Guests from India and abroad who are here to attend Economic Times Global Business Summit, all the dignitaries present here, ladies and gentlemen
All of you have gathered here to deliberate upon New Economy-New Rules at a time which is an extremely important period of the solemn pledge for making a New India. The question is: what is this that is new?
Economic Times is being published every day; the paper quality is the same everyday; the printing is also the same everyday; and the font and style of writing the name of the news paper written by you is also the same even then we say that a new newspaper is being published every day. The difference is in the content and on the basis of this content you people say that this is a fresh news item, this is a fresh news story.
Friends, our government is going to complete four years of its term in next few months. The country is the same, the bureaucracy is the same but even then there is a clear change visible in India and abroad. The new rules of a New India, of a New Economy are inherent in the change that has come about in the economic and social content of the country.
You would be aware that four years ago when Indian economy was discussed in the entire world then it was called Fragile Five. The world used to laugh at us and they used to look at us with disdain saying that this country will sink itself and it will also drag us down with it. Today the discussion is not about the Fragile Five but it is about India’s target of becoming a five trillion dollar economy. Now the world wants to walk with India shoulder to shoulder.
Friends, India’s growth has been making a significant contribution in the global growth.
In the last three-four years India has strengthened the global economic growth along with its own.
If we look at theworld GDP data in the nominal terms then we come across to very interesting trends. As per the data given by International Monetary Fund, India’s contribution in the world economy in nominal terms was 2.4% which has increased to 3.1% during nearly four years of our government.
During the four years of our government the country increased its share in theworld economy which was earlier achieved in eight years.There is even more surprising facts emerge out of this IMF data. Whatever growth was there in the world economy in nominal terms in the last four years, 21% of it was due to India’s economic growth. Now you yourself can imagine that a country which is just 3% of the world GDP, it has been making 7 times more contribution in the growth of world economy.
Today, if you look at any macro-economic parameter be it inflation or be it current account deficit or fiscal deficit or be it GDP growth or interest rate or be it FDI inflow, India has been doing well in all these parameters.
In the first three to three and a half years, our government has brought down the current account deficit to an average of one per cent from an alarming level of four per cent.
Our government has brought down the fiscal deficit to 3.5% which was around 4.5% during the previous government.
During the three and a half years of our government FDI inflows worth $209 billion has come into the country whereas during the three years of the previous government it was $117 billion.
Today, the country’s foreign exchange reserve has gone up to $419 billion from $300 billion. It is despite that the country has completed the repayment of nearly $24 billion raised as special foreign currency non-resident deposits (FCNR) during the crisis of 2013.
The outlook for Indian Rupee remains better due to the growth with high productivity and alsobecause high inflation rate has been kept under the check. The reduction of more than one per cent in the interest rate has been beneficial for the customers, housing sector, and other industries.
Our government has succeeded in improving all the economic indicators year after year. But was it possible to achieve this thing by following the old approach? No. This change was not possible by following the old approach.
This change has come about in the country because now the country has been moving ahead with a new work culture. It has been moving forward with a solemn pledge of making a New India by having confidence in its own capabilities and in its own resources.
In the last three years the country’s economic world has learnt one new thing.And that is competitiveness.
Unless there is a race to move forward, unless there is a healthy competition then it will not be possible to either pick up the speed or think from an elevated horizon.
Friends, today the entire world has been validating India’s competitiveness, it salutes this competitiveness.
UNCTAD’s world investment report says that India is one of the favorite destinations for the FDI in the world.
India is also among the top three prospective host economies of the world. India is among the top two emerging market performers as per the FDI Confidence Index.
In just three years, we have improved the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking by 42 points. Today, we have reached on the 100th spot from the 142nd. Several rating agencies of the world have also been upgrading India’s ranking. Now India is one among the most open economies of the world.
