Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that the Aatmanirbhar Bharat scheme of India was opening the country’s door to the whole world and every government programme now was laying focus on making India leverage its strength. Speaking at an event on the day, Goyal said that the government has been successful in getting India back to the centre stage in the global economy.
“Aatmanirbhar Bharat is opening our doors to the whole world. Each one of government programmes is focused with the singular purpose to make India leverage its strength. No better endorsement of our collective efforts than our historic $400 billion goods exports," he said while addressing the Forbes India Leadership Awards 2022 in Mumbai.
The minister also said that India’s economy had vastly improved under the Narendra Modi government. “Our foreign exchange reserves were at about $300-odd billion, so much so that the then government had to come up with a scheme to raise $34 billion just to protect the rupee from the free fall that it was witnessing," he said.
“Our country did not generate enough enthusiasm amongst investors both in India and abroad to come and invest in India. The banking sector was in shambles with the kind of terrible credit risks that were taken indiscriminately in the 2008-2012 period,” Goyal said, adding that the Aatmanirbhar Bharat programme had changed it all.
“We will soon have the numbers on service exports and I promise that will be exciting. We have already reset the targets twice this year and we are close to touching $250 billion mark," he added. Free trade agreement with UAE took 88 days from start to finish, Goyal informed on the day.
Subsidies can be short-term to give a fillip to the economy and industry needs take it to the next level in the long term, he noted. Now it’s time for the service sector and manufacturing sector to race to the top and see who will cross the $1 trillion export mark first, the minister said. “I have the courage of conviction to say that India is well on track to give us both services and goods touching a trillion dollars in the next 10 years. And that is going to drive India’s future. That is going to drive jobs. That’s going to take prosperity to the remotest corners of the country and is going to make us a player relevant in international trade. That is going to give us respect."
The effort is that government helps to kickstart and then the private sector takes a cue to invest, he said.
“We have been repairing the entire narrative to make India a trusted partner globally. There was a lack of integrated thinking to prepare us for the long haul," Goyal added.
Speaking about the Jal Jeevan mission, Goyal said, “This is one of the most important initiatives that a nation could take up. A lot of initiatives that are business-focused have also been taken."
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