Modi stresses localisation for economic recovery

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NEW DELHI: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid out a framework for his country’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery which will lay stress on localization in production and marketing.

This will supplement a drive towards industrial self-sufficiency, which Modi underlined while reopening the country two weeks ago after a stringent two month-long lockdown to control spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Every state will benefit from the cluster-based policy that has been announced for local products,” he told Chief Ministers of states in a two-day interaction which concluded today.

“Hence, it is necessary that we identify such products in every block and every district by processing or marketing them so that we can place them in our country as well as in the global market.”

Facing a record food crop during the ongoing harvest season, when sowing has been 12 to 13 per cent higher than last year, Modi said “the reforms that have taken place recently in marketing farm produce will benefit farmers immensely. Because of this, farmers will get a new alternative to sell their produce and their income will increase. When farmers’ income will increase, demand for goods and services certainly will go up and the economies of states will get a boost.”

He said “in the last few weeks, green shoots have started appearing in our economy” after a long cessation of activity due to the lockdown. “Power consumption which was decreasing earlier has started increasing now. Fertilizer sales have doubled” on a monthly calculation, he cited as evidence of recovery.

Modi addressed Chief Ministers in two groups, one from states where the pandemic is severe, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat and another group from states which have brought COVID-19 under control and are opening up faster than others as a consequence. These include Kerala, Punjab, Assam, Goa and Manipur.

The Prime Minister’s latest interaction with Chief Ministers was meant to review “the situation emerging post Unlock-1 and plan ahead for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the sixth such interaction by the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers,” according to a readout of the meetings by the government’s Press Information Bureau.

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