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Indian PM pushes for manufacturing hub in India
August 15, 2014, 6:01 am

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the country from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi on 15 August 2014 []

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the country from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi on 15 August 2014 []

On India’s 68th Independence Day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India needs to be transformed into a manufacturing hub.

“I invite our youth involved in manufacturing to ensure that all over the world, products say ‘Made in India’. Why should we have to import things when we have such capable young citizens? Out of all the things we import, I will ensure that we start making at least one of those in India,” said the Prime Minister.

India, Asia’s third-largest economy, is struggling to emerge from the longest spell of slowing growth. Industrial growth slowed to 3.4 per cent in June. Annual economic growth is forecast to accelerate to about 5.5 per cent in the fiscal year to March 2015 from 4.7 per cent last year.

During his maiden Independence Day speech, Modi announced an initiative to improve access to financial services for all Indians including the poorest. Two-fifths of Indians lack a bank account.

Addressing the nation from the 17th Century Red Fort in Delhi, Modi said rising crimes against women across the country has shamed India.

The fatal gang rape of a young woman in 2012 had triggered massive protests in India pushing the government to amend laws and put in place stricter punishments.

Over the past few months new stories have been reported from India of sex crimes, raising questions about the place of women in the world’s largest democracy.

India’s National Crime Records Bureau figures say rapes rose 35.2 per cent to 33,707 in 2013.

Meanwhile on Friday in the national capital, Modi also announced that the central policymaking body, the Planning Commission would be replaced by a new think-tank.

“The times have changed since the Planning Commission was created. In a short span of time we will initiative a new institution that will work in place of the Planning Commission,” Modi said.

The Commission was already excluded from discussions to frame the national budget. Created in 1950 during the government of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharalal Nehru, the advisory body has been criticized in recent years for its outdated structure and lack of reforms.

Meanwhile, Google marked India’s 68th Independence Day with a doodle that depicts an Indian postal stamp released when India got its independence on 15 August 1947 from British colonial rule.



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