Narendra Modi to young CEOs:Be soldiers of development

Mumbai : Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday exhorted entrepreneurs to become soldiers of development and help India cut dependence on imports, while ensuring that it becomes a ‘less-cash’ economy. Addressing over 200 CEOs and Startups here, he also asked them to work towards increasing agricultural exports and promoting tourism. “Gandhiji made Independence a mass movement. Every government has tried to take India forward. But development has not become a mass movement,” Modi said at ‘Champions of Change’, organised by Niti Aayog.        “In the same spirit as what Mahatma Gandhi did for the freedom struggle, we need to make India’s development a mass movement,” he added. Calling upon the young entrepreneurs to become soldiers of development, Modi said that by working together “we can solve several problems the country faces”. Stressing that India needs to move towards becoming a less cash society, he asked the CEOs to encourage the use of BHIM app for cashless transactions and ensure by 2022 that employees working for them go cashless. He also asked them to distribute Khadi coupons as Diwali gifts.

Referring to tourism and enormous potential in job creations, Modi said: “We Indians don’t take pride in our rich heritage. If we begin talking about it with pride, the world will desperate to visit India.” He said he was looking at end-to-end solutions for India. “If this generation thinks of feasible solutions to our unique problems, markets and jobs will automatically be created,” he added.  On various initiatives of his government, Modi talked about GeM (Government-e-Market) portal which was introduced recently to increase transparency in government purchases. He said even small suppliers can sell their products to the government through the portal. As many as 28,000 small suppliers have sold their products to government worth Rs 1,000 crore through the portal in the last 4-6 months. Calling the young CEOs as his team, Modi said India’s development must be made a mass movement and entrepreneurs should think of what more they can do for the country’s growth and for the poor.