Prime Minister Narendra Modi detailed the wide-ranging reforms brought in by the Centre in the agriculture and labour sectors and hit out at his detractors, saying that they do not wish to give credit to his government. In an interview with The Economic Times, PM Modi expressed confidence about the reforms undertaken in the last few months in the labour sector and said, "It was often jokingly said that India had more labour laws than the labour in formal sector. Labour laws often helped everyone except the labour.”
On being asked about the prospects of India replacing China in the global supply chain, he asserted that India's effort is not to become "some country’s alternative but to become a country which offers unique opportunities."
PM Modi added that the reforms would signal to the world that this is a "new India" which believes in the market forces."I am confident that these reforms undertaken in the last few months will help increase the growth rate and returns in both the manufacturing and agriculture sectors," he was quoted as saying by the publication.
On the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the county, PM Modi said that during this phase of slowing down of cases, India must not celebrate, but instead strengthen its resolve, behaviour and systems. Modi also expressed confidence in the country's economic recovery and said that the indicators, too, suggested the same.
"First, in agriculture, as I said earlier, our farmers have broken all records and we have also done record procurement at the highest ever levels of MSP. These two factors — record production and record purchase — are going to inject significant income in the rural economy which will have its own virtuous cycle of demand generation," PM Modi said.
He also pointed out to the record-high FDI influx, which he said, signalled India’s growing image as an investor-friendly country. "This year, despite the pandemic, we received the highest ever FDI of $35.73 billion for April-August. This is 13% higher than the same period last year, which was also a record year," he added.
Citing EPFO data, PM Modi said that the job market is also picking up. "...In terms of new net subscribers of EPFO, the month of August 2020 registered a 34% jump compared to July 2020 with addition of more than a million new subscribers," he said.
Talking about the economic strategy adopted during the health crisis, PM said the Centre first announced PM Garib Kalyan package to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the migrants.
“One special insight and understanding that came early to us was that the agriculture sector is one where the rule of social distancing can be more naturally maintained without compromising on productivity. So, we allowed agriculture activities almost from the very start. And we all see the results today with this sector doing exceptionally well despite so many months of disruption,” PM Modi told the publication.
He added that record distribution of foodgrain, Shramik Special trains and proactive procurement were undertaken for both the immediate and medium-term needs of the citizens.
“To ameliorate the hardships being faced by people we came up with an Atmanirbhar Bharat package. This package addressed issues being faced by all sections of the society and all sectors of the economy. This also provided us an opportunity to carry out reforms that were waiting to happen for decades but no one earlier took the initiative,” he said.
Modi, while touching on Aatmanirbhar Bharat, said that the initiative was not just about competition but also about competence. "So, when we say Aatmanirbhar Bharat, we mean an India that is, first of all, self-reliant. A self-reliant India is also a reliable friend for the world. A self-reliant India does not mean an India that is self-centred," he said.