Transfer regime, we were able to transfer cash straight to the bank accounts of millions of people almost instantly. This entire infrastructure to enable this was built in the last six years. Earlier, even in relatively smaller natural calamities, relief did not reach the poor and there was massive corruption.

But we were able to reach relief on a massive scale to people in a very short time, without any complaints of corruption. That is the power of technology in governance. To give a contrast, perhaps you could enlighten your readers on how India fared during the smallpox epidemic in the 1970s.

And second, the behavioural change that a billion-plus people had adapted to in such a short span of time — wearing masks and maintaining social distance — is a world model of public participation without any coercive enforcement.

Union and state governments have been working in a seamless manner as one team, public and private sectors have come together, all ministries converged to shoulder diverse responsibilities, and peoples’ participation ensured a united and effective fight.

4. What’s your assessment of the state of spread of Covid-19 in India?

The pro-active measures taken in the early stages of the virus has helped us prepare our defences against the pandemic. Though, even one untimely death is extremely painful, for a country of our size, openness, and connectivity, we have among the lowest Covid-19 mortality rates in the world. Our recovery rate continues to be high and our active cases are significantly falling.

From a peak of almost 97,894 daily cases in mid-September, we are reporting only around 50,000 new cases in late October. This has been made possible because entire India came together and worked as Team India.

5. Recent trends suggest a bending of the curve both in active cases and fatalities, raising hopes that the worst may be behind us. Do you also share this view, based on data available with the government?

This is a new virus. Countries which had initially controlled the outbreak are now reporting a resurgence.

The geographical spread of India, population density, the regular social gatherings must be kept in mind when we look at these numbers and seek to compare with others. Many of our states are larger than countries.

Within the country, the impact is very diverse — there are some areas where it’s minimal, while there are some states where it’s very focused and persistent. Yet it must be kept in mind that in a country with more than 700 districts, the impact is seen only in some districts of a few states.

Our latest numbers of new cases, mortality rate and total active cases do indicate a lower phase than some time ago, yet we cannot be complacent. The virus is still out there. It thrives on our complacency.

I feel that our response should be focused on increasing capabilities to handle the situation, make people more aware, create more facilities etc in keeping with the dictum ‘Hope for the best but prepare for the worst’.


6. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a debilitating impact on the economy, which you have sought to address by aiming to strike the right balance between lives and livelihood. How successful do you think the government has been in this endeavour?

It has been more than seven decades since we got Independence, but still some people have the colonial hangover that people and governments are two different entities. The perception that this calamity has fallen on the government emanates from this mindset. The pandemic has affected 130 crore people and both the government and the citizenry are working together to combat it.

Since the time Covid-19 started, it was frightening to witness scores of people dying in various countries all over the world. Their health systems were crumbling under the sudden load of patients. Both old and young were dying indiscriminately. At that point, our aim was to avoid a similar situation in India and to save lives. This virus was like an unknown enemy. It was unprecedented.

When one is fighting an invisible enemy, it takes time to understand it and evolve an effective strategy to counter it. We had to reach out to 130 crore Indians and make them aware of the dangers we are facing from the virus and the manner in which we could save ourselves and our family members.

It was a very challenging task. It was important to awaken Jan Chetna. Awakening of Jan Chetna becomes possible only through Jan Bhagidari. Through Janata curfew, signifying the collective national resolve by banging of thaalis or by coming together by lighting lamps, we used Jan Bhagidari to bring all Indians on one platform. This is an incredible example of mass awareness in a short span of time.

7. And what was the economic strategy?

Saving lives was not limited to saving lives from Covid-19. It was also about providing enough food and essentials to the poor. Even when most of the experts and newspapers were asking the government to release an economic package for the corporate sector, our focus was to save lives among the vulnerable populations. We first announced PM Garib Kalyan package to alleviate the suffering of the poor people, the migrants, farmers.

One special insight and understanding that came early to us was that the agriculture sector is one where the rule of social distancing can be more naturally maintained without compromising on productivity. So, we allowed agriculture activities almost from the very start. And we all see the results today with this sector doing exceptionally well despite so many months of disruption.

Record distribution of foodgrain, Shramik Special trains and proactive procurement were undertaken for both the immediate and medium-term needs of the people.

To ameliorate the hardships being faced by people we came up with an Atmanirbhar Bharat package. This package addressed issues being faced by all sections of the society and all sectors of the economy.

This also provided us an opportunity to carry out reforms that were waiting to happen for decades but no one earlier took the initiative. Reforms across sectors such as coal, agriculture, labour, defence, civil aviation and so on have been undertaken which will help us get back on the high growth path that we were on before the crisis.

