Modi outlines five areas for development in India, questions UPA's policies
Questioning the economic policies of the incumbent UPA-II regime at the Centre, Gujarat Chief Minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Wednesday outlined five key areas that could contribute to India's development.
"There is a question mark over every policy of the UPA government. The government should have made a determined bid for development. There is no dearth of opportunities for industry in India. The UPA mismanaged the Indian economy for ten years," said Modi while addressing captains of industry at an executive meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.
Listing the five areas, he said that first and foremost, there must be growth of industry.
He said restoring faith and trust in the industrial sector is the need of the hour, as only then could India come out of its present "gloomy environment".
Second, he said that while the present government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh often talk about inclusive growth, this was not visible in areas such as education and in in the promotion of skilled manpower.
"The Prime Minister is very fond of inclusive growth, but if we do not do capacity building among the poor through education, how can we make them skilled," he asked.
Stating that India has become a country of 'gross underachievers', Modi said, "ultimately one needs to empower the poor people in the country." We need to work towards their skill development."
"Skilled manpower is key to the development of our nation in the coming years. We need to change courses keeping in mind the changing trends in technology," he opined.
Citing the example of railways, Modi asked:"Railway needs quality manpower. Why cannot we think of dedicated railway universities? Why cannot we think of innovation in electronics sector?"
He also said that value addition becomes important for natural resources.
"Socialist slogans are good but is that helping anyone?" he asked. "Trust, faith changes the situation in a nation. It builds a positive environment. We need to build trust across the country," he said.
Modi went on to say that in addition to increasing productivity in the nation, we need to look at value addition. "There is a need for an integrated approach to development. Unless that comes, we will not progress," Modi said.
According to Modi, in terms of purchasing power, agriculture and services sector are very important.
"Agriculture and service sectors are the pillars of our economy. Our focus should be to increase productivity in the nation," he said.
Modi said that had the UPA regime planned its economic strategies and polcies well, the nation could have reached greater heights.
"If we would have planned well, we would have reached great heights. The UPA has mismanaged the economy for the last ten years. There is no dearth of opportunity for the industry in our nation. We must create an atmosphere of hope in the nation and explore development opportunity for the next decade," he said.
Commenting on the issue of development, the Gujarat Chief Minister said: "Two sectors are most important -- agriculture and the services sector. The amount of land is not increasing, but actually decreasing with the population increasing. Value addition is the best combination in service and agriculture sector. Need to focus on improving productivity in agriculture and value additions to improve rural economy," Modi said.
"If we keep on exporting minerals, the country will not generate employment or development. With every resource, a holistic approach is very necessary.When we talk about growth, infrastructure comes in and that is dependent on the energy sector. Industries are shut because of shortage of fuel," he added.
"Someone has to take responsibility. The reason for disappointment is that nobody accepts responsibility in this country. People asked me why did you not run away from the Patna rally blasts. I told them I am not one to run away. Democracy and demography is the most important advantage that we have. Our judiciary system, democracy is attractive to the rest of the world. For development in India, we have to start accumulating man power now itself," Modi said.
Talking of lack of leadership under UPA regime, Modi said "India has become a country of gross under achievers. We need strong decision makers to run the nation."
(Posted on 15-01-2014)