The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the German Chancellor, Ms. Angela Merkel at the Joint Inauguration of the India Pavilion and the Joint Walk-About Make in India, in Hannover, Germany on April 13, 2015. The Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge), Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman is also seen.
Prime Minister's remarks at the Inaugural Session of Hannover Messe12 August 2015
It is truly a great privilege for me to be here at the Inauguration of the world's largest industrial fair. It is a special honour to do so in the company of Chancellor Merkel, a great leader and friend of India.
First, I want to thank the city of Hannover and Hannover Messe. They have been most generous in allowing us to unleash our lions in this city. The lions are a symbol of a new India. They roar; but with a message of friendship and promise of partnership, from .25 billion people of India. This is also the message of 15 states, 20 CEOs and 350 companies from India participating in this Fair.
Your choice of India as a Partner Country reflects the new confidence in India. Our decision to be here in the first year of my Government reflects our priority:
We want to accelerate economic growth and create jobs for our youth.
We want to build world class industry and infrastructure.
We want to transform our cities and villages; clean up our environment; and improve the quality of life.
Our presence as a partner country says something else also. We will naturally pursue our goals on the strength of our own resources, skills and enterprise. But, we know that we will be more successful when we do this in partnership with the world. For people in India, Germany is a valued partner; and, an enduring symbol of technology and innovation, quality and productivity.
Even more, India and Germany share a close and warm relationship. It goes back centuries, in the intellectual journey of German scholars. It has grown in depth and diversity from our birth as modern Republics at the same time, Through the passage of history, Indians and Germans have formed a relationship of mutual fascination and goodwill.
It also includes a vibrant economic partnership that extends beyond the last century. Today, you can easily think of companies like Siemens as Indian! Nearly a hundred years ago, India's great poet and philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore said, that Germany has done more than any other country to open India to the Western World.
Today, I come to seek German partnership in my own mission to open up India's seamless economic potential.To the industry of the world that has assembled here today, I say that we have no special bias for our host today! India is open and ready to embrace the world. As I have travelled around the world, I have seen a new level of interest in building partnerships of trade, investment and innovation in India. It mirrors the surge of hope in our own people and industry; the new tide of expectation in our 800 million youth – for opportunities and progress. And, if we want to fulfill the dreams of our youth, we must turn our industry into a manufacturing hub for the world and an engine for employment at home. And, we must equip our youth with the skills to meet the needs of our nation, and the demands of the globalised world.
Whatever we choose to do, from reaching the cutting edge of industry to meeting the most critical social need, we require investment and technology, industry and enterprise. That is why for me, Make in India is not a brand. Nor is it simply a slogan on a smart lion!
It is a new national movement. And, it covers the whole spectrum of our government, society and business. To this informed audience, I hardly need to state the obvious: Our scale of transformation is vast; therefore, the opportunities we offer are huge.
You are also familiar with our demography and our demand. The question that you ask is whether we can turn this potential into a reality; and, our vision into action.
What you seek is not just an attractive destination; but, also the assurance that it is open; and, it is easy to reach and work in. You want the confidence that the environment is stable; the rules won't change frequently; and there would be no surprises. So, we have moved with speed, resolve and boldness to fulfill our pledge.
We are creating a stable economic environment that inspires confidence at home and abroad. We are pursuing strong fiscal discipline to do that. I know how much Chancellor Merkel will appreciate that point!
We have taken sweeping steps to reform our policies and open up more to foreign direct investments in key areas like insurance, construction, defence and railways. Railways is the thread that binds India. It will now be a fast track to India's transformation. And, what was a department of the government is now open to 100% Foreign Direct Investments.
We are removing unnecessary regulations and simplifying our procedures. We are using digital technology to eliminate multiple approvals and endless wait. We will guide you and walk with you in your projects. We have set up Invest India and country desks in it that will be networked to the states. We will nurture innovation and protect your intellectual property. There were institutions in India that seemed beyond scrutiny. Well, they no longer are. We are reforming institutions in ways that has not happened in decades. We are building a tax regime that is predictable, stable and competitive. We will now address the remaining uncertainties. The Goods and Services Tax is a long needed revolution that is becoming a reality.
For us, the highest priority is creating world class infrastructure. We have made a sharp increase in public investments. We have established a National Infrastructure and Investment Fund and a new institution for integrated development of this sector. We are launching attractive new financial instruments for long term funds. We seek to fuel our growth with the cleanest and most efficient use of energy.
