The “trinity of reforms” undertaken by his government in the education, agriculture and labour sectors will immensely help students, farmers and youth of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said while asserting that reforms used to be hostage to “political expediencies” earlier but “political calculations matter only when a nation is aiming low”. He also said India emerged as “a pharmacy to the world” in 2020 during the pandemic, sending life-saving medicines far and wide while ensuring there was no shortage for our own people. In an article written for Manorama Yearbook, a widely read reference material, especially for students, Modi said the reforms in the three fields will empower their respective target groups with more choices and unlock their full potential while maintaining adequate safeguards for the vulnerable.
The recent reforms undertaken by the Modi government in the farm sector through three laws have sparked strong protests from a section of farmers, especially in north India, who have demanded their repeal. While holding that it is open to certain amendments in these Acts, the government has ruled out scrapping them. The Supreme Court has stayed the laws’ implementation till further orders and also formed a committee in its bid to defuse the row. In his article, Modi said India is a nation that is ready for an ambitious marathon on the road to development in the coming decade.
“A slew of reforms across various sectors are strengthening our development trajectory. Earlier, reforms used to be hostage to political expediencies. However, political calculations matter only when a nation is aiming low. For an aspirational nation that wants to surge towards its destiny, no bar is high enough for us to leap over,” he asserted. He said India is now progressing rapidly towards the goal of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliant India) which, he added, means an India that is more competitive and productive and an India which celebrates local talent.
“An Aatmanirbhar Bharat will increase India’s role in global supply chains by attracting more global businesses to India to take full advantage of India’s policy stability, low taxes and skilled human resources,” he said before referring to the specific reforms. Noting that India is also undertaking deregulation and decriminalisation of offences under the Companies Act to increase the ease of doing business, the prime minister said it is welcoming private enterprises in all sectors to improve competition and choice for the consumers. “India is also one of the most open countries today when it comes to FDI, which is resulting in record inflows of FDI from across the world,” he said. The article has been titled “Aatmanirbhar Bharat: Transforming India” with Modi referring to a self-reliant India as a dream and highlighting the “silver linings” amid the COVID-19 pandemic and explains how 2020 was a year of internal discovery for the country.
“Some may call the year 2020 as a year of external disruptions due to the pandemic. But I firmly believe that 2020 will be known, not as a year of external disruption, but as a year of internal discovery, for our citizens, for our society and for our nation. “The pandemic needed behavioral transformation and the nation responded to it admirably at every level. This is the mark of a nation that can and will bounce back stronger from every crisis. A new self-belief has been instilled, that a nation with such a spirit can overcome any odds and achieve anything,” Modi said. The prime minister further said India stayed firm in the face of trying circumstances and also helped the world, while it also emerged as a pharmacy to the world, sending life-saving drugs and medicines far and wide, at the same time ensuring no shortage to our own people.
“Adversity not only builds strength but also brings out our true innate character. This global pandemic has brought to fore India’s national character for the entire world to behold, as a resilient and united nation,” he said. Modi said there will be an even greater focus on self-reliance and resilience in technology in the new year. Both the government and the tech ecosystem will continue working closely on strengthening the homegrown startup and mobile app ecosystem, he said.
“Be it greater private participation in the space sector or reforms that aid industries, faceless tax assessment platform or the National Digital Health Mission, the coming year will see many such technology-based initiatives go from strength to strength as we future-proof India’s growth trajectory from likely disruptions… Reforms and resolve, resilience and responsibility will power our journey in the coming year,” he said. Noting that India will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its independence, he said a strong, self-reliant and inclusive nation is the best tribute to the great men and women who led our freedom struggle. As individuals and as a nation, let us achieve meaningful goals and contribute towards celebrating an important milestone in our nation’s growth, he said.