Our efforts are bearing result as the Indian economy is already getting back on track faster than expected.

8. Your government has initiated two key second-generation reforms — the farm and labour reforms. How optimistic are you of these initiatives delivering the desired economic dividend, especially in the light of overall economic slowdown and political opposition?

Experts have been advocating these reforms for a long time. Even political parties have been asking for votes in the name of these reforms. Everyone desired that these reforms should happen. The issue is that the opposition parties do not wish that we get the credit.

We also don’t want credit. We brought reforms keeping in mind the welfare of farmers and workers. And they understand and trust our intentions because of our track record.

We have gone about reforming the agriculture sector step by step in the past six years. So what we have done today is one piece in the chain of actions that we started in 2014. We also hiked MSPs multiple times and in fact, we procured many times more from farmers at MSP than earlier governments did. Both irrigation and insurance saw huge improvement. Direct income support was ensured for farmers.

What has been lacking in Indian farming is commensurate return for all the blood and toil put in by our farmers. The new structure brought by these reforms will significantly increase the profitability of our farmers. As in other industries, once the profits are earned, it is reinvested back in the sector for generating more produce. A virtuous cycle of profit and reinvestment emerges. In the farming sector as well, this cycle will open doors for more investment, innovation and new technology. Thus, these reforms hold immense potential to transform not just the agriculture sector but the entire rural economy.

On MSP, in the just completed Rabi marketing season, the Central government has procured 389.9 lakh MT of wheat, an all-time record, with 75,055 crore going to farmers as MSP.

In the ongoing Kharif marketing season, up to 159.5 lakh MT of paddy has been procured, compared to 134.5 lakh MT at the same point last year, an increase of 18.62%. All this happened after we brought the three ordinances, which have now been passed by Parliament.

MSP payment to farmers for paddy has gone up by 1.5 times, wheat by 1.3 times, pulses by 75 times and oilseeds by 10 times during the last five years compared to five years of UPA-2 (2009-10 to 2013-14). This proves the lie and dishonesty of those who are spreading the canard about MSP.

9. And what about labour reforms?

These reforms are very pro-worker. They are now entitled to all benefits and social security even if hired for fixed term. The labour reforms will help create significant employment while also protecting the worker by ensuring minimum wage reforms, provision for social security for workers in the informal sector, and minimising government interference. It will ensure timely payment of wages and give priority to occupational safety of the workers, thus contributing to a better working environment.

In the last few weeks, we have finished what we had set out to do. The 44 central labour laws with over 1,200 sections have been assimilated into just four codes. There will now be just one registration, one assessment and one return filing. Along with easier compliance, this will lead to a stable regime for businesses to invest and create a win-win situation for the employee and the employer.

For manufacturing sector, in the last six years, we have taken a number of reform measures from cutting down corporate tax rate to 15% for new manufacturing units to raising FDI limits and allowing private investment in strategic sectors like space, defence and so on. Essentially, reforms for the manufacturing sector were in place with one piece of the jigsaw remaining — the labour reforms. We have done that as well. It was often jokingly said India had more labour laws than labour in the formal sector. Labour laws often helped everyone except the labour. Holistic growth cannot happen until India’s workforce gets the benefits of formalisation.

I am confident that these reforms undertaken in the last few months will help increase the growth rate and returns in both the manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Moreover, it will also signal to the world that this is a new India which believes in markets and market forces.

10. One criticism is that the flexibility to lay off employees has been extended to factories employing up to 300 people. But giant factories in electronics, garments and other sectors employ many more. Why not extend this flexibility to all factories while sharply increasing compensation for those laid off? Also, what are your views on the criticisms around curtailment of the right to strike?

India was suffering from a twin problem: Our labour laws were such that most workers did not have any social security. And companies did not want to hire more workers for the fear of labour laws, which disincentivised labour-intensive production. The inspector-raj system and complicated labour laws had a strong deterrent effect on employers.

We need to come out of the mindset that industry and labour are always in conflict with each other. Why not have a mechanism where both benefit equally? Since labour is a concurrent subject, the law gives flexibility to state governments to modify the codes further as per their unique situation and requirements.

The right to strike has not been curtailed at all. In fact, trade unions have been conferred with a new right, enabling them to get statutory recognition.

We have made the employer-employee relation more systematic and symmetrical. The provision of notice period gives an opportunity for amicable settlement of any grievance between employees and employers.

11. The GST system has come under considerable stress from Covid-19. The Centre has for now agreed to borrow money and pass on to states. But looking ahead, how do you foresee the situation for state governments?

