The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called upon all nations to ensure that economic offenders who abscond to other countries are immediately repatriated back to the countries where they are wanted. He said that system should be tough with the people who loot public money and seek safe heavens abroad.Interacting with the industrial and trade fraternity of South Gujarat at an event organised by the ‘South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Surat today, the Vice President appealed to the industry to isolate such black sheep who bring a bad name to the entire business community and emphasised the need for ethical corporate governance in the country.Urging the governments to resist the temptation of populist policies, the Vice President wanted them to focus on creating right infrastructure, facilities and ecosystem for the people and the businesses to grow without impediments. He stressed that wealth need to be created before it can be distributed and called for giving due respect for wealth creators. “Entrepreneurship should be appreciated and not envied”, he saidOn this occasion, the Vice President also said that the push for an “Atmanirbhar Bharat” presents a huge opportunity to Indian businesses and called upon them to rise to the occasion and replicate the PPE kit success story in other sectors as well.During the discussion, he highlighted the fact that before lockdown, India had negligible production capacity of PPE kits and face masks like N-95, but within a short span of time, we have emerged as the second-largest producer of PPE kits. “We are not only meeting our own demand today, but also exporting these essential items to several countries”, he said.Describing the ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ as one of the important lessons imparted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vice President said that the larger part of Indian economy cannot remain forever dependent on foreign supplies.
Such dependence makes us vulnerable to any blockage or disruption in the global supply chain, he cautioned.Referring to the huge fall in the consumer prices of essential items like PPE kits, Shri Naidu said that the pandemic has also taught us that we can lower the costs if we develop capacities to produce such goods within our country. This will not only benefit our consumers but also save our precious foreign exchange required to procure these goods from global markets, he said underlining the need for self-sufficiency in key areas of healthcare, defence, energy and infrastructure.Recalling India’s healthy pace of economic growth during pre-Covid times, the Vice President noted with optimism the projected growth rate of 11.5 percent in this year's Budget. “This rate can doubtless be considered as the highest among the larger economies of the world”, he said.He reminded the audience of India’s rich tradition of trade and commerce and said that we can certainly regain that past glory and make India a ‘sonekichidiya’ once again.Pointing to the rapidly changing technological scenario and impending fourth industrial revolution, Shri Naidu asked the Industry to be prepared for it. He said that India’s demographic dividend gives us a significant advantage in this and opined that our youth can bring about the desired transformation if they are properly skilled, motivated and given the right opportunities.Urging the industry to play a more proactive role in skill training of the youth and mentoring of budding entrepreneurs, Shri Naidu stressed upon the critical role of the private sector in scripting the success story of any economy. He commended Gujarati business community for their handholding and community support to the new entrants into the business world and implored all businessmen to emulate this by supporting and mentoring young entrepreneurs.
Stating that our youth should not be mere job-seekers and they should rather become job providers, Shri Naidu called for enhanced industry-academia interface to unleash the latent spirit of entrepreneurship among Indian youth.On this occasion, the Vice President also praised the role being played by the private sector in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are not only vaccinating our huge population but also providing free doses of domestically developed Covid-19 vaccines to many poor nations”, he pointed out.Observing that in this age of intense competition, future will belong to those nations which have an edge in technological evolution, Shri Naidu stressed the need to constantly keep upgrading one’s skill sets. “We will have to innovate and invent”, he said and appealed to the private sector to increase its spending on R&D. He also called for earmarking CSR funds to promote research in academic institutions.Recognising the need to have systems in place for fair and equitable sharing of India’s limited resources, Shri Naidu opined that such systems are best possible in a democracy where the will of the people is supreme in providing direction to governance. In a democracy, constitutional positions are held by elected representatives who can not disregard public sentiments for long, he said.Thus, democracy provides the right kind of opportunity and a level playing field for businesses by eliminating the personal bias in the selection of winners in business battles.Shri Naidu also appreciated Gujarat’s success in co-operative movement. Noting that in the past several co-operatives became victim of politics and vested interests, he said that it is time to strengthen the co-operative movement across the country.Mentioning that Surat is renowned for its silk and diamonds, the Vice President credited the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of its people for making Surat a major industrial hub and throbbing centre of commerce in the country.Gujarat Minister, Shri Ishwar Parmar, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), Shri C. R. Patil, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), Smt. Darshana Jardosh, SGCCI Chairman, Shri Dinesh Navadiya and others were present during the event.