We have set a target of 75 Giga Watts of new capacity for renewable and clean energy in the next seven years. It is a challenging goal- yes; but, important to pursue. Good Governance is essential not just for our citizens, but also for business. With transparency and speed, we have resumed long stalled projectsand allocation of resources. This is adding new momentum to our economy. We are instituting a rational framework for acquisition of land without causing distress to farmers and other landowners. We are creating a predictable and transparent environment approval process that will protect our natural heritage. Above all, we know, as you do, that the investment journey may begin in Delhi, but its success depends on state capitals and districts.
So, for the first time, we are working as Team India – a new partnership between the Centre and the States. We speak of cooperative federalism, but also of competitive federalism, where states would excel by competing with each other for investments and jobs. We are also giving them more resources, so that they can build the infrastructure that you need. I also see them as partners in our international engagement.
But, I am also aware that it is easier to change policies and write new laws than it is to change attitudes, culture and systems. Every CEO who has tried a turnaround knows that. Our task is huge; it won't be completed overnight. But, I am confident that it will. And, we are moving firmly and clearly in that direction. The wind of change is there. and, it is gathering speed. When IMF, the World Bank, credit rating agencies and expert speak in one voice of optimism about India, we know that the wind is blowing in the right direction. And, it has made us the fastest growing economy in the world.
So, my message to you is this: You will find environment that is not only open, but also welcoming. We will make it easy to do business in India. And, we will always be eager to listen to your feedback. So, our industry is here to showcase their skills. There are many Indian examples of technological leadership in the world. But, we want a future in which excellence defines every sector and every industry in our country. And, they are here to seek your partnership.
It is not just about financial flows, new technology or products. It is also about learning from each other; about seeing possibilities in new ways. India is a nation that is blessed with so much goodwill in the world. Everywhere, I see a strong desire for India to succeed.
The progress of one sixth of humanity will be of great consequence for the world and our beautiful planet. It will be a world of more hope and opportunities; a world more confident of its success.This is a time of political instability and economic challenges; and, threats of violence that are increasingly close to our homes. The humanity needs the solidarity and strength of international partnerships more than ever before.
India will do its part - as an anchor of economic stability; an engine for growth; and, as a force of peace and stability in the world. So, let me invite you to do business and make in India – for India and the world. Let me invite you to be our partner in making a new India. I also welcome you to enjoy our timeless traditions, the ceaseless celebration of diversity;and, the warm embrace of friendship.
I wish the Fair all success. When its shutters come down, I hope that many new doors would have opened.
Thank you once again.
(Release ID :118180)
12 April 2015
Text of PM’s address at the Joint Inauguration of the Indo-German Business Summit in Hannover
I am really happy to be here in the Hannover fair. It is an added pleasure to talk to you that too in the presence of Chancellor Merkel. Myself and Chancellor Merkel had a very good interaction over dinner last night. You also must have met a number of Indian companies and CEOs. I believe that the participation in Hannover fair would be very useful for both sides. I request you to visit the India pavillion and the stalls of our State Government and private companies.
You will be able to see for yourself the winds of change in India. We are very keen to develop the sectors where you are strong. We need your involvement. The scope and potential, the breadth and length of infrastructure and related developments is very huge in India. Just to give you some examples:
• We have planned to build 50 million houses by 2022. In addition, we are going to develop smart cities and mega industrial corridors.
• For this purpose, we have refined our FDI Policy in construction. We have also come up with a regulatory framework for this sector.
• We have targeted 175 Giga Watt of renewable energy in next few years. In addition to generation, the issues of transmission and distribution of electricity are equally important for us;
• We are modernizing our Railway systems including signals, and railway stations. We are planning metro rail in fifty cities and high speed trains in various corridors.
• Similar is the case with Highways.
• We are putting up new ports and modernizing the old ones through an ambitious plan called Sagarmala;
• Similar focus is on upgrading the existing Airports and putting up regional airports to enhance connectivity to places of economic and tourist importance.
• In financial services too, we are moving towards a more inclusive and faster delivery of financial products including bank loans and insurance.
• For this purpose, we opened 140 million bank accounts; increased FDI in insurance upto 49% and have set up MUDRA Bank.
• We also announced innovative schemes for insurance and pension to enhance social security for our citizens.
We also want to promote manufacturing in a big way particularly to create jobs for our youth. For this purpose, we have launched a campaign called “Make in India”.
All this is a historic opportunity for the German companies. You would already be knowing the direction of my Government and the steps we are taking. We have committed ourselves for creating and improving the business environment. I can assure you that once you decide to be in India, we are confident to make you comfortable.
