PM Modi pats RBI, says India must become ‘financially Aatmanirbhar’ in 10 years

Mumbai, April 1 : Over the next 10 years, India must strive to become a ‘financially Aatmanirbhar’ economy and continue to march ahead confidently in the path of progress and development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Monday.

Speaking at the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Prime Minister said the country’s economy has risen in the past years from the inherited mess after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government took charge in 2014, adding that it is now poised for take-off.

“India is among the youngest nations in the world… Our policies have opened up new sectors in the economy, such as green energy, digital technology, defence, which is getting into the export mode, MSME, space, and tourism. The RBI must address the aspirations of the youth and develop ‘out-of-the-box’ policies for all these emerging sectors to help the youth,” the Prime Minister said.

Pointing out that globally there is a challenge for nations to strike a balance between inflation control and growth, PM Modi called upon the RBI to study and develop a model for this which can be a trendsetter for the world, especially the Global South, while ensuring that the Indian rupee is accessible and acceptable world over.

He said that in the next 10 years, India will strive to improve its ‘financial independence’ with the country’s economy getting impacted minimally by global developments as “we are already on the way to becoming a world growth engine”.

PM Modi also recalled the RBI@80 celebrations in 2014 and the challenges and problems like NPAs confronting the country’s banking system.

“But in the past 10 years, we have reached a point where the Indian banking system is being seen as strong and sustainable, and the near moribund system of that time is now in profit and showing record credit,” he said.

The Prime Minister also credited this transformation to the clarity of policy, intentions and decisions, the comprehensive reforms, working on the strategy of recognition, resolution and recapitalisation, a capital infusion of Rs 3.5 lakh crore to help public sector banks, and the effectiveness of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

More than 27,000 applications involving underlying defaults of over Rs 9 lakh crore were resolved even before admission under the IBC, PM Modi said, adding that gross NPAs of banks, which stood at 11.25 per cent, plummeted to below 3 per cent by September 2023, as he lauded the RBI’s role in this transformation.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the other major achievements in the past 10 years, including the reach of the Jan Dhan accounts, the Kisan Credit Card, the inclusion of the poor in the country’s banking mainstream, and the growth of digital payments with over 1,200 crore transactions every month, among others.

Stressing the importance of innovations, the Prime Minister asked the bankers and regulators to be prepared for the needs of the new and traditional sectors like space and tourism, green energy comprising solar energy, green hydrogen and ethanol blending, the indigenously made 5G technology, rising exports in the defence sector, and the MSMEs becoming the backbone of India’s manufacturing sector.

To mark the occasion, the Prime Minister also released a commemorative coin to mark the RBI’s 90th anniversary in the presence of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministers of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad and Pankaj Chaudhary, Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, among others.

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