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Modi, Li push direct state-level economic ties

Modi, Li push direct state-level economic ties
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday launched an interactive forum for Indian states and Chinese provinces to establish <g data-gr-id="52">economic</g> cooperative partnership to develop their respective areas. Addressing a meeting attended by among others Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Maharashtra as well as governors and mayors from different cities, Modi termed the launch a historic moment as provinces and states play important role in the development.

“In times to come, this will become one of the most important instruments for deepening our economic partnership and contact between our people. This is a historic moment in the relationship between India and China. Today, we are launching a new vehicle for advancing cooperation between our two countries,” he said addressing the meeting along Premier Li after their talks at the Great Hall of People. “It comes from a serious conviction, born from my experience, that states have a vital role to play in the national development,” he said.

“I am asking my ministries to move conferences out of Delhi to state capitals and other <g data-gr-id="71">cities,</g> so that they do get the benefits that come from hosting such events,” he said. “More than anything else, we deal with the state governments in a spirit of partnership and with sensitivity to their concerns. And, in doing so, we do not look at the symbol of the political party that is in power in the state. Which is why, when I invited state governments to participate in this event, I did <g data-gr-id="68">considered</g> the linkages of their states with China, but also <g data-gr-id="69">broader</g> political representation,” Modi said. Modi said in India’s Constitution, state governments have <g data-gr-id="67">predominant</g> role in economic and social development. He said while <g data-gr-id="66">central</g> government creates the <g data-gr-id="72">macro-economic</g> environment, “but, in the end, the state governments have an important role in their implementation”.

 “As I saw in my own experience, state governments can take innumerable initiatives for the development of the states. That is the level of autonomy and responsibility that they enjoy under our Constitution,” he said. “In the same national environment, states are performing at different levels. For business investors, too, whether they are India nor foreign, their journey may begin in Delhi, but their success ultimately depends on state capitals,” he said. Modi said many of the critical requirements for success infrastructure, land, utilities, skilled human resources and many approvals  ultimately depend on the state governments. “But, for me, the involvement of states in our national efforts not just because of their constitutional and legal responsibilities,” Modi said. “I believe that the foundation for India’s development will not be the single pillar of the Central Government, but 30 pillars comprising the Central Government and all our States,” he said. 

Noting that every nation needs strong international partnerships for its progress, Modi said the linkage has deepened in an integrated world. “As international partnerships in trade, investments, innovation, technology, tourism, education, skills and health grow, state governments have a stake in them and responsibility for their success.” “I have found, both through outbound and inbound state delegations, that state level interactions can be often more focused and productive,” he said, adding that these interactions make the state governments more sensitive and aware of the international dynamics and requirements. “Therefore, I attach great significance to this forum,” he said. 

“It is the first that India has with any country. And, it is appropriate that it has started with China. We are two of the world’s largest economies and among its fastest growing major economies. We have enormous economic synergies. We also face similar challenges. We have some similar experiences. We have both seen differences in the pace of development in different parts of our countries,” he said. “Our economic relations are growing rapidly. During President Xi’s visit last year, we set for ourselves an ambitious plan to take our economic relations to a new level,” he said, adding the two countries have agreed on China setting up two industrial parks in India  in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Modi said the two sides have agreed on cooperation in the upgrading of India’s railway sector and he has invited Chinese companies to invest in India’s manufacturing sector.  

Despite land bill woes, PM promises China Inc seamless acquisition  
Beijing: Amid strong resistance to the Land Bill by several political parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted that land acquisition will not be allowed to become a “barrier” to growth or a “burden” for farmers. “Our resources are being allocated with speed and transparency. And, we will make sure that <g data-gr-id="150">land</g> acquisition does not become a barrier to growth or a burden on farmers,” he said in his address at the Tsinghua University here. 

The assertion came three <g data-gr-id="152">days days</g> after the government was forced to refer the Land Acquisition Bill to a Joint Committee of Parliament in the face of strong opposition to it in Rajya Sabha. The bill seeks to make land acquisition easier for infrastructure and rural projects as well as industrial corridors. Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi, has specifically launched a major campaign against the bill, terming it as “anti-farmer”. The Prime Minister, who is on an official visit here, said his government was making efforts to revive agriculture sector to boost fortunes of farmers and also to promote growth. “We are reviving our agriculture sector to restore the fortunes of our farmers and boost our growth,” he added. 
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