Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM’s address at inauguration of Uttarakhand Global Investors Summit 2023 in Dehradun

Posted On: 08 DEC 2023 3:34PM by PIB Delhi

The Governor of Uttarakhand Shri Gurmeet Singh ji, the popular and youthful Chief Minister Shri Pushkar Singh Dhami, government ministers, representatives from various countries, dignitaries from the business world, and ladies and gentlemen!

Coming to the divine land of Uttarakhand brings immense joy to my heart. A few years ago, when I set out to visit Baba Kedarnath, I said spontaneously that the third decade of the 21st century is the decade of Uttarakhand. I am pleased to see that my statement is consistently proving true. For all of you, there is a significant opportunity to connect with the pride of Uttarakhand, to be a part of its journey of development. I congratulate everybody, including the state government, for leading a successful campaign to safely rescue our migrant brothers from the tunnel in Uttarkashi.


Uttarakhand is a state where you experience both divinity and development together. I have seen it up close, lived it, and felt the emotions and possibilities of Uttarakhand. It reminds me of a poem I once wrote for Uttarakhand:

जहाँ अंजुली में गंगा जल हो, 

जहाँ हर एक मन बस निश्छल हो, 

जहाँ गाँव-गाँव में देशभक्त हो, 

जहाँ नारी में सच्चा बल हो, 

उस देवभूमि का आशीर्वाद लिए मैं चलता जाता हूं!

इस देव भूमि के ध्यान से ही, मैं सदा धन्य हो जाता हूँ। 

है भाग्य मेरा, सौभाग्य मेरा, मैं तुमको शीश नवाता हूँ"।

(Where Ganga water is in every hand,

Where every heart is honest,

Where patriotism echoes in every village,

Where true strength resides in every woman,

I keep moving forward by taking the blessings of this divine land!

I am always grateful while meditating on this divine land.

I am fortunate; I bow to you with reverence.)


This land of immense possibilities is certainly going to open many doors of investments for you. Today, Bharat is progressing with the mantra of both development and heritage, and Uttarakhand stands as a shining example of it.


All of you are veterans in the business world. Those who are in the business world often conduct a SWOT analysis of their work. They evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges of their company, and form their strategy based on that assessment. If we were to conduct a similar SWOT analysis for Bharat as a nation today, what would we find? We would see aspirations, hope, self-confidence, innovation, and opportunity all around. 

Today, you will witness policy-driven governance in the country. You will see a strong appeal for political stability from the citizens. Ambitious Bharat doesn't want instability; it desires a stable government. We have seen this recently in the state assembly elections, and the people of Uttarakhand have already demonstrated it earlier. The people have given a mandate for stable and strong governments. The people have voted for good governance based on the track record. Today, Bharat and its people are being looked at by the world with hope and respect, and this has been acknowledged by people in the business world as well. Every Indian is taking it as a responsibility. Every citizen feels that the creation of a ‘Viksit Bharat’ is their duty. It is this self-confidence that despite the crises of the COVID pandemic and wars, Bharat is developing rapidly. You have seen that Bharat has trusted its policies and capabilities whether it's the Corona vaccine or economic policies. As a result, Bharat stands today in a league of its own compared to other major economies. The benefit of Bharat’s strength at the national level is being reaped by every state, including Uttarakhand.


In view of these circumstances, Uttarakhand becomes special and natural because it has a double-engine government. The efforts of the double-engine government are visible on all fronts in Uttarakhand. The state government is working swiftly, understanding ground realities. In addition, the state government here is aligning its vision with the plans of the Indian government, implementing them on the ground with equal speed. Today, the Indian government is making unprecedented investments in the 21st-century modern connectivity infrastructure in Uttarakhand. Amidst the efforts of the central government, the state government is also working vigorously to connect small towns and villages. Whether it's the roads in Uttarakhand or the Char Dham Mahamarg, work is progressing at an unprecedented pace. The day is not far when the distance between Delhi and Dehradun will be reduced to two and a half hours through the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway. The expansion of airports in Dehradun and Pantnagar will strengthen air connectivity. The state government is also expanding heli-taxi services within the state. The rail connectivity in Uttarakhand will be strengthened with the Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail line. Modern connectivity not only makes life easier but also makes business easier. Whether it's agriculture or tourism, new possibilities are opening up for every sector. Logistics, storage, tour-travel, and hospitality are seeing new roads being built. Each new road, each new investor, brings a golden opportunity.