Germany ranks 8th among foreign investor countries in India. About 600 Indo-German Joint ventures are presently operating in India. The purpose of my being here and participating in the Hannover Fair is to highlight that there is more potential in Indo-German economic collaboration. Though we have a vibrant relationship, our economic partnership is not as much as both countries would like to have. The flow of investments from Germany is well below the potential and less than Indian investments in Germany.
Many more German companies have the possibility of investing in India to take advantage of India’s potentials. The potential lies in Manufacturing as well as infrastructure and in skill development for that purpose. I know that the reason for this situation may not be from German side. It is from the Indian side also.
I am here to assure the German companies that India is now a changed country. Our regulatory regime is much more transparent, responsive and stable. We are taking a long-term and futuristic view on the issues.
Lot of efforts have been made and are still underway to improve the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the country.
• Reducing the complicated procedures, making them available at one platform, preferably online, simplifying the forms and formats has been taken up on war footing.
• Definite mechanisms for hand holding have been set up in the form of hub and spoke. Invest India is the nodal agency for this purpose.
We do believe that FDI is important and it will not come in the country without a globally competitive business environment. Therefore, in this year's budget we have rationalized a number of issues which were bothering you. In particular,
• We have removed lot of regressive taxation regimes. In our very first Budget, we said we will not resort to retrospective taxation. And if such issues do arise, they will have to be reviewed at the highest level. We have taken bold steps of not dragging the litigation in a few cases where we felt that the steps of the previous government were not on right lines.
• In this budget, we allowed Tax pass through for AIFs, rationalization of capital gains of REITs, modification in PE norms and deferring the implementation of GAAR for two years. We are constantly working to improve the business environment further.
• We are trying to introduce an element of transparency and predictability in taxation system.
• We have fast tracked approvals in industry and infrastructure. This includes environmental clearances, extending the industrial licences, delicencing of defence items, and simplification of cross-border trade.
• Within a very short time, we introduced GST Bill in Parliament.
Such measures have helped in building up an enhanced investor confidence. The sentiments for private investment and inflow of foreign investments are positive. FDI inflows have gone up by 36% during April-2014 and January-2015 against the same period in previous year;
Our growth rate is about 7%-plus. Most of the international financial institutions including the World Bank, IMF, UNCTAD, OECD and others are predicting even faster growth and even better in the coming years. MOODY’s have recently upgraded the rating of India as “positive” on account of our concrete steps in various economic segments.
It is the effort of my Government to encourage innovation, R&D and entrepreneurship in the country. In this year’s budget, we have set up some innovative institutional mechanisms for that purpose.
Similarly, for infrastructure development, we have taken some far reaching steps.
• First of all we have made an all-time high allocation for Roads and railways sectors.
• In addition, we are setting up India Infrastructure Investment Fund.
• We have also allowed Tax free Bonds in the Infrastructure sector including roads and railways.
I wish all success to the Hannover Messe. I also wish all participants good luck and progress. I also take this opportunity for inviting more and more German companies to India. I assure them all support from my side.
Friends! Indo-German partnership should and will flourish. I expect very good outcome from this coming together. Let us work together in mutual interest and for welfare of the people of the two great countries.
At the end, it is my advice to you to come and feel the change in India’s regulatory environment. Please do not go by old perceptions.
The symbol of lion for make in India has been chosen very carefully. We know that our biggest need today is to create jobs for our 65% population which is young. Hence, Make in India is the need. Hence, the lion because a lion cannot be stopped. We are confident that our journey to make India a global manufacturing hub cannot be stopped that too by our own rules and regulations. We must and we will make corrections wherever it is required.
Once again I invite you to India. I assure you of my personal attention in your success while you are in India.
Thank You very much.
(Release ID :118202)
13 April 2015
English rendering of PM's Op-Ed in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
In May last year, in what was the largest elections in the history of mankind, the people of India voted my Government into office. For the first time in three decades Indian voters gave a clear majority mandate to a government. The verdict was for change and for good and effective governance. It was also a call for development reflective of growing aspirations of India’s youthful millions.
In the last 11 months, we have come a long way in keeping this promise. We have re-energised the Indian growth engine. The credibility of our economy has been restored. India is once again poised for rapid growth and development. It is the only emerging economy where growth rate is rising. The prospects are even better.
This has not happened by chance. My government has earnestly taken up the challenge of development and economic transformation of India. For us, development is not a mere political agenda; it is an article of faith. We have initiated specific policies and actions to realise our vision for New Age India with a clear set of economic goals and objectives. Our focus is not merely economic growth but an inclusive development. This requires creating jobs, upgrading skills, raising productivity, benchmarking quality with global standards. Our aim is to completely eliminate poverty and to propel all Indians into a life of purpose and dignity within a generation. My own life-experience and belief in the role of good governance in India’s economic development has convinced me that this noble objective can be achieved.
