New Delhi: To bring India prominently on the global manufacturing map, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday kicked off his pet project “Make in India”, promising investors an environment of trust, improvement in the ease of doing business and removal of hurdles.
The Prime Minister called on domestic companies not to leave India, and instead invest here, where they will get an enabling environment. Mr Modi assured investors that their investments will not sink.
“An investor first wants security of his investment, then growth and at last profit. We want to assure you that your investments will not sink,” said Mr Modi, kicking off the campaign by unveiling the “Make in India” logo, and launching the website makeinindia.com at Vigyan Bhavan here, an event packed with domestic and global business tycoons, including Mukesh Ambani, Cyrus Mistry, Azim Premji, Kumar Mangalam Birla and Lockheed Martin’s Phil Shaw, among others.
The PM said India could raise its ranking on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index from the current 135th to 50th by making the government’s rules and regulations easier. “I have sensitised my whole team on this,” Mr Modi informed the business leaders.
For the government, a revival of manufacturing growth, that saw a contraction for the first time in 25 years last fiscal, is crucial to providing jobs to lakhs of people in the country. Earlier, Mr Modi, as Gujarat chief minister, had successfully used Vibrant Gujarat Summits to attract investors to the state.
Taking a dig at the earlier UPA government, Mr Modi said investors had been leaving the country in the past two to three years due to policy uncertainties and the fear of CBI raids. “Whosoever I used to meet in the last two-three years, he used to say I will go abroad and will have to shift industry from the country. I used to feel pained that our businessmen are feeling compelled to leave their own country,” said Mr Modi. He said that the NDA government had changed this.
Mr Modi said that like Corporate Social Responsibility there should be Corporate Government Responsibility too. “The biggest thing that is needed is trust. The country has been run in such a way that we have distrusted our own people. We have to change this,” said Mr Modi. He indicated that the income-tax department will also have to start trusting businessmen.
“I request all those who were thinking of going out of the country, don’t go anywhere. This is your country. Grow and prosper here, and if then you want to expand, it is a different thing. But if you are compelled, that is not a good thing,” said Mr Modi. The PM said he wants Indian companies to become multinationals too. “But we must make our country strong and take steps to give jobs to the youth.”
Mr Modi said his experience as Gujarat CM had shown that investors don’t come with big incentive schemes like tax breaks. “We will have to create a development and growth-oriented environment. This is the responsibility of the government,” the PM added.
The Prime Minister pledged that the NDA government will provide effective governance. If the country was able to coordinate between democracy, demographic dividend and demand, then “I am confident that we don’t have to tell the world our address, there will be a Vasco da Gama in every nook and corner.”
Mr Modi said: “FDI” should be understood as “First Develop India” along with foreign direct investment. He urged investors not to look at India merely as a market, but instead see it as an opportunity.
The PM also referred to the Digital India mission, saying this would ensure that government processes remained in tune with corporate processes. To the expression “Look East”, the PM added “Link West”, saying that a “global vision” was essential to make the country prosper.