In the past, the approach of governments was to keep the areas near the borders underdeveloped to minimize access. The double-engine government has changed this approach also. We are developing border villages not as last villages but as the first villages of the country. We have implemented the Aspirational District Program and are now running the Aspirational Block Program. We are focusing on villages and regions that were lagging behind in every aspect of development and bringing them forward. This means there is a lot of untapped potential in Uttarakhand for every investor to benefit from.


The double-engine government's priorities are bringing double benefits to Uttarakhand, and the tourism sector is a shining example of this. Today, there is an unprecedented enthusiasm among both Indians and foreigners to explore Bharat. We are creating theme-based tourism circuits throughout the country. The goal is to introduce the world to Bharat’s nature and heritage. In this campaign, Uttarakhand is emerging as a strong brand in tourism. The state offers everything—nature, culture, heritage. Here, there are opportunities for yoga, Ayurveda, pilgrimage, adventure sports, and more. Exploring these possibilities and turning them into opportunities should be a priority for colleagues like you.

And I would like to say one more thing, maybe the people who have come here may like it or not, but there are some people here whom I have to convey this message and also through them to those who are not here. I'd like to address the affluent individuals, the millionaires and billionaires. It is believed here that marriages are made in heaven. God creates these unions. I don't understand why couples, whose union is made by God, choose to have their journey of life in foreign lands instead in the footsteps of that God here. I would like to see the youth of my country initiate a movement called ‘Wedding in India’, similar to the ‘Make in India’ movement. You should solemnise your marriage in Bharat. The trend of having weddings in foreign countries has become fashionable among our affluent individuals. Many of you who are sitting here would be finding it hard to digest this. Whether you are able to make an investment or not, as not many will be able to do it, at least, consider having a destination wedding for your family in Uttarakhand in the next five years. If we have five thousand weddings happening here within a year, it will pave the way for new infrastructure, and Uttarakhand will become a significant wedding destination for the world. Bharat has the power to collectively decide and make it happen. That's the strength we possess.


In the changing times, a rapid wave of change is sweeping through Bharat today. In the past 10 years, an aspirational Bharat has been built. The country had a large population that was in need, marginalized, and was facing a lot of difficulties. Now, it is emerging from all those troubles, aligning with facilities, and connecting with new opportunities. Due to the government's welfare schemes, more than 13.5 crore people have come out of poverty in the last five years. These crores of people have given a new impetus to the economy. Today, the consumption-based economy is rapidly growing within Bharat. On one hand, there is the neo-middle class that has risen above poverty and is spending more on its needs. On the other hand, there is the middle class, which is now spending more on its aspirations and preferred items. Therefore, it is essential for us to understand the potential of the middle class of the country. The societal strength in Uttarakhand is also preparing a significant market for you.


I congratulate the Uttarakhand government for launching the House of Himalaya brand. This is a pioneering effort to establish local products from Uttarakhand in foreign markets. It strengthens our concept of Vocal for Local and Local for Global. This will give recognition to Uttarakhand's local products in international markets and create new opportunities. There are products in every district and block of Bharat that are local but have the potential to become global. Often, I see that even earthenware is presented as something special in foreign countries and is sold at high prices. Our artisans, especially the Vishwakarma community in Bharat, traditionally produce many excellent products. We need to understand the importance of such local products and explore the global market for them. Therefore, the House of Himalaya brand that you have brought is personally a delightful subject for me. There will be very few people here who might know about my resolution because such resolutions may not directly show benefits, but they have immense strength. One of my resolutions is to make two crore rural women wealthy in the coming times. I have initiated the ‘Lakhpati Didi’ campaign for this. Making two crore ‘Lakhpati Didis’ may be a challenging task, but I have made up my mind. The House of Himalaya brand will expedite the work of making two crore ‘Lakhpati Didis’, and for that, I am thankful.