The last six years have seen the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism in all our actions. A country as large as ours cannot develop only on the one pillar of the Centre, it needs the second pillar of states. The fight against Covid-19 also got strengthened because of this approach. Decisions were taken collectively. I had video-conferences with CMs multiple times to hear their suggestions and inputs, which has no parallel in history.

On the GST, this is by all accounts an extraordinary year. Most assumptions and calculations did not take into account a once-in-a-century pandemic. Yet, we have proposed options to move forward and most states are fine with them. A consensus is evolving.

12. You have been a chief minister for many years. What kind of collaboration do you propose with states on the economic side in the current context?

It’s important to remember that the Centre-state relationship is not limited to GST. Despite the pandemic and the fall in gross tax revenue, we have provided enhanced resource transfers to states. Between April and July, the sum total of devolution of taxes plus grants-in-aid to states, including centrally sponsored schemes, increased by 19% to 4.06 lakh crore from 3.42 lakh crore in the same period last year. In short, while our revenues fell, we sustained the flow of funds to states.

In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the central government also allowed additional borrowing limit of up to 2% of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to states for the year 2020-21. This amounted to 4.27 lakh crore being made available to states. The Centre has already granted permission to states to raise the first 0.5% in June 2020. This made an additional amount of 1,06,830 crore available to states. On the request of states, the limit of using the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) has been increased from 35% to 50%. This was done to ensure more finances with states to fight Corona.

13. Many argue that the Centre passes its troubles to states. Your thoughts?

Let me give you an example of what used to happen earlier. When VAT replaced the CST under the UPA government, they had promised to compensate states for any revenue shortfall. But you know what UPA did? They refused to compensate states despite their commitment. Not just for one year but continuously for five years. This was one of the reasons why states did not agree to GST regime under UPA. Despite the fact that it was a different government which made that commitment, we took it upon ourselves to clear those dues when we assumed power in 2014. This shows our approach to federalism.

14. The government’s critics have said India ended up high on both columns — number of infections and economic contraction. How do you respond to such criticism?

There are some people who are so intelligent that they use absolute number of cases to compare our country with other countries which have population similar to our states.


However, I expect The Economic Times to do better research and not regurgitate such arguments. While looking at our current numbers, we should also look at what kind of huge numbers were forecast by experts in March.

15. What are the five economic parameters you would point to as clear indicators of a bounce back? Specifically, what kind of a rebound do you expect next year?

We are on our way to economic recovery. Indicators suggest the same. First, in agriculture, as I said earlier, our farmers have broken all records and we have also done record procurement at the highest ever levels of MSP. These two factors — record production and record purchase — are going to inject significant income in the rural economy which will have its own virtuous cycle of demand generation. Second, record high FDI inflows indicate India’s growing image as an investor friendly country. This year, despite the pandemic, we received the highest ever FDI of $35.73 billion for April-August. This is 13% higher than the same period last year, which was also a record year. Third, auto sales along with tractor sales are either reaching or surpassing previous year levels. This indicates a strong resurgence in demand. Fourth, a steady recovery in the manufacturing sector helped India climb two notches to the third position among key emerging markets after China and Brazil in September. The manufacturing growth is reflected in the first year-on-year rise in exports in seven months. E-way bills and GST collections growth has also been healthy.

Finally, in terms of new net subscribers of EPFO, the month of August 2020 registered a 34% jump compared to July 2020 with addition of more than a million new subscribers. This shows that the job market is picking up.

Other than that, foreign exchange reserves have touched a record high. Key indicators of economic recovery like railway freight traffic increased by more than 15% and power demand by 4% in September over the same month last year. This shows that recovery is broad based. Plus, Aatmanirbhar Bharat announcements are a big stimulus to the economy, particularly to small businesses and the informal sector.

16. What’s your plan for further stimulus?

We will take all measures needed to constantly stimulate the economy in a timely manner while ensuring overall macro-economic stability. Remember, we are still not over with the pandemic. Yet, our economy has shown a remarkable capability to bounce back, largely because of the resilience of our people. This is something which is not captured in these numbers, but is the reason behind those numbers. The shop-owner, the trader, the person running a MSME, the person working on factory floor, the entrepreneur, all these are the heroes responsible for the strong market sentiment and revival of the economy.

17. You seem to believe that India can still emerge as a major world hub for manufacturing, especially by becoming part of global supply chains at a time when companies are looking to de-risk their exposure to China. What is the progress in this regard? Can India emerge as a credible alternative to China in global supply chains?

