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“This Is Reality”: Minister Narayan Rane On Global Economic Slowdown

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Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Narayan Rane today said the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are making efforts to ensure citizens are not adversely affected by the global economic slowdown.

He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the G20’s 1st Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) meeting in western Maharashtra’s Pune city. India currently holds presidency of the G20 grouping.

Asked about India’s preparedness to face possible fallout of slowdown in global growth, Mr Rane said, “Since I am in the cabinet and whatever information we get and whatever advice we get from PM Modiji, we can say currently big developed countries are facing an economic slowdown. This is reality.”

“To ensure India is not impacted or hit at all by the global economic slowdown, the Government of India and Modiji are making efforts. They are ensuring India and its citizens are not affected by the economic slowdown,” he said.

Asked about the possibility of investment for capacity building for basic infrastructure coming through the G20’s IWG meet, he said deliberations will be on how future cities should be, and how governments can provide funds for implementation of various measures.

Responding to a query on whether business policies will change in Maharashtra, where a new government assumed office in June 2022, he said there was no such possibility.

“I have been a minister in different departments, it (change in policies) never happens. If there is any decision that is not in the interest of people, than that is changed in exceptional cases,” said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP, who has been a Shiv Sena chief minister in Maharashtra and Congress state minister in the past.

“All states formulate policies to attract investments, and give concessions in terms of tax, land etc. Investors go to those states which give more concessions after checking required infrastructure and other aspects,” he added.

The Eknath Shinde-led government, in which the BJP is a key constituent, faced criticism after some big-tickets projects, including Vedanta-Foxconn and Tata-Airbus ventures, moved out of Maharashtra.

Foreign firms wanting to invest in India send their proposals to four to five states, Rane said, adding Maharashtra has good infrastructure, which, however, increases land cost (for acquisition).

“But, there is a history of firms going out of Maharashtra also coming back. So all this (talk related to businesses moving out) are just political things,” the minister asserted.

Mr Rane said his ministry has written to the Maharashtra government asking it to implement all central schemes related to MSMEs to attract industries so as to create jobs and increase production.

Queried on whether the ‘lotus’ in the G20 logo had a BJP connection (it is party’s poll symbol) or if it represented India, Mr Rane said, “It is of India. It has a meaning. Do not take it as BJP’s. However, if someone links it to the BJP, I have no complaint. Lotus means ‘shaswat vikas’ (sustainable development), which those in the BJP are doing.” Mr Rane said efforts were being made to bring industries which can generate employment.

Earlier, the minister, talking to the media after inaugurating the IWG meet, said 20 countries, including several developed ones, are taking part in the deliberations.

India was the 10 largest economy in the world in 2014 and now, under the leadership of PM Modi, it was on the fifth spot, and the Centre’s efforts were attracting the world’s attention to infrastructure and other economic aspects in the country, he said.

While inaugurating the two-day IWG meeting of the G20 grouping, Rane informed delegates about the rich legacy of Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra.

The G20, or Group of 20, is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.

Sixty-five delegates from IWG member countries, guest nations and international organisations invited by India will discuss the 2023 Infrastructure Agenda under India’s G20 presidency during the meet in Pune, as per an official release.

The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and Government of India are hosting the two-day IWG meetings, with Australia and Brazil as co-chairs, the release said.

“The G20 Infrastructure Working Group deliberates on various aspects of infrastructure investments, including developing infrastructure as an asset class, promoting quality infrastructure investment and identifying innovative instruments for mobilising financial resources for infrastructure investment,” it said.

The flagship priority to be discussed in this meeting is ‘Financing Cities of Tomorrow: Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable’, the release said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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