Modi calls for self-reliant India on 5 pillars, announces special corona economic package

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NEW DELHI: Giving a clarion call for building a self-reliant India on five pillars of economy, infrastructure, modern systems, technology, demography and demand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a special economic package that will take total assistance from the government during the coronaviurs crisis to Rs 20 lakh crore.

In his address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi said the contours of the fourth stage of lockdown from May 18 will be “completely different” from the previous three phases and will be based on the recommendations from the States.

Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi addresses the nation on the issue of coronavirus on Tuesday.

In his address to the nation, the Prime Minister repeatedly emphasised the need to make India self-reliant and said that “several bold reforms” were needed for the purpose so that the impact of crisis such as COVID-19 can be negated in future.

The reforms, he said, include supply chain reforms for agriculture, a rational tax system, simple and clear laws, capable human resource and a strong financial system to promote business, attract investment, and further strengthen Make in India.

In his over 30-minute address, the Prime Minister said that the special economic package will focus on empowering the poor, labourers and migrants both from organised and unorganised sectors. The package will also focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws.

It will cater to various sections including cottage industry, MSMEs, labourers, the middle-class and industry. The details of the package will be announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman from tomorrow.

Noting that the package will provide a much-needed boost towards achieving ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India), he said: “This package, taken together with earlier announcements by the government during COVID crisis and decisions taken by the RBI, is to the tune of Rs 20 lakh crore, which is equivalent to almost 10 per cent of India’s GDP.” 

He said the unprecedented crisis “has taught us the importance of local manufacturing, the local market and local supply chains.” “All our demands during the crisis were met locally. Now, it’s time to be vocal about the local products and help these local products become global,” he said.

Noting that self-reliance will prepare the country for tough competition in the global supply chain, he said that it is important that the country wins this competition. “The same has been kept in mind while preparing the package. It will not only increase efficiency in various sectors but also ensure quality,” he said.

The Prime Minister, who had interacted with the Chief Ministers during the coronavirus crisis for the fifth time on Monday, noted that several experts and scientists have said that “the virus is going to be part of our lives for a long time” and “it is important to ensure that our life does not revolve only around it.”

On the fourth stage of lockdown, he said that its contours will be completely different from those seen yet. “On the basis of recommendations received from States, new rules will be framed, and information about the same will be conveyed before May 18,” he said.

The third phase of lockdown, during which some relaxations were given by the government, will end on May 17. 

Noting that the crisis that has emerged due to COVID-19 is unprecedented, he said that in this battle “we not only need to protect ourselves but also have to keep moving forward.”

Talking about the pre and post COVID worlds, Modi said that in order tofulfill the dream of making the 21st century India’s century, the way forward is to ensure that the country becomes self-reliant.

Speaking about turning a crisis into an opportunity, he gave the example of PPE kits and N-95 masks, whose production in India has gone up from almost being negligible to 2 lakh each on a daily basis.

Pointing out that the definition of self-reliance has undergone a change in the globalised world, he said that when India talks about self-reliance, it is different from being self-centred. (ANI)