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Modi urges world to unite in fight against terrorism, invites investors to India

 
Globalisation losing its lustre, Modi tells Davos summit
Declaring that terrorism is bad in all its forms and facets, irrespective of its territory of origin or target of operation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged the world to unite in the fight against the evil and ensure such groups did not get money, arms and ammunition.
 
Delivering the keynote address at the plenary session of the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland, Mr. Modi said there were two most pressing issues which could not only fracture but also frustrate many good things which the human race had achieved.
 
"The first is terrorism. Because of our belief in co-existence of races and religions; and because of our belief in non-violence, we have always opposed terrorism. I say with full conviction that terrorism is bad in all its forms and facets. It is bad irrespective of its territory of origin or target of operation. We all must unite in fight against terrorism. India stands firmly with all such forces.
 
"I must also take the opportunity to appeal to all of you to see that such groups do not get money, arms and ammunition. It cannot be a good business to do business with such elements. We all know that, without peace, progress and prosperity is not possible," he said.
 
Mr. Modi said the second global challenge was the problem of climate change. "In our culture, we treat the Nature as mother. We also believe that man only has the right to milk it; not to destroy it. That is why, through Paris Agreement, we have assured the global community that our development process would be entirely in line with our cultural ethos towards environmental safeguards. In fact, we are not only aware of our responsibilities towards climate change; we are willing to take lead in mitigating its effects," he said.
 
"To demonstrate sustainability of our development process, we have made major commitments and achievements in renewable energy. We have planned to draw 175 GW of energy from renewables by 2022. This includes 100 GW from Solar Energy and another 75 GW from Wind and other sources. We have added more than 14 GW to solar energy generation which was just about 3 GW three years back. With this, we are already the fifth largest producer of solar energy in the world. Not only this, we are also the sixth largest producer of renewable energy. 
 
"I am also happy with the fact that, with our efforts, an international treaty based organization, called the International Solar Alliance has taken shape. The ISA has been conceived as a coalition of countries which are rich in solar radiation. The effort is to make them engage with each other to mitigate the hurdles and promote the enablers in solar energy. At present, 121 countries are its members. 48 countries have now signed and 19 have ratified the framework agreement. Thus, it has already come into force," he said.
 
Mr. Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the WEF at Davos in two decades, said that, if the world were really serious about strengthening cooperation and satisfaction in the global community, they particularly need to address the issues facing the youth.
 
"The rapid rise and spread of radicalism among youth in different societies is endangering the security and stability of many regions. People sitting here can help a lot in this direction. You can create and facilitate gainful employment and engagement for the youth. We must demonstrate by action that new technology will not take away jobs. Rather, it will create new jobs in newer areas and manners. 
 
"We need to create a caring and concerned society. We have to think of the ways where the commercial set up can be used to create a considerate civilization not just competitive corporates. Corporate social responsibility is an old word. But try to give a new meaning to it; try to give new message through it. I will repeat what I have been saying since long. You cannot continue to sell unless you enhance purchasing power of the common people. We cannot keep producing goods; without producing good income," he said.
 
Turning to India's attractiveness as an investment destination, given with its vast market and stable fundamentals, Mr. Modi said the Government had, in recent years, tried to strengthen and build upon the country's basics further.
 
He spoke about the government's development agendra, based on five pillars, including far-reaching structural reforms.
 
"Thus, our first pillar is our mantra of reform, perform and transform. Our reforms have touched almost all sectors. This specially includes: formalizing the informal economy through demonetization and digital transactions, direct tax reforms and expansion of the tax base, banking reforms, DBT through UID and Bank accounts, minimizing discretion, combating corruption and controlling inflation. Also, we have consistently reduced fiscal deficit and current account deficit. 
 
"Over the last three years, we have particularly resolved a number of regulatory and policy issues facing businesses, investors and companies. Another good element of this reform process is that the States are also forthcoming. They have started competing for doing better and better. We call this process "competitive federalism.”
 
"In this direction, we have also undertaken bold FDI reforms. More than 90% of the FDI approvals have been put on the automatic approval route. As a result of these changes, there has been a sharp rise in FDI in the past three years–from 36 billion US dollars in 2013-14 to 60 billion US dollars in 2016-17," he said.
 
He said the Government was using technology to transform governance and deliver public entitlements and services. It was also upgrading the physical infrastructure in the country, including roads, railways, air and sea ports. 
 
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He said the Government was aware of the urgent need to upscale and improve the rules governing economic activity. "We need to be fully integrated with the world in major policy areas. May be it is the regime of entry and exit of businesses, for IPRs, or arbitration and commercial adjudication, we have moved very decisively to brush up the framework to bring them in line with global best practices,: he said.
 
"The fifth pillar is inclusive economic development. As I said, the biggest reason for fracture within the countries is inequality and disparity leading to divide and dis-trust.
 
