Criticising UPA’s policies, chief minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi claimed that people had lost trust in the government.
Addressing the national executive committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Modi said the country must rebuild trust among government, business and civil society. “Trust is missing,” he emphasised. “Government is supposed to win the trust of all sections of society. But sentiments are poor as trust is missing.”
Citing Gujarat, Modi said many companies, without hgaving a any clue about policies, followed peer companies and invested in the state just because of trust. “Leadership matters. So now, decisive power is needed to rescue the sinking ship (Indian economy),” he stated.
To improve the economy, the villager’s purchasing power should increase. “If the economy of a farmer or a village grows, the purchasing power will increase and it will automatically improve economy in urban areas. Country needs to focus on value addition in agriculture and industry which would boost the overall economy,” Modi pointed out. “Prime Minister talks about inclusive growth,” he said, claiming that the government had missed the bottom part of the pyramid in the growth. “The poorest man of society should also be part of growth,” he insisted.
“India should start a new railway university with special courses in order to get the best quality of skilled manpower. Similarly, all three wings of the defence should have their own universities,” said Modi while praising railways for doing good business. He added that India was capable of manufacturing defence equipment but needed to start immediately.
During the question-answer session between FICCI and Modi, several issues were discussed, including privatisation, new tax reforms, healthcare and labour. Again, reiterating that Gujarat did not have labour problems because of its policies, he said: “India needs to resolve labour issues without compromising the dignity and security of labourers.”
When asked whether NREGA was good for the economy as labour was not easily available, Modi said that with the use of latest technology, next generation of NREGA should be introduced to help the country as well as the poor segment of society. On tax issues, Modi said there was strong tax terrorism in India. “Government looks at everyone as tax evader. I want all stakeholders, including industry, to get together to simplify the tax structure,” he said. Regarding healthcare, he said, “Instead of addressing sickness, government should focus on healthcare.”