I feel that the solution to most of the problems is in one word and that is Good Governance. If there is good governance which is pro-active and pro-people, we can address many issues. I also feel that the state should be policy driven. If the state is policy driven, anyone in any corner of the world who wants to invest or have business relations with that country, can decide if the policy is favorable to him or not. Policies are there to help the people and these can’t work on the whims of an individual.
Then there is the issue of consistency. It is appropriate to be policy driven, but making it so dynamic that it changes every year won’t work. Hence the need to have consistency. With these basic ideas many fundamental problems can be resolved.
There are issues like intellectual property. I believe that it is an important issue. Everyone in the world must come together to solve this problem. Just like there is so much influence of technology, there are movies. We have to protect IPR there. Then we must take help of cyber security. We are in the midst of a solution. We have created a joint forum, a joint US-India working group. The details are being worked out and we are ready to work on all the suggestions.
There are many possibilities for service sector in India. Tourism is one sector which is yet to be fully tapped. As we have just been told, Gujarati community is in such huge numbers. In hotels or motels, Patels are so famous, so something must be done here as well. I believe this is a sector in which we must emphasize on infrastructure. However if I need to seek permission at 70-80 permissions, then I know that even I won’t dare. So, we have just taken an initiative- ‘Ease of Doing Business.’ We have tried to reduce the paper work, create digital online system and make same type of documents available to everyone and we have done this. We will slowly make it successful, we are sure.
I also agree with the idea that sometimes people are not sure whether India will import or not? Is there a contradiction between Make In India and Import regime? Our biggest target should be that we are a big country, we are a big market, but what is the purchasing power of this market? If Indians won’t have purchasing power, then what will they import from abroad? And if we want to increase our purchasing power, then we must grow our economy. The first sector that I want to see growth in our economy is towards the investment in the infrastructure. There is no import-export conflict there.
Now look at Railways! Railway is such a huge task; we have introduced 100 percent FDI in it. People can invest into infrastructure sector. For the agriculture sector, my mission is – per drop more crop. When I say per drop more crop, I also address the climate issue. At the same time I also address economic issues of the farmers and the water crisis here. However, we need infrastructure for this purpose. We have to work on the river-grid, canal network; there is a huge need for agro-infrastructure. Today, India is in surplus in the agriculture sector in the world. There are some countries in the world where agricultural sector is very expensive. For them import is much easier. If in India we contribute towards mechanizing the agriculture, if we take interest in the value addition of agro-product, there are huge opportunities in the global market. I believe that agriculture sector is very expensive in those countries, while it can be much cheaper. We can move ahead with a win-win situation.
For all the issues that you have broached, my take is that I believe in consistency. Mr. Dave said about the Gujarat model, that it is a policy driven state, it is consistent. The emphasis has been on good governance and I am working on this basic premise. You must have observed it over the past 6-8 months. I am a firm believer in listening to the problems faced by the people first and try to address them. Whatever issues come from my department, I listen to them later. It is in my nature and that’s how I understand things in proper context. And as a result, I make very quick decisions.
I assure you that India is full of unlimited possibilities. We have talent and scope too. I believe in skill development. But skill development alone won’t be enough. Today, in the race that we are in and those we are competing against, I emphasize on three things – skill, scale and speed. I want to emphasize on skill, I want to increase the scale and I want to go with the speed and the the one which will match your speed. Once again, I would like to welcome you at this CEO forum. In the beginning it was said that the voices need to be heard. I am available and you are most welcome, I will listen to you. Rodriguez has given a good suggestion that big projects should be monitored at the level of PMO. I agree with your suggestion. Rodriguez, I take the responsibility on your behalf that I will take responsibility of mega projects, I will monitor them myself.
In the federal structure of government in India, many issues fall under the jurisdiction of States. The Federal Government works in tandem with the State Governments. I have to keep them on board. If there is ‘Ease of Doing Business’, then first of all I have to get them in sync with the policy, by doing this the possibility of variation in policies will also be reduced. There will be a lot of consistency or uniformity in the point of view of the Federal Government and the State Government. So we will also be able to solve the little problems that used to be there.
Once again, thanks a lot to all of you.
