In the introduction, my tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat for many years was described in detail and now I have assumed charge as the Prime Minister of India. The most characteristic feature of my tenure in Gujarat was that I had excellent relations with the Industrial houses and the business groups of Japan. Over the past 6-7 years there was hardly a week when a Japanese delegation would not have visited Gujarat. These interactions enabled me to understand what should be the approach of administrators and what should be the initiatives for ease of business? Now I have a general understanding about the steps that can lead to simplification of policies. I have also developed an understanding of requisites specific to Japan.
When I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, we did not know what is Golf or a golf course. When the Japanese delegation visited us, we realized that as a government , for business purposes we need to cater to minor details in order to facilitate trade, though this was nowhere on my agenda. I thought that in order to facilitate trade and commerce, it will be needed to look into minute detail. Hence today, I am telling you with pride that we created a world class golf courses in Gujarat. This is an example of how should be the coordination e between the pro-active government, administration and investors. One must take note of minute observations and now I understand this very well.
I am happy to be here since I have been to Japan earlier as well. You all welcomed me when I was the Chief Minister; even the Japanese government welcomed me. The people of Japan who are associated with Gujarat and know about the Gujarat model are more aware of who Modi is and what he does in Gujarat. Now that I have assumed the charge as the Prime Minister of India, their expectations are really high which is but natural. Not only do they have great expectations, they also expect things to happen faster.
I have come here to reiterate my commitment. Please see the work I have done in the past 100 days. I was new to National politics, on such a high post, I had never been in that kind of a process. I came from a small state. Despite these limitations the initiatives we had undertaken in the past 100 days , the decisions we have taken one after the another , their outcomes are clearly visible now. Among the Japanese management systems we give great importance to Karzai System of reform. You will be happy to know that in order to make my PMO more efficient and productive, we consulted the Karzai system and have introduced it. Training of various departments is already in progress. I have been working consistently for the past three months to bring the efficiency levels of the Japanese at least initially. One of your teams is working with me.
My priority is good governance. When I talk of good governance, I am talking of making a case for ease of business. Any company that comes expects to get a single window clearance. Single window clearance is a matter of good governance. That is why we have emphasized on good governance. How do we enhance online processes? There are a few pending questions I remember. When I came here in 2012 some questions were put to me. They were beyond my scope, yet I was expected to respond. But they were related more to the Government of India than with me. I think you had some kind of a premonition and hence you started giving me a list from 2012 itself.
You wanted to open a bank in Ahmadabad. Soon after joining my first job was to grant the permission. There were discussions going on for a long time about “Real Earth” That job was done. We took many such decisions one after another. We have already granted permission to Japanese banks to open more branches in India. It is my impression that we are taking decisions fast since being a Gujarati trade and commerce is in my veins. Hence I understand these things well. I don’t think businessmen need more concessions. I think businessmen need proper environment to grow. The onus is on the system to provide a proper business environment. It is the responsibility of the administration and the policy makers. Once a correct policy making framework is in place, things start falling in line.
Sometimes the delay is because of the fact that the task is left at the discretion of lower level of administration. If we run a policy driven state, there will no hesitation in taking a decision at the lower levels. The smallest official can easily take the decision. That is why we have given priority to policy driven governance. If there is policy driven governance, there is no scope of discrimination. There is no passing the buck and each one gets equal justice. We have emphasized that everyone gets equal opportunity.
Our government has been in power for the last three months. You are people from the world of business and you understand the impact of global economy and how different economies of the world are functioning. Last decade has been difficult for us. I do not want to use this forum to go into that debate. But with a growth of 5.7 % in the first quarter we have made a huge jump. This has reaffirmed our credibility, because we were tumbling around 4.4- 4.5-4.6 . And there was an air of despondency. This has brought about a huge change.
You understand how a go- no go attitude hampers the decision making ability. When the people give a clear mandate then situation is different. And it is our good fortune that even Japan after many years has had a clear cut mandate and now there is a stable government in both the upper and the lower house. In India too, after 30 years, a single party has got absolute majority. A clear cut majority brings about two things. It increases our accountability and responsibility. Both these things add inspiration and inertia to our responsibility. Political stability in both these countries is going to be hugely beneficial in the coming days,
You know India is world’s youngest nation. 65% of the population is below 35 years of age. We are mapping the global work force requirement of the world by 2020, so we are working on skill development to play an important role in the workforce needs. But we want upscale skill development on the lines of Japan where there is quality, zero defect, efficiency, and discipline is never lacking. I think Japan can help us in a big way. I am talking to all the representatives of the Japanese government and wish to have the same level of skill development that caters to global requirements. We want to do global mapping and accordingly we want to undertake and focus on skill development.