You too, as a business, can identify products in different districts here. Collaborate with self-help groups of our sisters, FPOs, and explore new possibilities. This can be a wonderful partnership to make local global.


This time, I've said from the Red Fort that we need to empower the national character to build a ‘Viksit Bharat’. Whatever we do should be the best in the world. The world should follow our standards. Our manufacturing should be based on the principles of zero-effect and zero-defect. We need to focus as to how export-oriented manufacturing can grow. The central government has launched ambitious campaigns like PLI. It shows a commitment to creating an ecosystem for critical sectors. Friends like you can also play a significant role in it. It's time to strengthen our local supply chain and invest in our MSMEs. We need to develop a supply chain in Bharat in such a way that we are least dependent on other countries. We need to move beyond the mentality that if something is available at a lower cost elsewhere, we should import it from there. We have suffered a huge loss from this mentality. All entrepreneurs should focus equally on capacity building in Bharat. As much as we focus on increasing exports, we need to put more emphasis on reducing imports. We import petroleum products worth 15 lakh crore rupees every year. Despite being a coal-rich country, we import coal worth 4 lakh crore rupees every year. In the last 10 years, many efforts have been made in the country to reduce the import of pulses and oilseeds. But even today, the country has to import pulses worth more than 15 thousand crore rupees. If Bharat becomes self-reliant in pulses, this money will go to our farmers.


Today, I see a growing trend of packaged food in the name of nutrition, especially in the dining tables of middle-class families. Different types of packaged items, imported from foreign countries, have become fashionable. It is written protein rich on those packaged items, and we start consuming them. It is written iron rich on those packaged items, and we start consuming them. There is no enquiry. Since it is written so we start following them. It just gets labelled as ‘Made in XYZ country’, and we accept it without questioning. In our country, we have many nutritious foods, including millets, which are far more nutritious. The hard work of our farmers should not go in vain. In Uttarakhand, there are numerous opportunities for products related to Ayush, organic fruits, and vegetables. These can open new avenues for both farmers and entrepreneurs. I believe that you can play a crucial role in taking products of our small companies to the global market even in the packaged food market. 


I believe this is an unprecedented time for Bharat, for Indian companies, for Indian investors. In the next few years, Bharat is set to become the world's third-largest economy. I assure the citizens that the country will be among the top three globally in my third term. A stable government, a supportive policy system, a mindset transformed through reforms, and confidence in development—the confluence of all these factors is happening for the first time. Therefore, I say that this is the time, the right time. This is Bharat’s time. I urge you to contribute to your own development along with Uttarakhand and also become a part of Uttarakhand's development. And I always say, we have had an imagination for years. It is said that the youth of the hills and the water of the hills don't contribute to the development of the hills. The youth goes somewhere else for livelihood, and the water flows elsewhere. But Modi has decided that now the youth of the hills will also contribute to the hills' development, and the water of the hills will also serve the hills' purpose. Seeing so many possibilities, I can make this resolution that our country can stand strong in every corner with new energy. Therefore, I want all of you to make the most of this opportunity, benefit from the policies. The government makes policies that are transparent and which are open for everyone. You should take advantage of it.

I guarantee you that we not only speak but also stand firmly behind what we say and fulfil it. All of you are here at this crucial opportunity; Uttarakhand holds a special place in my heart. As many have mentioned, a significant aspect of shaping my life is connected to this land. If I get a chance to give back something, the joy is different. Hence, I invite you; make a beginning by carrying the blessings of this sacred land. There will be no obstacle in your development journey as this is the blessing of this land. Thank you very much, and best wishes.

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.




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