India has not started speaking about manufacturing only after the pandemic. We have been working on increasing manufacturing for sometime now. India is, after all, a young country with a skilled workforce. But India doesn’t believe in gaining from the loss of others. India will become a global manufacturing hub on its own strengths. Our effort is not to become some country’s alternative, but to become a country which offers unique opportunities. We want to see the progress of all. If India progresses, 1/6th of humanity will progress.

We saw how a new world order was formed after World War II. Something similar will happen post Covid-19. This time, India will ride the bus of manufacturing and integrating in global supply chains. We have specific advantages in the form of democracy, demography and demand.

18. So, what are the policy measures you propose to enable India take this giant leap?

India’s pharma sector, during the past few months, has already demonstrated the way ahead. India has emerged as a key player in global pharma supply chains. We have become the second largest manufacturer of PPE kits in a very short duration. India is also making a mark in manufacturing technologically advanced items like ventilators and from almost negligible capacity earlier, we are now manufacturing thousands of ventilators in quick time.

From independence till the pandemic started, around 15-16 thousand ventilators in working condition existed in government hospitals across India. Now, we are moving rapidly towards adding another 50000 ventilators these hospitals.

Now, that we have successfully established this model. We can emulate it in other fields. Our recently launched production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes for mobile manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medical devices are good examples of this focused and targeted approach to attract internationally reputed investors to create capacities with global scales and competitiveness, as well as make India their export hub. In the mobile phone segment alone, it’s expected that production worth over 10 lakh crore will take place over the next five years, of which 60% will be exports.

According to Moody’s, 154 greenfield projects from the US have come to India in 2020, compared to 86 in China, 12 in Vietnam and 15 in Malaysia. This is a clear indication of global confidence in India’s growth story going forward. We have laid strong foundations to make India the foremost manufacturing destination.

The corporate tax cut, introduction of commercial mining in coal sector, opening up of space sector for private investment, lifting defence restrictions on air routes for civil aviation use, are some steps that will go a long way in boosting growth.

But what we should also understand is that India can grow only as fast as our states do. There needs to be healthy competition among the states in attracting investment. States are also competing on the Ease of Doing Business rankings. Incentives alone may not be enough to bag investments, states will need to build infrastructure and follow good development-related policies.

19. There is fear in some quarters that the Atmanirbhar initiative marks a return to the days of autarky. Some say there is a contradiction between India seeking to become part of global supply chains while restricting imports. Your views?

It’s not in the nature of India or Indians to be inward looking or self-centered. We are a forward-looking civilization and a vibrant democracy that looks to interact with other countries to build a better world. Aatmanirbhar Bharat is not just about competition but also about competence, it’s not about dominance but about dependability, it’s not about looking within but about looking out for the world.

So, when we say Aatmanirbhar Bharat, we mean an India that is, first of all, self-reliant. A self-reliant India is also a reliable friend for the world. A self-reliant India does not mean an India that is self-centred. When a child reaches the age of 18, even the parents tell him or her to become Aatmanirbhar. This is natural.

Today we are using our aatmanirbharta to help the world in the medical field. For instance, we are producing vaccines and drugs without increasing costs or putting restrictions. A relatively poor country like ours incurs a huge cost to educate doctors, who are today spread across the globe, helping humanity. We never stopped them from migrating.

When India becomes Aatmanirbhar in a certain field, it always helps the world. If someone doesn’t understand the ethos and spirit of India, they won’t understand this concept.

20. So, there’s no contradiction?

Confusion among experts is not necessarily a contradiction in our approach. We have just eased restrictions for FDI through reforms like you see in agriculture, labour and coal. Only a country that believes in the power of international trade and commerce would go on opening up more and more avenues to work with the world. At the same time, it’s also true that India has been unable to realise its potential in sectors where it has inherent comparative advantages. Take coal for instance. India imported nearly 1.5 lakh crore worth of coal in 2019-20, despite having one of the biggest reserves in the world. Defence is another area of import dependence for us. While we have increased the FDI limit from 49 to 74%, domestic production for 101 items worth 3.5 lakh crore over the next five years has also been announced.

In the past, while opening our markets, we also signed 10 free trade agreements (FTAs) and 6 preferential trade agreements (PTAs). The assessment of existing FTAs should happen on the metric of how they have benefited for India and not on the basis of ideological standing.

India is keen to be part of global value chains and wants to do trade deals but they have to be fair and non-discriminatory. Moreover, since India would be providing access to a large market, the agreements must be reciprocal and balanced.

We gave preferential access to our large market under our FTAs. However, our trading partners have not always reciprocated with the same treatment. Our exporters have often faced ill-intended non-tariff barriers. For example, while our trading partners can export steel to India, few trading partners don’t allow the import of Indian steel. Similarly, Indian tyre manufacturers are unable to export due to technical barriers. While India remains committed to openness and transparency in trade, it will use the measures and instruments at its disposal in ensuring free and fair access for its exporters.

In the case of RCEP, India made its best efforts for a final conclusion. We wanted a level playing field based on fair trade practices and transparency. We expressed serious concerns over non-tariff barriers and opaqueness of subsidy regimes in some RCEP countries. India took a considered position not to join RCEP, highlighting the fact that the current structure did not reflect RCEP guiding principles nor address outstanding issues.

21. It appears from government assessments that FTAs have not worked in India’s favour. We also walked out of RCEP. How has your thinking evolved on subject? Do you think we should pursue FTAs at all?

The guiding principle behind International trade is to create win-win solutions for all countries involved. And I am told by experts, that ideally trade deals should be global and multilateral through the WTO. India has always adhered to global trade rules and stood for a free, fair, equitable, transparent and rules-based international trading system, which should fulfil the intended developmental objectives and aspirations of developing countries, as envisaged under the WTO.

22. India has emerged as a major producer of PPE and masks. Pharma has emerged as a strategic sector. Going forward, how do you strengthen our advantage in this area?

We realised at the start of the pandemic that we were dependent on imports for PPEs. The problem aggravated after countries imposed lockdowns, which affected manufacturing, resulting in disruption of global supply chains. This essentially meant that the country was to quickly think of ways to become self-reliant in the time of crisis.

We followed a very focused hands-on approach, identifying and sourcing each and every raw material for this purpose. We worked 24x7 with the industry and state governments to meet the objective of making and procuring PPE Kits, N-95 masks, ventilators, diagnostic kits etc. Once these issues were sorted, indigenous production started and orders were placed on domestic manufacturers for procurement. India is now in a position where we are not only meeting our domestic demand but are also capable of meeting the demand of other countries.

India lived up to its name of being the Pharmacy of the World in the last few months, supplying drugs and medical equipment to around 150 countries. The Indian pharma sector has a size of about $38 billion. To strengthen this advantage, government has approved an outlay of 1,40,00 crore for production of medical devices and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Bulk drug parks and medical devices parks are being created for attaining global leadership position.

23. A vaccine is likely to become available next year. Is there some thinking on distribution and priorities in terms of who will be vaccinated?

First and foremost, I would like to assure the nation that, as and when a vaccine becomes available, everyone will be vaccinated. None will be left behind. Of course, initially we may focus on protecting the most vulnerable and the frontline workers. A National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 Vaccine has been constituted to chart the way forward.


We should also realise that vaccine development is still work in progress. Trials are on. Experts can’t say what the vaccine will be, its dosage per person, periodicity or how it’s to be administered etc. All this, when finalised by experts, will also guide our approach on taking the vaccine to citizens.

On logistics, more than 28,000 cold chain points will store and distribute Covid-19 vaccines to ensure they reach the last point. Dedicated teams at state, district and local levels will see to it that the vaccine distribution and administration is done in a systematic and accountable manner. A digital platform to enroll, track and reach the beneficiaries is also being prepared.

24. Given the setback on account of Covid-19, where do we stand on the target of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024?

Most people who are pessimistic remain in doubt. If you sit among them, you will hear only things of despair and despondency.

However, if you discuss with optimistic people, you will hear ideas and suggestions on how to improve. Today, our country is optimistic of the future, it is optimistic of reaching the $5 trillion target. And this optimism gives us confidence. Today, if our Corona Warriors are working 18-20 hours to serve patients, it also inspires us to put in more hard-work.


So what if we could not move at the desired pace this year due to the pandemic! We will try and run faster in the next year to make up for the loss. Nothing great ever gets done if we get deterred by obstacles in our path. By not aspiring, we guarantee failure. India is the third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. We want India to become the third largest in terms of current US dollar prices as well. The $5 trillion target will help us achieve that.

Also, our government has a track record of meeting our targets. We met the rural sanitation target before the deadline, we met the village electrification target before the deadline, we met the 8 crore Ujjwala connections target too well before the deadline. So, going by our track record and continuing reforms, people also have confidence in our abilities to reach the target.

We have given a fair chance to those who have invested in India, shown their trust to expand their capacities and become globally competitive. The Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative is about unlocking India’s latent potential, so that our firms can serve not just domestic markets, but also global ones.

Source : The Economic Times