NEW DELHI: Prime Minister
made the call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ the central theme of his seventh Independence Day speech, seeking to pitch the country as a
, with “Make for World” as the mantra so that that local value additions help the country make the switch from a supplier of
and raw materials and importer of finished products.
“Our country has plenty of natural resources. It is the need of the hour that we start the value addition of these natural resources and human resources; and to take the country to new heights. How long shall we continue to export raw material to the world? How long will the process of exporting raw material and importing finished goods continue? So, we will have to be self-reliant,” Modi said, while pointing to self-sufficiency in key food products such as wheat. In address to an industry chamber two months ago, he had called upon companies to play a big role in the global supply chain.
On Saturday, the PM indicated that the government intends to integrate rural industry and the farm sector into the overall strategy, promising to set up
in rural areas. “A web of agriculture and non-agriculture industries will be created. We have tried to create FPO (Farmer Product Association) which will go a long way in their economic empowerment,” he said.
In mid-May, the PM had given a call for self-reliance while announcing the phasing out of the coronavirus-induced lockdown and amid border tension with China, which has intensified since then, prompting the government to impose curbs on Chinese imports, investments and mobile applications. India is heavily dependent on China for mobile phones, electronic goods and pharmaceuticals, resulting in a massive trade deficit. In the first term, the government had launched the ‘Make in India’ campaign, focused on boosting domestic production, increasing the share of the manufacturing sector in the economy.
Drawing upon his earlier slogan of manufacturing in the country with “zero defects”, while ensuring “zero effect” on the environment, Modi suggested policies, processes and products must be “par excellence”.