Addressing the third leadership summit of US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF), Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday underlined the country’s low Covid death rate and attributed it to the country’s efforts in dealing with the pandemic, including being the first to advocate mandatory face coverings and social distancing.
“The country, with 1.3 billion people and limited resources, has one of the lowest death rates per million in the world. The recovery rate is also steadily rising,” Modi said. “When 2020 began, did anyone imagine how it would pan out? A global pandemic has impacted everyone. It is testing our resilience, public health system and economic system. The current situation demands fresh mindset where the approach to development is human-centric,” he added.
Recounting the “opportunities” the country has to offer in public and private sector, Modi lauded India as a country with a “commitment to democracy, and diversity”.
“The road further ahead is full of opportunities in the public and private sector. They cover core economic sectors as well as the social sectors. Recent sectors that have opened include Coal, Mining, Railways, Defence, Space, and Atomic Energy,” he said.
Speaking on US-India relations in the current challenging environment, Modi said the country of 1.3 billion people has embarked on one mission-to make an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ or a self-reliant India.” “It ensures India’s strength act as a global force multiplier. Time and again, India has shown that our goal is global good,” he said.
“The pandemic has impacted several things but it has not impacted the aspirations and of ambitions of 1.3 billion Indians. In recent months, there have been far reaching reforms. These are making business easier and red-tapism lesser,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also spoke on the country offering a transparent and predictable tax regime in the form of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). “Our GST is a unified, fully IT enabled indirect tax system,” he said adding that labour reforms in the country will “reduce compliance burden for employers and also provide social security protection to workers.”
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat have already addressed the virtual summit on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday respectively.
Speaking at the interactive online session today, Rawat referred to China’s incursions in Ladakh and said the country’s armed forces are capable of handling aggressive Chinese actions in “best suitable ways”. “Of late, India has been seeing some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these in the best suitable ways,” Rawat was quoted as saying by PTI.
On Tuesday, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said both India and US have sorted out “most” of the issues and are now exploring the option of inking a limited trade pact before the American Presidential elections in November.
Being attended by top corporate leaders, government officials and leaders, the summit highlights areas of bilateral cooperation: trade and investment; strategic energy ties; India’s position in global supply chains, collaboration in fintech, healthcare, and technology.