Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that agriculture, labour and other reforms being carried out will help boost India’s growth prospects, and that the pandemic-ravaged economy was getting back on track faster than expected.
In an interview with the Economic Times, published on October 29, the prime minister also said that with regards to further stimulus measures, the government will ensure that all required steps needed to continue stimulating the economy are undertaken in a timely manner while ensuring overall macro-economic stability.
“Our efforts are bearing result as the Indian economy is already getting back on track faster than expected,” PM Modi said in his interview with ET.
Speaking about the recent agriculture laws and labour codes being passed in Parliament, Modi said: “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. Moreover, it will also signal to the world that this is a new India which believes in markets and market forces.”
“We will take all measures needed to constantly stimulate the economy in a timely manner while ensuring overall macro-economic stability. Remember, we are still not over with the pandemic. Yet, our economy has shown a remarkable capability to bounce back, largely because of the resilience of our people,” Modi said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is soon expected to announce a fourth set of stimulus measures. In his interview, Modi gave a hint on what the focus of further measures could be. "I feel the big push on Investment and infrastructure will become the driving force for recovery and growth,” he said.
Modi also said that the Centre’s plans to make India an investment and manufacturing hub, for businesses looking for alternative to China, were bearing fruits.
“According to Moody’s, 154 greenfield projects from the US have come to India in 2020, compared to 86 in China, 12 in Vietnam and 15 in Malaysia. This is a clear indication of global confidence in India’s growth story going forward. We have laid strong foundations to make India the foremost manufacturing destination,” he said.
The prime minister also emphasised that a push for ‘aatmanirbharta’ or self-reliance did not mean that the Indian economy would be inward looking. “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.”
Listing out examples, Modi said that the government had recently eased restrictions for FDI through reforms in agriculture, labour and coal. “Only a country that believes in the power of international trade and commerce would go on opening up more and more avenues to work with the world. At the same time, it’s also true that India has been unable to realise its potential in sectors where it has inherent comparative advantages.”
“Take coal for instance. India imported nearly 1.5 lakh crore worth of coal in 2019-20, despite having one of the biggest reserves in the world. Defence is another area of import dependence for us. While we have increased the FDI limit from 49 to 74 per cent, domestic production for 101 items worth 3.5 lakh crore over the next five years has also been announced.”