In his 87th episode of Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today pointed towards India achieving its export target of $400 billion, and said this was only possible due to the hard work of farmers, artisans, weavers, engineers, small entrepreneurs and the MSME sector.
“India has achieved the export target of $400 billion, that is Rs 30 lakh crore… At one time, the figure of exports from India used to be $100 billion, at times $150 billion, sometimes even $200 billion… today, India has reached $400 billion. In a way, this means the demand for items made in India is increasing all over the world. Another meaning is that the supply chain of India is getting stronger by the day,’’ the PM said.
Leather products from Hailakandi in Assam, handloom products from Osmanabad, fruits and vegetables from Bijapur, black rice from Chandauli — the export of all of these is increasing, he said, adding that an array of new products were being sent to new countries.
“The first consignment of millets grown in Himachal and Uttarakhand was exported to Denmark. Bainganapalli and Subarnarekha mangoes from Krishna and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh were exported to South Korea. Fresh jackfruits from Tripura were exported to London by air and for the first time King Chilli from Nagaland was dispatched to London. Similarly, the first consignment of Bhalia wheat was exported from Gujarat to Kenya and Sri Lanka,’’said Modi.
Referring to the government e-market (GeM portal), Modi said even small entrepreneurs were playing a major partnership role in procurement through the portal. He said during the past year, the government had purchased items worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore through the portal.
“Around 1.25 lakh small entrepreneurs and small shopkeepers from every corner of the country have sold their goods directly to the government. There was a time when only big companies could sell goods to the government…Now even the smallest of shopkeepers can sell one’s goods to the government on the GeM portal,’’he said.
With World Health Day on April 7, Modi said he was astonished to see the agility of 126-year-old Padma awardee Baba Sivanand, a monk from Varanasi.
Modi said lifestyles that included yoga and Ayurveda were picking up globally and that the market of the Ayush industry had grown from Rs 22,000 crore six years ago to Rs 1,40,000 crore today.
The PM also acknowledged the work of swachhagrahis (cleanliness warriors) — Chandrakishore Patil from Nashik, who cleans trash from the banks of Godavari, and Rahul Maharana of Puri, who collects plastic waste from pilgrimage sites in in the city. Mupattam Sri Narayanan of Kerala, who started a project, “Pots for water of life”, distributing earthen pots so that animals and birds do not face water problems during summer, also found mention in Mann ki Baat today.
He emphasised the need for water conservation and recycling, adding that children could be drivers of this movement by becoming “water warriors”.