My cabinet colleagues Shri Suresh Prabhu, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Shri C.R. Chaudhary, Secretary DIPP, Shri Ramesh Abhishek and my brothers and sisters associated with trade and business who are present here today.
The entire country is busy with Ganpati festival celebrations. Lord Ganesha has arrived in every household. Let us seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha for every auspicious work to be successful and proceed further. It is an appropriate occasion to start the construction of this important centre that is a grand and glorious symbol of New India.
We can very well experience the country's economic development, cultural richness and our sensitivity towards nature in ‘India International Convention and Expo Centre’ i.e. IICC. This Service exhibits the feelings and expressions of 125 crore Indians. This is in accordance with India's image and place in the comity of nations today.
This centre that will be built at a cost of approximately Rs.26 thousand crores will prove to be a centre of attitude and energy of the country's 80 crore youth. This is part of the government's vision that focuses on world class infrastructure and ease of doing business. Just now we have been extensively told through the film and the 3D model that this will not only be a single Convention Centre or Expo Centre but a lively and vibrant centre for the country and the world's business.
In a way, this will be a mini city within Delhi. Innumerable facilities like the Convention Hall, Expo Hall, Meeting Hall, Hotels, Market, Office, and Recreation will be developed in one place.
So, we will come out of the confusion over whether we should organize international level events in the country's capital or not; whether we should invite people from all over the world? There will no longer be two thoughts about it. This Convention Hall is being built in a place that can accommodate 10,000 people. It will be among top 5 Conventional Halls in the world and top 3 in Asia in terms of seating capacity.
Most importantly, it is going to extend the work culture of accomplishing big tasks that has developed in the last four years. This is going to be India's largest Convention and Expo Centre.
This government has started work on its unprecedented schemes for the development of the country such as building the longest tunnel, the longest gas pipeline, the longest bridge over the sea, the largest mobile manufacturing unit or providing broadband connectivity and electricity to every village, or the greatest financial inclusion movement, the largest banking network in the rural areas, setting up of India Post Payment Bank, indirect tax in the form of GST, running the greatest mass movement in the form of Swachh Bharat Mission and now the country and the world's greatest healthcare scheme i.e. Ayushman Bharat.
These are some examples of physical and social infrastructure that symbolize not only of providing a new direction but also of the 21st century India and the speed, scale and skill of New India.
Today, the name of IICC will also be included among the world class facilities that are being developed in different parts of the country. Laced with modern technology, the complex will have myriad facilities that is expected from the world's 6th largest economy for the business leaders from around the world; the economy that is growing at a rate of 8% that is rapidly progressing with the target of turning into a 5trillion dollar economy in the next 5-7 years and 10 trillion dollar economy in the next one to one-and-a-half decade.
I am glad to know that this complex will be well connected to modern transportation facilities. This will be directly connected to the Airport by high-speed metro. All the facilities and arrangements for meetings or business Incubation Centres, event management service, entertainment, shopping or tourism related facilities will be available, under one roof.
This project is a part of the Government's resolution, in which every infrastructure related to India's growth story is being strengthened.
Brothers and sisters,
Wherever we go, we find that even the small countries are capable of organizing big conferences. By developing modern arrangements, many countries have become the hubs of Conference Tourism. However, we have never thought in this direction for years. All our major conferences or trade fair are limited to just one place i.e. Pragati Maidan. That place too has lost its glory. Now that idea has changed and today's programme is the result of that change.
IICC centres will be set up not only in the country's capital Delhi but also in other states to strengthen business culture. In our country, an ecosystem of Conference Tourism will be developed.
International level summits, Annual General Meetings of major companies, events of different government departments etc. can be easily organized in such centres. This modern Convention Centre will, in a way, promote ease of living. There will not be any issue of erecting tents, supply of water and electricity or any threat of weather conditions. There will be a 'ready-to-use' system that will be available for use by maximum number of people.
When there are centres for such activities like business activities or cultural activities, the entire city gets benefitted. These Convention centres will become the identity of these cities.
IICC will become a good medium of highlighting India's credible story globally. I hope that after it is ready, then Conference Tourism will enhance the identity of India in the form of MIC i.e. Meeting Incentive Conferences and Exhibition.
IICC will help the country's businessmen and industrialists to showcase and establish their products in the international market. The small and medium entrepreneurs often find it difficult to advertise and market their products due to financial constraints. This will prove to be effective for them. They will be able to directly interact with international buyers and sellers. They will be able to know about international level technologies and will operate their business accordingly.
This facility will give impetus to government's those efforts that will empower MSME i.e. Medium and Small Scale industries. Moreover, an important facility will also come up for start-ups. The most daunting challenge of a start-up is to deliver their ideas to investors. This will prove to be a major platform for the country's innovative youth. Here, discussions will pertain to ideas, innovation, funding, branding and marketing.
This is important because today India is the second largest ecosystem in the world in the field of Start-ups.