Generating jobs for India’s youthful population is a key to harnessing India’s demographic advantage. This can be achieved only when we significantly and quickly ramp up our manufacturing capabilities. To meet this objective my Government has unveiled the "Make in India" initiative. This is a win-win for all. The employment opportunities that new manufacturing will generate will enhance the purchasing power of our people. This in turn will create a market for more trade and investment. With 65% of our population below the age of 35, the possibilities that India's growth presents for global economic prosperity are immense. Through our "Act East” and "Link West” policy, India has the potential of becoming the middle ground for East and West as a manufacturing hub that serves both our vast domestic market and becomes a base for global exports and general well-being.
Our strategy for "Make in India” requires urgent creation of new infrastructure. The substantial enhancement in financing in the federal budget for highways, railways and energy is a step in this direction. Work has begun on the development of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
My Government has pledged a stable and transparent tax regime, reducing corporate taxes and implementing a single Goods & Services Tax in 2016.
We recognize that the availability of a skilled work-force is a prerequisite for manufacturing growth. My Government is giving the highest priority to the Skills India programme. We will focus on promoting models of vocational training according to specific needs of local industry, and to adopt best practices from abroad.
We are aware that all development must be environmentally sustainable. India has always cherished its environment. This is deeply ingrained in our age-old culture and civilization. Our revised target for renewable energy capacity of 175,000 MW by 2022 is a reflection of our commitment.
Growing urbanization in India is one of our greatest challenges. The population in our cities is projected to double in 10 years. Our focus on development of Smart Cities is aimed at providing the basic necessities of affordable housing, clean water and a safe environment for our people.
As a former Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, I recognise that these ambitious objectives can be realized only through cooperation between the federal Government and our twenty nine States. We are creating structures to enable them to become partners of our exports and investment strategy. We have also adopted a strategy of cooperative and competitive federalism where states spur each other into greater effort through a healthy competition for economic growth and prosperity.
International support and collaboration is equally critical to achieving our objectives. I have therefore sought to build a foreign policy which is an integral part of our national development strategy. My interactions with leaders of USA, Russia, France, Japan and China have all aimed at creating enduring partnerships with shared stakes in global development and well-being.
Germany enjoys a special place in this context. We share a strategic partnership based on our common values. India desires a mutually beneficial partnership for growth and prosperity with Germany. Our priorities fit well with Germany’s expertise. India’s development needs can become business opportunities for German industry.
We take satisfaction from the presence of more than 1600 Indo-German collaborations Nonetheless, a great deal of potential remains unrealized. Higher levels of investments are possible and indeed desirable. Germany is globally renowned for its engineering, innovation and skills. The capacities of your Mittelstand and family-owned businesses are well known. I invite them to come to India.
My visit to Germany and India’s participation at the Hannover Messe as a Partner Country is aimed at realising the immense possibilities that exist between us. In my discussions with Chancellor Merkel and with captains of German industry, I intend to share our sense of optimism and confidence in our future plans. I will also listen carefully to learn what more we can do to address concerns of German entrepreneurs with regard to investment and manufacturing in India.
We see Germany as our preferred partner in developing skills of young Indians. We also want to learn from Germany's path-breaking experiences in renewable energy. We wish to replicate your success in solar roof-top projects and off-grid solar and wind power solutions, as well as your expertise in grid integration and management. Our smart city project can utilize your technologies to achieve water, waste and urban development objectives. We admire Germany's achievements in the application of technology solutions to meet environmental challenges. You are also our natural ally in my Government's "Clean India" initiative. We also want to benefit from Germany’s experience in cleaning the River Ganga. We invite your transport companies, including your railways, to assist us in the modernization of our transport networks. Your logistics and infrastructure companies can contribute to ongoing development of industrial corridors in India.
I visualize India as a key engine of global growth. Our democratic principles and practices are guarantors of stability. We have a free media and an independent judiciary that allows all opinions to be aired without fear. We believe in "Rahein Saath Badhe Saath” (stay together-grow together). There is no other way forward. Mankind's progress in this century depends on cooperation and collaboration. Conflict is unthinkable. So is poverty which Gandhi called the worst form of violence. If we can take all Indians together into a better socio-economic future, I believe that the world we share will be a better place for all.
(Release ID :118184)
13 April 2015