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PM backs big push to economic reforms, wants states to come on board

PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong case for pushing ahead with economic reforms by repealing archaic laws to make it easier to do business in India and emphasised the need for the centre and states to work closely together for the nation’s progress.

Addressing the sixth Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog, the Prime Minister said that the private sector should be given full opportunity to become a part of government's Aatmanirbhar Bharat. He said the private sector must be allowed to grow and the states and the Centre should both support them.

"We, as governments, have to provide the private sector opportunities to take part in the mission of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)," he said at the meeting, which was attended by Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors of all states and Union Territories except Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee,

He highlighted the need to achieve Ease of Doing Business so that the country can "grab global opportunities.”

The PM asked the states to form committees to reduce regulations which are no longer relevant in the wake of technology growth. Modi said states should attract investment using production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.  He said the government is spending on infrastructure to boost demand and create jobs.  

"In the Covid period, we saw how the Centre and the states worked together. The nation succeeded and a good image of India was built before the entire world," he said.

Centre, states must work together

"The foundation of India's development is that the Centre and the states work together and head towards a certain direction and make cooperative federalism even more meaningful. Not only this, we have to try to bring competitive, cooperative federalism not only among states but also districts," he said.

He said that the positive response to the Union Budget 202–22 indicates that the country wants to move forward on the path of development at greater speed.  Modi said that the initiatives taken by the government would provide opportunity to everyone to participate in nation building to its full potential.  

Farm sector

Referring to the farm sector, the Prime Minister said that efforts should be made to produce agriculture items like edible oil and reduce their imports.  

"This can be done by guiding farmers," he said, adding the money being spend on imports can go to the accounts of farmers," he said.  

India currently imports a whopping $10 billion a year worth of edible oils and there is clearly a need for the farmers to switch away from food grain like rice to producing more oilseeds.

The prime minister said government policies will help farmers raise productivity and cut imports, adding that reforms were needed to provide funds and technology for the farm sector. 

He also pointed out that in the past few years, India saw opening of bank accounts, increase in vaccination and health facilities, free electricity connection, free gas connection and many such phenomenal changes that has empowered the lives of the people.

The Prime Minister also spoke of achieving "Ease of Living" for the people. "For India's citizens, we must try and better Ease of Living. It will help us achieve the aspirations of Indians and make their lives better," he said.