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Turn COVID crisis into opportunity to create Atmanirbhar Bharat: Modi

New Delhi: Stressing on turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity to create an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that steps have to be taken to ensure that products imported from abroad are manufactured in the country.

While addressing the 95th annual plenary session of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Kolkata through video conference, the PM Modi said that this is the time to make bold decisions and investments for the country to scale new heights.

"India's goal of self-reliance has been paramount in the policy and practice of the country. The COVID-19 crisis gave us lessons on how to speed up efforts in that direction," he said.

The Prime Minister also said that people-centric, people-driven and planet-friendly development has become part of the BJP-led Central government's governance.

"Our country has gone through multiple challenges. We are fighting coronavirus, but many other crises have emerged. Floods, locusts, a fire in oil fields, earthquakes, and cyclones in two different parts of the country," PM Modi said while addressing the ICC members in Kolkata.

"We have to turn these crises into an opportunity, we have to make it a turning point. Corona has given us the opportunity to turn India self-reliant," he said, adding that our resolve and our strength is the biggest cure for our problems.

The Prime Minister said that the country would have to make efforts to ensure that products that it is forced to import are manufactured in India and eventually, exported to other countries.

"India's goal of self-reliance has been paramount in the policy and practice of the country. The COVID-19 crisis gave us lessons on how to speed up efforts in that direction," PM Modi said.

He further added, "People-centric, people-driven and planet-friendly development has become part of our governance."

PM Modi made many references to Bengal as he addressed industry leaders of the state for the first time in years. "Kolkata can again become a big leader. What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow," he said.

Today's session with the eastern India-focused business body comes at a significant time for Bengal, which is battling the virus crisis and the impact of cyclone Amphan just months before assembly polls due next year.

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