With priorities set on making India a USD 5 trillion economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday underlined his government's strategies to achieve the goal in the next few years. Besides, the prime minister has also opened up on various other ongoing issues, including Article 370, structural reform of GST, trade war between India and China and the Centre's blueprint to boost exports, in an exclusive interview with The Economic Times.
When prodded about the reason behind the scrapping of Article 370, Prime Minister Modi said the decision, what he termed "a domestic one", comes after a "great deal of thought" and will certainly help create three necessary conditions for investment – stability, market access and predictable laws in Jammu and Kashmir.
"In today's world, economic growth cannot happen in a closed environment. Open minds and open markets will ensure that the youth of the region will put it on the path of greater progress. Integration gives a boost to investment, innovation and incomes," Modi told ET in his first marathon interview after assuming office for the second term in May.
"The recent decision on Article 370 has ensured all the necessary conditions for business, especially when the region offers investment opportunities in various domains like tourism, agriculture, IT, healthcare to name a few. This will help develop an ecosystem which will give better rewards to the skills, hard work and products of the people in the region," he went on to claim further.
Referring to his "Naya Kashmir" promise during his last national address on Thursday, Modi said he is very confident that it will become a reality soon and the preparation is already kicked with entrepreneurs in talks to invest in the state bordering Pakistan.
Moving on to the education sector, the prime minister said better avenues like IIT, IIM, AIIMS will not only give more opportunities to the youth but also ensure the region a better workforce.
Modi also vowed to better connectivity across the valley, saying that new projects like roads or rail lines, modernisation of the airports are being accelerated which will help products of the region reach across the globe, leading to a virtuous cycle of growth and prosperity to the common man.
Apart from Article 370, GST was another important factor he shed lights on. Asked if the government is satisfied with the evolution of GST in the last two years, Modi said the record so far is outstanding while more improvement is expected in the upcoming years. The prime minister also asked the media personnel to start a consumer awareness campaign to teach people about these new implementations, digital payment and bill seeking behaviour.
Modi's interview comes exactly a week after the government on August 5 revoked the Article 370 of the Constitution to take away the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.