Similarly we want to collaborate with Japan in the field of research and move ahead. Human nature is such that continuous research is imperative. There is no end of the road in the field of research. And if we want to do research than who can help in taking that intellectual property forward? India wants to be a part of this flow. There is a big scope in India, a population of 125 crores. A new urge has seen the light of the day. Indians also want a change in their quality of life and hence this urge arises from within. So we can imagine how huge the requirement is?
If we take the energy sector, clean energy is the biggest requirement. We are not a hydro carbon rich country. We do not believe in the exploitation of nature. We believe in environment friendly development. And hence it is imperative for us that we work in the field of clean energy. In this context, whatever support we get from Japan will be of great help in fulfilling a huge global demand. The attempt to avoid global warming by the use of clean energy will be a huge help in comparison to the energy consumption by 125 crore Indians.
We have taken a lot of initiatives in the infrastructure sector in the recent budget. With great bravado we have taken a decision for 100% FDI in railways. We have taken up an important decision of 49% FDI in defence. In infrastructure we are talking about 100% FDI. We will bring about the required changes in the legal procedures in this regard. We will have to change the rules. I believe that we will soon reap the benefits of these initiatives.
If you are to take your Gujarat experience as a parameter then I would request you that in the coming days you will get the same response in India, the same benefits, same speed and same result oriented approach. I have come to give all the Japanese friends of the business world this belief that such change will happen. I also believe that this economic coordination between India and Japan is not to enhance the balance sheets alone. Is it just to increase our bank balance? Or is to increase the volume of business or raise our stature? I believe that the Indo Japan relations go far beyond that.
Neither you nor I have nor does the global community have the slightest doubt that the 21st century will belong to Asia. This is accepted by the whole world. There are no doubts about it. 21st century belongs to Asia, the whole world knows. But I have a different question and that is how should this 21st century be? Who it belongs to, we have an answer but how it should be is for us to decide. I believe that how the 21st century will be depends on how deep the Indo Japan relations are and how progressive they are. Our commitment to peace and progress will define how India and Japan are able to impact Asia and later the world. So for the fulfillment of peace in 21st century, for progress in 21st century and fulfilling basic human needs India and Japan have a huge responsibility. The people have given a clear verdict of political stability for the fulfillment of this huge responsibility. Now the onus is on the chosen governments, their policy makers and opinion makers, the leaders of the industrial and financial world. If we are able to fulfill these duties then we can chart a course for the world to tread.
The world is divided into two streams. One is that of expansionism and the other of development. We have to decide whether the world gets engulfed in the expansionism or encourage development opportunities to scale new heights. Those who follow the path of the Buddha and believe in development are guaranteed for peace and progress. But today, what we are witnessing is the expansionist mindset of the 18th century. To interfere in the affairs of a country, to occupy territories within a country, such expansionist tendencies will serve no good in the 21st Century.
Development is mandatory and I believe that in the 21st century if Asia has to lead the world than India and Japan will have to take the development to new heights. I would request people from industrial world, commercial world, financial world, business circle and intellectual arena to join hands. This is a shared responsibility of both India and Japan. Now we cannot remain confined to the development of either India or Japan or some specific industry alone. We have now greater responsibilities to fulfill.
I believe that today I am among those people who are in a way a huge driving force for the world economy. The people seated in this room are the ones who provide direction to world economy. These are the people who have an authority in world economy. I am talking about human development, world peace, and progress of the poor people of the world to such esteemed and distinguished people. India wants to play its role to accomplish this huge responsibility. The new government definitely desires to push forward he reforms.
I want to tell something to my industrial friends in Japan. We have decided to create a special management team named Japan Plus within the PMO. It will be dedicated to facilitate the needs of Japan and make things easy for you. Also I would like to add 10 members chosen by Japan in my team looking after the industrial works. These team members will sit permanently with the Indian team, will understand your requirements and be a part of our decision making process. This arrangement will ensure both ease of business and ease for Japan. I am grateful to you for having an opportunity to interact with you and share your valuable time..
A huge delegation is accompanying me. You must be familiar, someone must be familiar with some members, but not all might be familiar. I can say that the who ’s who of Indian industrial world are present in this room. You might want to meet them later. I would request all my Indian friends to stand up at their place, so that the people who want to meet can do so easily, they may shake hands and share their thoughts and ideas with you . These are all my heavy weights, the team of my country. Even I have to seek appointment if I want to meet them.
I am grateful to them for being a part of my entourage ; they are an important part of India’s development. We are partners. We are the government and they can’t be alienated in a different role. It is not acceptable to us. We all are partners. We are taking India forward as partners. We should get together for Asia and through Asia we should strive for world development.
With these expectations I thank you once again.