DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Uttarakhand’s first investors’ summit on Sunday, saying India is the ideal investment destination in the world today with major social and economic changes sweeping the country.
Addressing the country’s top business leaders and industrial houses at ‘Destination Uttarakhand: Investors Summit 2018’, Modi said the country was passing through an era of unprecedented social and economic changes at present and expressed confidence that in the coming decades, India will become the engine of world economic growth.
“Fiscal deficit has come down, the rate of inflation has come down. The middle class is growing and the country is full of demographic dividend. In the past four years, the state and central governments together have taken over 10,000 measures, which have helped the country improve its position in the ease of doing business rankings by 42 points,” Modi said, describing the current times as the best for investors in the country.
The GST was the biggest tax reform in the country post Independence which had turned the country into a single market, he said.
Highlighting rapid growth in the infrastructure sector, the Prime Minister said 10,000 km highways had been built, which was double in comparison with what was done by earlier governments.
The aviation sector was growing at a record speed with 100 new airports and helipads coming up across the country. Type II and III cities were getting air connectivity. With high-speed rail projects and metro lines in various cities and the Centre’s policy of housing for all, power for all, fuel for all and banking for all, the scenario of an ideal investment destination became complete, Modi said.
“My message to investors is make in India, but not just for Indians, but for the whole world,” he said.
The Prime Minister said schemes such as the Ayushman Bharat Yojana would provide health insurance coverage to a huge population and it would also open up huge opportunities for investors in the health sector.
Describing Uttarakhand as a shining jewel in the crown of emerging new India, Modi extended an invitation to top industrial houses to invest in the state, which has taken huge strides in its development since its creation.
When former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee decided to create Uttarakhand, the challenges were big, but now the scenario had changed, with major steps taken in terms of infrastructure building and connectivity, he said.
“The state government’s new policy on tourism, which gives it the status of an industry, is going to give a big advantage to investors coming to the state. The new policies framed by the state government like support subsidy for investors in the MSME sector will be another advantage,” he said.
With its unique blend of nature-adventure-culture and yoga, Uttarakhand has enough to stimulate the interest of investors, he said, adding that it has the potential to emerge as the country’s spiritual eco zone” (SEZ).
Citing his own experience after he took over as the CM of Gujarat for the first time, he said journalists decided to grill him as he was new in the office and asked him what model he had in mind for the development of the state. “I said, I will follow the model of South Korea. They were puzzled to hear my answer because they had little idea about South Korea. But, I explained to them how that model could work for Gujarat as it had a similar size of population and a similar geography,” Modi said.
The PM asked the investors to expedite their projects in the state where they have an industry-friendly government.
He said Uttarakhand had great potential in organic farming and asked investors to invest in the sector apart from food processing, agriculture and agri-business, which could help double the income of farmers.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat thanked the PM for his constant support and guidance without which organising a summit like this would not have been possible.
Addressing the investors, Rawat said apart from the advantages such as cheap availability of power and good law and order scenario, the coming years would give investors a lot of benefits with rapid progress in the Char Dham, all-weather road and other infrastructure projects coming up.
Leading companies that spoke of their plans to invest in the state included Adani group, Mahindra group, JSW, Amul and Patanjali.
Japan, the Czech Republic and Singapore also sent their representatives for the summit.