GST was only a possibility when I have attended your programme the last time. Today GST is a reality. It’s going to be seven months of the implementation of the India’s biggest tax reform since independence. The GST has given the country a better tax compliance system and a better revenue system. It has encouraged the faster movement of goods; it has brought down the cost of transportation, and it has created an environment of competitiveness in the export sector.
Brothers and sisters, there were only 6 million traders in our country which were part of our indirect tax regime even after seventy years since independence. More than 4.4 million new people have applied for to be a part of new indirect tax system within seven months of implementation of GST. This has not only strengthened honest business culture in the country but it has also given the reward of low taxes to the honest tax payers due to the expansion of tax net.
Friends, you are aware that what kind of legacy our government had got in the twin balance sheets of the government. You are also familiar with the earlier system in the banking sector that how thoroughly the environment of crony capitalism had been entrenched in the banking system. We have carried out a major reform of Insolvency and bankruptcy Code to improve the situation.
Today more than two thousand insolvency professionals and 62 insolvency entities have been working round the clock to solve this problem. Our government has solved more than 2,700 cases in the last three months alone.
There was another challenging issueregarding the exports. If we look at the import-export data for the financial year 2015-16 then we will find that both has registered a decline of nearly 15%. There were several views about the reasons for this decline. There is one more possibility and economic experts must deliberate over it.
Friends, after the formation of government in 2014 the first major decision which was taken by our government in the fight against the black money was the formation of a SIT. In its report, theSIT had stated that there was a very serious issue of over-invoicing in imports and exports. The government took stringent measures to tackle the issue of over-invoicing on the basis of information received from this report. Now, it’s a subject of a study by the economists that how a similar kind of decline has been registered both in imports and exports without any big changes in the trade deficit. Whether over-invoicing was the reason behind this thing or was it the base correction?
Vineet Ji, please don’t get this thing published tomorrow that:‘Modi offered his explanation for decline in the exports’. I’ve just placed an angle before you and all of you should think over it. Even otherwise you would be aware that after a prolonged period of difficulties the recent data of exports suggests that the situation has been improving.
Friends, we experience this thing in our daily lives that when we boil water then it transforms into steam after attaining a certain temperature. Water neither boils nor converts into steam before reaching that temperature. Similarly, speed, scale and sensitivity are required in order for the government’s initiatives to reach people. When the work is done with speed, scale and sensitivity then success is beingachieved. Our government has abolished the earlier culture of putting roadblocks, the culture of creating confusion and of the culture of keeping things in suspended animation. And because of this thing there is a new speed in the entire system.
Presently, we have been converting the railway lines into broad gauge at twice the speed of conversion during the previous government. During this government, now the same work of constructing the national highways and rural roads has been done at twice the speed than the speed recorded during the previous government. Today the same work of laying the power transmission lines has been done at twice the speed recorded during the previous government. Today the work to add electricity generation capacity has been done at a faster pace than the speed recorded during the previous government.
While during the previous government only 59 village bodies had been linked with the optical fiber network after doing the work for three years whereas in this government we have linked more than 1.1 lakh villages with the optical fiber network within three years.
Earlier the fund for only 28 schemes was directly transferred into bank accounts under the direct transfer of benefit scheme. Now more than 400 schemes have been linked with the direct transfer of benefits.
You just imagine, earlier a small LED Bulb was selling for around Rs. 350. We have gradually brought it down to Rs. 40-50. Even today, in several countries of the world this LED bulb still sells for $3 but our government has brought down its price to less than a dollar.
There were only three mobile manufacturing companies in our country before 2014, however, today there number has increased to about 120. As a result of this thing the import of mobiles into the country has come down by half from the high figure of Rs. 50,000 crore recorded during 2014-15.
Whether all these changes have come about by themselves? Whether this change has come about by itself? This government has shown that kind of will power which is necessary for this thing. Precisely, these are the new rules of a new economy. Brothers and sisters, we have emphasizedon the budget based on the optimum utilisation of resources, we have emphasized on the budget based on the developmental policies.
