World is appreciating India's COVID-19 fight: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said the willpower and discipline of 130 crore Indians and the efforts of India in fighting COVID-19 are being appreciated across the world. He made the comments while replying to the Motion of Thanks to the President's address in Rajya Sabha. Modi also said COVID-19 is such a pandemic that humankind has never seen in the last 100 years.
- PM Modi's address in Rajya Sabha came a day after he spoke in Lok Sabha on Monday on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address.
- His Monday speech made headlines for his scathing attack on Congress.
- On Tuesday, Modi talked about the government's various work on MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises), agriculture, job creation, and inflation.
Modi said the government laid special emphasis on the MSME and farming sector during the pandemic to ensure no hindrance comes before them. He said this was needed for the welfare of people as the MSME sector provides the highest employment. "As a result, there was bumper productivity & govt made record purchases. Farmers received higher MSP. They received money directly into bank accounts."
Talking about the MSME sector, Modi said this sector "benefited most from the government's Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative." The PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme launched by various ministries boosted India's manufacturing capacity, he said, noting the key role of MSMEs in manufacturing. Highlighting the contribution made by engineering goods--produced by MSMEs--in India's increasing export, Modi said it reflects the strength of the sector.
Modi further said, "People from the MSME sector are coming to the defense sector." "It's encouraging that people of the country have the ability, and they are coming forward to make the country self-reliant in the sector," he added.
Citing payroll data from Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Modi said 1.2 crore youth got formal jobs in 2021. "Among them, 60-65 lakh were aged between 18 to 25 years," Modi said. Modi also said hiring has been doubled after COVID-19-related restrictions were lifted compared to the initial days of the pandemic. "Increase in export has also helped in creating employment," Modi added.
The total number of unicorns (startups with valuation at or above 1 billion US dollars) that have been created in 2021 is more than the total unicorns created in the previous year, Modi said. "If these are not counted as employment, then it is considered as a political discussion rather than a discussion on employment," Modi added.
On inflation, Modi highlighted that the US, Britain, and many other European countries are bearing the brunt of inflation due to the pandemic. "However, we have tried to keep inflation at a certain level" despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Modi added. Slamming Congress-led UPA over inflation, Modi said inflation had touched double-digit during UPA's time, whereas it is 4-5% since 2014.