A billion Covid-19 vaccine doses, festivals to rev up economy: PM Modi
One billion vaccinations against Covid-19 and the ongoing festival season would give a fillip to the country’s economic activities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, urging people to buy products made in India and make the vocal-for-local campaign a success story in line with the clean India campaign.
“The festival season will give them (economic activities) more momentum. Sales during Diwali are quite high and comparable to those during the rest of the year,” Modi said in his televised address to the nation.
He said experts and agencies, both domestic and foreign, are upbeat about India’s economy. Reforms such as Gati Shakti and new drone policy initiated by the government in the past few months would play a pivotal role in increasing economic activities, he said.
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Gati Shakti — a digital portal recently unveiled by the PM — is a governance tool, aimed at developing the multimodal transportation system in the country. The government also announced liberalised rules for drones.
“Today not only are investments flowing at a record level in companies, but employment opportunities are also being generated for the youth. Investments are flowing into start-ups. Record number of unicorns is being set up. There is new energy seen in the housing sector. Every area is buzzing with activities — be it tourism, entertainment or sports,” Modi said to drive his point home.
The one-billion mark for vaccines has given a ray of hope for small businesses, hawkers and vendors, Modi said.
He recalled that once there was a craze for goods made in foreign countries. “But today, countrymen are feeling that ‘make in India’ has a great power. That is why we should emphasise on purchasing goods made by fellow Indians,” he said.
He said there was tension in the minds of people during last year’s Diwali, but now there is confidence over the vaccination drive. “If vaccines manufactured in my country can give me security, the goods produced in the country can also make my Diwali more lavish,” he said.
Prime Minister also asked people not to let their guard down while celebrating festivals and make wearing masks a part of their lives.
He said even during the period when Covid-19 had hit the country, agriculture provided support to the economy. Now, the government is procuring foodgrains at a record level and farmers are getting money directly in their bank accounts.
He said the milestone of one billion vaccinations reflects the “image of new India”. “We ensured that VIP culture does not overshadow our vaccination programme and everyone is treated equally,” he said. Remarking that the vaccination programme has been ‘science-driven and science-based’, Modi said people’s participation was the first line of defence in the drive.
By taking one billion jabs, Indians have given their reply to many apprehensions raised about the country’s ability to fight Covid-19.
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