Today our youth is working on more than 10,000 start-ups. In such a scenario, the modern facilities will benefit every class and every level of the society. The fact that this centre will provide employment opportunities to the country's 5 lakh youngsters is noteworthy. This project is not only the face of India's economic and cultural power but also a new direction for lakhs of poor and middle class families. This has the strength to change the aspirations of the youngsters from the country's training institutes, skill centres or schools and colleges.
Brothers and sisters,
IICC is the extension of those major infrastructure projects that have been placed on ground over the last four years. Such projects have opened up new employment opportunities for lakhs of youngsters. Job opportunities are being created in every sector such as service, agriculture or manufacturing sector. As per the reports, job creation in the IT sector has shown a dramatic increase.
There are unprecedented opportunities in the retail sector. The E-commerce sector alone is generating more than $ 50 billion in revenue. The more this sector becomes widespread, the more jobs it can provide.
Today, along with the service sector, the manufacturing sector too is increasing the power of 'Make in India'. Today India is becoming the manufacturing hub of mobile phones which has brought the country's 4-4.5 lakh youngsters in the employment network in the last four years. Now according to the current scenario, we are not only exporting mobile phones but also manufacturing 80% of the mobiles within the country. This has saved us Rs.3 lakh crores of foreign exchange.
In the last four years, an environment of transparent and merit-based business has been created. The country's telecom sector has come out of the darkness that prevailed 5-6 years ago. Today this sector is among the fastest growing sectors of the country. The country is now moving towards establishing the infrastructure of 5G. Transparent tendering system and Digital India Mission have further pushed it. Today voice call is almost free and the price of 1GB 4G data has reduced from Rs.250-300 to only Rs.19-20. Now the common man can savour the strength of internet as the industry has got new opportunities for business. Along with the Telecom sector, the Tourism sector too is building a new record of sustainable development and creating lakhs of job opportunities in the country.
A country is run by a system and by its institutions. A nation cannot be built in 2 or 4 months or years. It is the result of several years of sustained development. Therefore, timely decision making and implementation of the schemes are pertinent for this.
Take for example the decision of the merger of the small banks. There was no need of dozens of public sector banks. We have been hearing debates on this issue for years. About two and a half decades ago, this issue was raised. However, even after a lot of discussion, no one had the courage to work in this direction. The last 50 months are the witness to the fact that the government formed by the NDA is never afraid of taking bold decisions. The decisions that were in limbo for years together have now been put on ground. Initially, the smaller banks were merged with State Bank of India and now three more banks will be merged with one bank. I clearly remember that about 3-4 years back, whenever there used to be talk on reform, some people used to challenge and write ‘if Modi can accomplish the task of merger of banks, we will accept that Modi is really doing something great’. Now that this task has been accomplished, their pens are in a peaceful slumber. They are now silent.
All the decisions like the ones related to GST, demonetization, Benami property, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, or absconders after committing financial frauds, or cancelling the registration of more than 3 lakh suspicious companies, are shining examples of the government's commitment towards creating an honest and transparent business environment.
In the last four years, all-round development was possible and the government could perform better with the same available resources because it had prioritized the welfare of the nation above everything else. It had ensured that the arrangements were done properly.
I want to reassure you that this system of taking bold decisions for the welfare of the people will continue. Today, despite the challenges faced by the country, India's economic foundation is strengthening day by day. The fundamentals are strong; exports are being encouraged. Work is underway on an extensive scheme to make global trade 40% of the GDP. Efforts are going on to achieve the target of turning the country's GDP to 5trillion dollars by 2025, of which 1 trillion dollars should be formed by the manufacturing and agriculture sectors.
As a result of the government's efforts, the rankings in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ have improved by 42 points in the last four years. Now even the states are competing among themselves to improve their rankings. This competition in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ is also improving the people's ease of living.
We are striving to take this journey of reforms to district and Tehsil levels. Today we are focusing upon the aspects of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ even at district level. We are working on an Excel Plan to achieve the same. The government is trying to increase the GDP of the districts by 2-3 % in the future. It is looking for the methods, the initiatives and the priorities. The government's idea has always been show results on ground to leave the imprints of sustainable reforms.
Our vast country has a huge population of youngsters who have the right to dream big and fulfill those dreams. They have the right to give a physical form to those dreams. It is the responsibility of the business world along with the government to help them to fulfill those dreams. It is also the responsibility of all of you.
I believe that we all will work together with all our efforts to give impetus to the dreams of youngsters of New India. Efforts are going on to complete the first phase of IICC within 1-1.5 years. My best wishes to the people who are associated with its construction. I was told that almost 2500 workers have already started working in this complex. This means that full-fledged work has already begun even before laying the foundation stone.
I believe that the dreams with which we have started, India must move forward by projecting herself as not only relevant but also a leader in this ever-changing world and global economy. We must stride ahead for these dreams. Once again, my best wishes to the entire team for accomplishing this task on time in the best possible manner and at a best possible pace.
Thanks a lot!