“India’s economy needs transformation and not incremental changes.”: PM Modi
It has been over 4 months that the world is battling coronavirus. 42 lakh have been infected globally. Over 2.45 lakh have died. On the evening of May 12th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation with the same vigor as he had done before. This was just a day after his six-hour-long meeting with Chief Ministers from various states to discuss the road ahead after May 17th, when the nationwide coronavirus lockdown is due to end.
This is his third such address since he announced the lockdown in late March to slow the spread of the highly infectious COVID-19. The Prime Minister announced "Lockdown 4.0" after May 17th, which would be completely different, with new rules. He also announced a Rs 20 lakh crore economic package naming it under "Mission Self-Reliant India" to tide over the coronavirus crisis.
Following are the highlights of PM Modi's Address:
Self-reliance is imperative. Self-reliant India is the only way out. This can only happen through the 5-pillars strategy announced by PM Modi during his speech:
- Economy: An economy that takes quantum jumps and not incremental gains.
- Infrastructure: Infrastructure is synonymous with a modern India.
- System: A system that helps us realize dreams, which is based on tech-driven facilities.
- Demography: Vibrant demography is our strength.
- Demand: The demand and supply chain needs to be utilized in full potential. We need to increase demand in the nation. Each stakeholder must be active.
Special Economic Relief Package:
PM Modi had also announced a special economic package of Rs 20 lakh crores which is 10% of the GDP. This package will be used to help the SMEs/MSMEs, farmers, workers/laborers on whom our livelihood depends. These people are sincere taxpayers and their contribution to the economy should not be overlooked. They are the hardest hit sectors due to the lockdown.
This mega package includes previously announced measures to save the lockdown-battered economy, and focuses on tax breaks for small businesses as well as incentives for domestic manufacturing.
The Rs 20 lakh crore package includes Rs 1.7 lakh crore package of free foodgrains to poor and cash to poor women and elderly, announced in March, as well as the Reserve Bank's liquidity measures and interest rate cuts. While the March stimulus was 0.8 percent of GDP, RBI's cut in interest rates and liquidity boosting measures totaled to 3.2 percent of the GDP (about Rs 6.5 lakh crore).
Starting today, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman will be sharing the detailed plan about how they plan to use this relief package to help these sectors cope up with the loss. This package focuses on land, labor, liquidity and law. It will greatly help small industries and MSMEs.
PM Modi also emphasized on the fact of going all local and supporting our local manufacturers and markets, who during such times of crisis have come out to be our savior. With India following the localization path, this might indicate the following:
- Huge investment has been planned for local markets and manufacturers which help develop the confidence and generate a sense of support from the government. It’s time to be vocal for the locals.
- Shifting the focus to local brands and markets, this will definitely increase the jobs. Hiring local talent will to an extent help curb unemployment in India, especially for the ones who have been hard hit by the pandemic.
- More jobs call for more skills development programs which in a way will help the local talent to understand what best they can contribute to the economy
- The reform is in a bid to ensure that such a crisis impacts agriculture in the least possible manner. It will also enhance the overall aspect of Human Resources and strengthen the financial system. Going forward, this will attract investment and help Make in India move one step closer to success.
- The global supply chain is of the utmost importance. There will be an increased efficiency across sectors, no matter formal or informal.
PM Modi also disclosed that there will be new rules and regulations under the Lockdown 4.0. This will be purely based on the suggestions by the states. The details of which will be informed before 18th May. India’s mission of becoming a self-reliant country will only happen if we move ahead with new energy and a new determination of the 1.3 billion population together.
“Scientists and experts say that coronavirus will stay with us for long, but we can't make our lives revolve around this. We will wear masks, maintain distance, but not lose sight of our targets,” says PM Modi during his address.