"Personally, I have always said that development process should be inclusive and encompassing. We have tried in our own way to bridge the income and opportunity divide," he said, going on to cite examples such as efforts to improve ease of business, create jobs and make India a global manufacturing hub, and the Digital India, Skill India and Start-up India missions.
 
"If we unleash a wave of start-ups; it is to create employers along with employment; If we open bank accounts of 310 million ( 31 crore) unbanked people; it is to bring them in financial mainstream; If we deploy technology for targeting of beneficiaries and direct benefit transfer; it is to eliminate middlemen from the system of government subsidies; If we appeal to the well to do people to surrender subsidized cooking gas; it is to support those who do not have cooking gas connections; If we decide to electrify all remaining villages and households: it is to see that quality of their life changes for ever," he said.
 
"To bridge the imbalance and divide, we have to do a lot and have to do it fast. To give you a few examples: We have to build 50 million houses for the poor and houseless; We have to build metro rail systems in more than fifty cities to promote public transport. The range of our requirements is very big. We have to go horizontal as well as vertical.
 
"From distribution of LED bulbs to laying down heavy transmission lines; From cooking gas in every kitchen to National gas grid and LNG terminals; From Water tap in households to waterways and pipelines; From roads in villages to Bharatmala road network garlanding the borders of the country; From laying and electrifying railways to building modern townships over 400 stations. The needs of our fast track development process are lifetime opportunities for the companies in various fields," he said.
 
"India’s steel consumption is 60 kg per person, against a global average of 218 kg per person. India’s per capita electricity consumption at 1100 kWh is the lowest among BRICS nations and is just 1/3rd of the world average. Similarly, in India, vehicles per 1000 population is 25 against around 500 of European countries. (134th place in world and lowest in top 10 car making countries). Think of the revolutionary effect which Industry will have if 1.25 billion people start consuming at par with or closer to the world average in some of these sectors," he said.
 
Mr. Modi said that India, thus, provided great scope and opportunity for all kinds of ideas and concepts to flourish and investments to fructify. He said the Government agencies were finding innovative ways to create a business friendly environment. 
 
"We have now developed the digestive capacity for various technologies. Our young people have already distinguished themselves in the realm of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. And we are benefitting from their experience at home also," he said.
 
"India is an investment in future. You will agree with me if I say that: We are a vibrant and youthful society moving towards a knowledge based economy; India houses a large number of Tech manpower, Institutions and R&D centers; We are moving towards becoming a five trillion US dollars economy by 2025; We will become 3rd largest consumer market in the World by 2025; According to the World Bank and IMF our growth rate is going to be steady and high; India ranked 3rd in WEF’s list of most trusted governments in 2017; We are a deep rooted Democracy; openness, predictability of policies and rule of law is ensured; Many International agencies and consultancies have recognized this stability; Global rating agency Moody’s has upgraded India’s rating on account of its economic reforms," he said.
 
"These are a few examples I narrated just to show the direction of our society, polity and economy. We are building a New India where one sixty of humanity is combined and committed to get good administration and better amenities for a better quality of life. This is not a co-incidence. But an outcome of persistence of the people of India to get what they actually deserve. And we will get that sooner than anticipated," he said.
 
Mr. Modi began by noting that the global economy was gradually improing, with good signs in the growth  of the world GDP as well as activities in trade and industrial production, coupled with strengthening business and consumer confidence.
 
"The theme of this year’s World Economic Forum is very relevant. It places the spotlight on the challenges facing the humanity," he said.
 
"The challenges are multi-faceted and they are all around us. However, the only hope is that we all want to tackle them. We want to see a co-operative, harmonious, sharing and caring world. In fact, this is where the hope lies. But, the unfortunate part of human life is that we allow things to be broken. Then we start retro-fitting. We first tear it; then put the stitch. By that time, many times, it is too late. In international arena, there are many such situations today where we don’t know now what to do. 
 
"The real strategy would be not to let the fracture happen to the extent it does," he said.
 
Talking about India's age-old traditions and strengths, he said, "You might have seen in the recent past that more than 1.25 billion Indians accepted in one voice and moved towards a less cash society and a unified tax system in the form of GST. These two historic decisions happened one after the other and in less than a year’s time. We are now a financial system which is fully prepared and integrated for digital transactions. All this has fulfilled our dream and your desire of India as one nation, one tax. It has also started a fresh journey towards a modern tax regime that is transparent, stable and predictable. 
 
"It is a matter of great satisfaction for us that the largest democracy on earth is also the fastest growing major economy; the most diverse society is also a very decisive polity. Thus, one sixth of global community which lives in India and which is a very diverse society has a common vision; for a shared future. This is our real strength. We are trying to harness it and strengthen it further," he said.
 
"India offers you everything that you seek from and for your life. Therefore, my advice to you is that: If you want wealth with wellness, work in India; If you want Peace with Prosperity, live in India; If you want Health with whole life, be in India. 
 
"And our promise is that your agenda will be part of our destiny. We both will have a shared and successful future," he added.
 
NNN
 
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