Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 28 January, addressed the World Economic Forum’s Davos Summit, saying that amid apprehensions, he had come with a message of “confidence, positivity, and hope for the world on the behalf on more than 1.3 billion Indians.”
He recounted the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, saying that India had its share of problems at the start. “At the beginning of last year, several experts and organisations had made several predictions that India would be most affected by the pandemic,” he said.
“Looking at the condition of countries with better health infrastructure, the world was right in worrying about us,” he added.
However, he said, India took a proactive public participation approach and developed a COVID-specific health infrastructure and trained its resources to fight the disease.
Now, he said, India is not only fulfilling the country’s needs of PPE kits and masks, but also exporting and helping other countries. India has started the world’s largest vaccination drive as well, he added.
Elaborating on India’s vaccination drive, PM Modi said, “In just 12 days, India has vaccinated more than 2.3 million healthcare workers. In next some months, we will achieve our target of vaccinating 300 million elderly people and people with co-morbidities.”
He added that India has produced two vaccines right now and the “World Economic Forum will be relieved to know that in the time to come many more vaccines will come from India”.
PM Modi said, “India is saving the lives of people in many other countries of the world by sending COVID vaccines and developing the necessary infrastructure for the vaccination”, and that India “delivered essential medicines to more than 150 countries”.
He also said that India has guided the world in showing how India's traditional medicine, Ayurveda, can help in improving immunity. “Today, India is sending its vaccine to several countries and is helping in developing the infrastructure for successful vaccination, thus saving lives of citizens of other countries,” he added.
India’s upcoming vaccines will help other countries at a swifter pace to fight the pandemic, PM Modi said.
‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’
Speaking about other aspects of the country, he said that India had continued its economic activities during the pandemic with infrastructure work worth trillions of rupees, providing employment. “We stressed on saving every single life. India, now, is walking ahead to become Aatmanirbhar,” the PM said.
Speaking about India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the PM said the initiative was launched to increase the “capacity of our economy”. “India has the capacity, capability and reliability to strengthen the global supply chain,” said the PM.
“It is estimated that the infrastructure needs of the country would be around 4.5 trillion dollars by 2040. I believe that the government and industry would have to achieve this goal in unison. Government is continuously working towards providing stable environment and all help,” said the Indian Prime Minister.
Citing the example of UPI transactions crossing 2 billion per month on apps developed by a majority of private players, PM Modi said, “We believe in opening all the sectors for market participation”.
Modi added that the government has decriminalised several points in Company Law. He said, “To raise competitiveness, connectivity infrastructure is being strengthened”. He also talked about GST tax being reduced, and Corporate Tax being reduced to 15 percent for new manufacturing units as measures to boost production in India.
India will be “promoting more investment in frontier technologies like AI, additive manufacturing, and interdisciplinary cyber-physical systems”, said the PM. Speaking of data privacy, PM Modi said, “Work is in progress for a strict law on data protection in the country."