Promising to take the country on the path of faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday the setting up of a new institution to replace the Planning Commission and make India a manufacturing hub.
Speaking extempore during his maiden Independence Day speech as Prime Minister, Mr. Modi vowed to empower the poor with access to finance and give States a bigger role in making policies and decisions for the economy.
“If we have to take India forward, then States will have to be taken forward. The importance of federal structure is more today than it was in last 60 years …We will very soon set up a new institution in place of Planning Commission,” he said.
Mr. Modi said the new institution would foster cooperative federalism, facilitate public-private partnership and help in better navigation of the new economic challenges the country faced.
Inviting global investors to make India their manufacturing base and calling upon the young industrial workforce and entrepreneurs to pitch in to building the made-in-India brand, Mr. Modi said: “Come, make in India, manufacture in India. Sell in any country of the world but manufacture here.”
Talking about the increasing number of rapes, Mr. Modi bemoaned the tendency of parents to restrict the freedom of their daughters, while letting their sons have all of it.
“Parents ask their daughters hundreds of questions, but have parents ever dared to question their son as to where he is going, why he is going out, who his friends are. After all, a rapist is also somebody’s son,” he said.
The Prime Minister announced the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana under which the poor will be provided a bank account with a debit card with a built-in insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh.