On 8th June 2016, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Washington DC where he addressed 41st Annual Leadership Summit of United States Indian Business Council (USIBC). This annual leadership summit was the signature event of USIBC that has served as a forum for engaging in discussions on deepening United States- India commercial ties.

PM’s visit to Washington symbolizes deep partnership of geopolitical and economic significance. In fact, this was the first meeting of an Indian Leader in a decade. In 2015, India became the top FDI destination attracting $63 billion. It has fueled Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attract global investors to invest in the country. PM represented India and highlighted the achievements and growth in the different commercial sectors in the last few years. He said that our nation has a high quality sources of engineering, managing and scientific talent which has provided multiple benefits to various countries of the world. He mentioned that continuous reforms which have been undertaken by the government of India i.e. several initiatives for the growth and development of the nation – Jan Dhan Yojana which has transformed the lives of people on a large scale. The digitalization in various practices of daily life have changed the lives of individuals.

PM Modi has mentioned the efforts of Government of India to maintain prudent macroeconomic policies and improve the investment climate in the country. He said that Indian-Americans were a powerful cementing force in our growing economic and cultural ties. India has represented a large and growing market in various sectors like commercial field, R&D divisions, democracy, scientific, engineering and managerial regions. We have also embarked on new era of development and we are eager to involve the ideas and strategies of entrepreneurship and innovation from American tradition. The incredible talent and ingenious ideas because of which America had remained at the forefront of technological and scientific innovation from drugs to drones, air traffic control to air quality improvement and hybrid cars to hydro fracking, are evident. They have shown the world a new path of discovery and innovation for the best future. He highlighted the impeccable deeds of Indian government that has helped us to overcome all the odds to register an impressive economic performance.

With an aim to reform and transform India, PM Modi described all the key elements of Indian government policies-macroeconomic policies to ensure the growth of poor communities and weaker sections of the societies including women and farmers, to stimulate the employment and growth through investment and trade and to increase efficiency and productivity. These have gone beyond the limits and restrictions to improve the lives of ordinary people. There is a remarkable increase in the Foreign exchange reserves, stock market valuations, GDP growth, investment and monetary benefits.

In India, influential steps have been taken to control the diesel prices and to eliminate the energy subsidies. We have acted to reduce the wasteful expenditures through innovative methods and with the use of technology. In order to bring transparency in the system, we have implemented the scheme of crediting the subsidies directly to bank accounts of the people.  He accentuated the defense, railway and foreign investment in the insurance sector that has increased the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India. We have enhanced the foreign investment in ports and waterways to improve logistics and to reduce the time taken for cargo to enter and exit.

Shri Narendra Modi mentioned the ‘Startup Programmes’ in India that has encouraged the people to join a large platform to explore their talent and expertise to the world. Financial Scheme like Jan Dhan Yojana, has become successful to bring two hundred million people into the banking system which is indeed a remarkable step by the Indian government. Moreover, it has also increased the economic status of the country. Nowadays, people have become familiar with the digitalization processes of withdrawing and transferring money through mobile ATMs. Social security schemes like life insurance, pension etc. are providing benefits to various weaker sections of the country.

For women empowerment, we have come up with various saving schemes to pay for education, and self-employment financing programs (MUDRA). In agriculture field, the world can recognize innovative ideas of crop irrigation, effective use of neem coated fertilizers, soil health cards to check the quality of soil that has not only increased the crop productivity but also the income of farmers. More than 140 million soil health cards have been issued to the farmers and 1500 laboratories have been set up where 25 million soil samples have been checked. We have removed discretion in allocation of key sources and moved to transparent auctions of mines, spectrum and FM radio licenses.

PM Modi talked about ‘Make in India’ initiative that has come up with many creative ideas of young generation for the commercial sector including manufacturing and production divisions. According to him, it is important for us that the developed countries open their markets not only to products and goods from our country but also to the services. The steps like fair tax policies will bring more transparency in our commitment.

PM’s Vision: PM Modi is highly concerned for the development of India and for that, the partnership between American capital and innovation and Indian human resources and entrepreneurship can be a very powerful step. With this, both countries can strengthen the economy.

Contributor: Sunpreet Kaur