Today, the kind of investment that has been made in the infrastructure sector, in agriculture, in technology, in health sector and education sector in the country, that kind of investment was never made in these sectors earlier. For the first time aviation policy has been formulated in the country. We have created new possibilities of bringing in the FDI in the defense sector which no one thought of earlier.
Our government has been developing the country’s transport sector; it has been integrating it by considering the requirements of the twenty-first century. All this investment, all these government schemes have been bringing millions of employment opportunities with them. In the last four years, our government has laid emphasis on the job centric and people centric growth, and also on that kind of economy which ensures financial inclusion of the poor people of the country and at the same time takes care of the aspirations of the middle class.
Friends, our government does not have this kind of arrogance that we alone know everything. We have been moving forward by taking everyone’s opinion, by considering everyone’s experience while following the mantra of Sabka Sath-Sabka Vikas. Our government listensto their concerns and requirements with complete sensitivity and because of this thing innovative solutions for several long lasting issues have been found.
Right from the day one it has been our endeavor to percolate the sensitivity in the system both horizontally and vertically. I myself have been interacting with farmers, youths, students and young CEOs on several occasions on different platforms. We have created this kind of systems so that we directly receive the people’s feedback. Our government has provided a lot of attention to grievance redressal.
Friends, sometimes those solutions that appear perfect theoretically turn out to be the reason behind the creation of practical problems. They can only be understood when the government tries to understand everything in detail in a sensitive manner. For example the recent decision regarding bamboo, 100% Neem coating of urea, the decision to abolishinterviews for the jobs in group C and D, the decision to endthe requirement of compulsoryattestation by a gazetted officer, all these things could have been done earlier as well but these were notdone due to lack of sensitivity and due to lack of connect with the public.
In our country, the health sector has always been a sector that lacked holistic attention. The schemes related to health had been formulated earlier as well but they lacked sensitivity. We have been insuring good health along with good healthcare.
The rate of expansion of immunization programme in the country has gone up by six times due to the mission Indradhanush.
More than eight hundred medicines have been made available at affordable prices through more than 3,000 Jan Aushadhi stores. Our government has brought down the price of stents by up to 80% and it has regulated the cost of knee implants. We have arranged for 2 to 2.5 million free of cost sessions of nearly two hundred and fifty thousand diabetes patients.
In this budget we have announced Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme that will benefit nearly 10 crore poor families. Under the scheme every poor family will be provided an annual health insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakh for treatment of serious diseases.
The basis of digital India mission is to transform our society into a digitally empowered society and to convert the economic system of the country into a knowledge economy. The trinity of one billion bank accounts, one billion Aadhaar cards, and one billion mobile phones will create an ecosystem that will be unique in the world.
MSME ecosystem is the backbone of our economy. We have been constantly working to strengthen this sector. The attention has been given to higher credit support, capital and interest subsidy and also to innovations in order to bring maximum number of small industries into the formal sector.
Financial technology or FinTech has an extremely important role in this thing. The use of FinTech has been encouraged in order to provide financial access to MSMEs and for increasing their growth rate. Its increasing use has also been strengthening the economy of the country.
Friends, when I have attended this programme earlier then I had discussed the topics of housing for all, power for all, clean cooking for all, health for all and insurance for all.
In the last three years more than 1 crore houses have been constructed in the country for the poor people and lower middle class people of the country. Saubhagya Yojana has been started to lit up 4 crore houses with electricity. Free gas connections have been provided to 3.4 crorewomen under the Ujjwala scheme.
Our government has provided the safety cover to more than 18 crore poor people at a premium of 90 paise per day and at a premium of one rupee per month. A claim amount of more than Rs. 2,000 crore has been disbursed to poor people under this scheme.
All the government’s policies, appointments, decisions, intentions and rules have only one objective: the development of the country and poor people. We have been empowering the poor by following the formula of Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas.
In the last three and a half years more than 31 crore bank accounts have been opened for the poor people in the country under the Jan-Dhan scheme. It’s not like that just bank accounts have been opened, today more than Rs. 75,000 crore have been deposited in these accounts.
During this period the government has constructed more than 6 crore toilets in the country. The coverage of rural cleanliness in the country has been expanded to more than 78% which was 40% in 2014.
The government has granted more than 11 crore loans under the Mudra scheme. An amount of more than Rs. 4.5 lakh crore has been disbursed to the youth and women of the country without any bank guarantee. The country has got around 3 crore new entrepreneurs due to this scheme.
More than 11 crore soil health cards have been distributed so far. More than 20 lakh hectare land has been brought under the micro irrigation scheme.
Friends, one more significant decision related to the New Economy has been taken in this year’s budget.
A minimum support price of at least 1.5 times of the cost of production of the scheduled crops will be declared. This cost will cover the expenses by the farmer on hiring laborers, the expenses incurred on his own cattle/machine or for hiring other’s machine or cattle, the price paid for the seeds, the price paid for all kinds of compost, the expenses incurred on irrigating the land, the land revenue paid to the state government, the interest paid on the working capital, the rent paid for hiring the land on lease, and other expenses. It’s not just that, the value of labor input provided by the farmer himself and his family will also be included in the cost of production for calculating the MSP.
It’s an extremely important decision related with the income of the hard working farmers of the country. However, some economists are indicating that this may lead to price rise.
This kind of economists should also consider this thing: what is our obligation towards our farmers who feed us. I feel that we should support every decision to increase the farmer’s incomeand if the government identifies the source of income in these efforts then we should increase our participation without any hesitation.
Our government has done the work of institutionalising the honesty in the last three years. Systems have been made transparent with the help of technology and leakage has been prevented.
The government has prevented siphoning off of more than Rs. 57,000 crore into the wrong hands by using DBT. Registration of more than 2 lakh suspect companies has been terminated. The bank accounts of the directors of these companies have also been frozen and they have been stopped from taking the directorship in any other company.
On this occasion, I would like to appeal to the industry of the country, to the people of all the sectors, and to all the professionals that please always keep this one thing in the back of your mind that what are the present and future requirements of our country.
I would like to appeal for one more thing that those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of enforcingthe rules and ethics in the financial institutions must discharge their duties with utmost sincerity, especially those who have been given the responsibility of monitoring and vigilance.
I would like to make it clear that this government will take strong action against the irregularities related to the financial sector. This system will not tolerate misappropriation of public money. And this is the basic formula of the New Economy, New Rules.
The issue of a New Economy has been discussed here. An idea also occurred to me when I gathered the information about the different sessions being oragnised here. This idea is deeply linked to the economy of the country. I feel that the issue of a positive impact that simultaneous conduct of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections will have on the country’s economy should also be discussed in this kind of events. This issue is not confined to India only. Foreign companies have also been affected because of this thing. Investment also gets affected because of this thing. In some countries the timing, the month and even dates for conducting the elections are already being fixed. What kind of impact this thing has on the industrial development of those countries can also be discussed.
India’s economic development, the constant efforts made for achieving good governance in India, the policies and programmes aimed at achieving the global standards in India, the efforts that have been made for having a comprehensive economic and tradeunderstanding with the world, the decision to give priority to sustainable development as a focus of innovations, all these things are being understood by the world and they have been attracting the world towards India. India can emerge as a frontline force in the modern times and in the new global scenario. India can lead the world in terms of technology and in terms of innovation.
We have that capability, we have those resourcesthrough which we can realise the dream of a New India. And our development will not only be limited to us.It will bring prosperity for the entire world.
Please come forward so that we can realise our solemn pledge, so that we can make a New India by converting every challenge before us into an opportunity.
I once again conveymy best wishes to all of you for this event while concluding my speech.
Thank you very much to all of you.