This first budget of Amritkaal will build a strong foundation to fulfil the grand vision of a developed India. This budget gives priority to the underprivileged. This budget will fulfill the dreams of today's aspirational society - village, poor, farmer, middle class.
I congratulate Finance Minister Nirmala ji and her team for this historic budget.
Traditionally, crores of 'Vishwakarmas' who create something or the other by working hard with their hands, tools and equipment are the builders of this country. We have a huge list of countless people like the blacksmiths, goldsmiths, potters, carpenters, sculptors, artisans, masons etc. The country has brought various incentive schemes for the first time in this budget to support the hard work of all these Vishwakarmas. Provisions have been made for training, technology, credit and market support for such people. PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman i.e. PM Vikas will bring a sea change in the lives of crores of Vishwakarmas.
From urban women to women living in villages, women engaged in business, or women busy with household chores, the government has taken many steps over the years to make their lives easier. Be it Jal Jeevan Mission, Ujjwala Yojana, PM-Awas Yojana, many such initiatives will be taken forward with a lot of vigour. Besides, 'women self-help group' is a very powerful sector that has acquired a huge space in India today. If they get a slight push, they can do miracles. And therefore, a new initiative for the all-round development of the 'women self-help groups' will add a new dimension to this budget. A special savings scheme for women is also being launched. And after the Jan Dhan account, this special savings scheme is going to give a fresh boost to the home makers, mothers and sisters of the families.
This budget will make cooperatives the pivot of development of rural economy. The government has brought the world's largest food storage scheme in the co-operative sector - Storage Capacity. An ambitious plan to form new primary co-operatives has also been announced in the budget. This will expand the area of milk and fish production along with farming. The farmers, cattle-rearers and fishermen will get better price for their produce.
Now we have to replicate the success of digital payments in the agriculture sector. Therefore, in this budget, we have come up with a major plan for digital agriculture infrastructure. The world is celebrating International Millet Year. There are various types of millets in India which have different names. Today, as millets are reaching every household and becoming popular all over the world, its maximum benefits should go to the small farmers of India. Therefore, it is necessary to take it forward in a new way. It needs a new identity, a special identity. That's why now this super-food has been given a new identity of 'Shri Anna'. Several schemes have been formulated for its promotion. With the priority given to 'Shri Anna', the small farmers of the country, our tribal brothers and sisters, who are engaged in farming, will receive financial support and at the same time the countrymen will get a healthy life.
This budget will give an unprecedented boost to Green Growth, Green Economy, Green Energy, Green Infrastructure, and Green Jobs for a sustainable future. In the budget, we have laid a lot of emphasis on technology and new economy. Aspirational India today wants modern and Next generation infrastructure in every field like road, rail, metro, port, waterways. Compared to 2014, investment in infrastructure has been increased by more than 400 percent. This time an unprecedented investment of Rs 10 lakh crores on infrastructure will give new energy and momentum to India's development. This investment will create new employment opportunities for the youth, providing new income opportunities to a large population. In this budget, along with Ease of Doing Business, the campaign of credit support and reforms for our industries has been taken forward. An additional loan guarantee of Rs 2 lakh crore has been allocated for MSMEs. Now increasing the limit of presumptive tax will help MSMEs to grow. A new system has been developed for timely payments by big companies to MSMEs.
India's middle class has become a major stream in every sphere of life, be it development or systems, courage or ability to take a resolution, in a rapidly changing India. The middle class is a huge force to fulfill the dreams of a prosperous and developed India. Just as the youth power of India is the special strength of India, similarly the growing middle class of India is also its great strength. In order to empower the middle class, our government has taken several decisions in the past years and has ensured Ease of Living. We have reduced the tax rate, as well as made the process simple, transparent and fast. Our government, which has always stood with the middle class, has given huge tax relief to the middle class. I once again congratulate Nirmala ji and her entire team for this budget that serves all and helps in building a dynamic and a developed India. Besides congratulating, I call upon my countrymen - Now the new budget is in front of you. Go ahead with new resolutions. By 2047, we will definitely build a prosperous India, a capable India, and a developed India in every way. Let us take this journey forward. Thanks a lot!