The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is celebrating 125 years today.
Delivering the inaugural address, Hon. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, said: “I congratulate CII for completing 125 years. I congratulate CII for providing strength to the country. In these times of corona, such online events are perhaps, becoming the new normal. It is human’s biggest strength that he finds a way out of troubled times. We are taking tough steps to fight against the virus. We are also looking to stabilize and speed up the economy. CII has focused on bringing growth back. Yes, we will definitely get our growth back. In these troubled times, how can I say this thing with such confidence? I have full faith on India’s capabilities and crisis management. I am dependent on India’s entrepreneurs, the industry leaders, and their intellect, etc.”
Even though corona may have slowed us down, we are now in Unlock Phase 1. A lot of the economy has been opened up. More of the economy will open up in a week’s time. India has decided to take the right step, at the right time, that is, to declare a national lockdown. In this battle, we have taken steps to protect the physical resources and human resources. Now, what next can the government do? We all know about Atmanirbhar Bharat. We have to strengthen the economy. We will take many important decisions as soon as possible. We have also taken decisions that will be useful in the long run.
There are 75 crore beneficiaries for whom free ration has been delivered to their homes. We are giving financial assistance worth Rs. 53,000 crores to the people. We have also taken steps to see people reach their homes. We have to back to strengthen the economy. Intent, investment, infrastructure, innovation and inclusion are the most important things today. We are also looking at reforms that are systematic, planned, interconnected and futuristic. We are looking at taking bold decisions and take steps to become a much stronger economy. We have tried to bring down any interference by the government for conducting businesses. We are also doing policy reforms that the country had probably given up.
For example, farmers can sell their stocks at any cost, at anyone, to anywhere. Agricultural products can now be sold via electronic means. Labour reforms are also in the pipeline. Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, is a national chant. We have become the third country with huge stocks of coal reserve. Why is coal being imported? Sometimes, there is the policy, and sometimes, there is the government. Even in the strategic sectors, there is participation by the private players. You can look at space, atomic energy, etc. To the private players: there are multiple opportunities are waiting for you.
The MSMEs are also very important for us. They can participate in all activities without any worry. We are looking at benefiting them by closing the small tenders. We also need to look at the global monetary situation. Today, countries are looking to support each other. The old ways of working, and old policies, will not work anymore. Everyone has huge expectations from India. There is new thought coming out of India. India has also given medical supplies to over 150 countries. The world is looking for a potential partner. India has gained lot of global trust in these tough times. It is up to CII to ensure that we build trust, quality and competitiveness. I would like to assure you that I am standing with you. Getting growth back is not so difficult.
Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India will need to become more stronger and embrace the world. We do not need to depend anyone for the strategic sectors. Enterprises can become global forces. It is about creating employment. We need a robust, local supply chain. Post corona, even the CII has to come forward in a new role. You must facilitate the growth of the local industry. You must expand the local market. There should be products that are Made in India and Made for the World. We need to increase productivity across all the sectors.
Manufacturing, and Make in India, is a huge growth opportunity. Work has already started on furniture, air conditioner, leather and footwear. We can do very well across all the sectors. Even mobile phone manufacturing, defense manufacturing, etc., are areas that we need to look at. PPE has seen strong industry development across India. We are making 3 lacs PPEs in a day. Three months ago, there was no PPE manufactured in the country. We need to take this strength and move ahead across all the sectors.
Rural economy will see investment and partnership with the farmers. Necessary infrastructure is being prepared. In the urban area, we are looking at partnerships. In India, the private sector is very important for growth. I request you to come up wth a detailed study of every sector. Develop a concept, and think big. Together, we will build an Atmanirbhar Bharat. The government is with you. We will succeed, as you will succeed.
Earlier, Vikram Kirloskar, President, CII, said that the CII has been dedicated to nation building. It is a social contract. CII has remained a strong and credible partner in India’s development journey. India has established itself on the global stage with some innovations over the past few years. India has launched the Chandrayaan, gone the GST route, and is part of the international solar alliance, to name a few.
CII began its overseas work with international business and partners. We have done work in CSR and public health. Its work on women and poverty are among some of its initiatives. CII also set up CoEs across the country in 1995 for projects such as manufacturing, water for sustainability, etc. We have 68 offices across India.