Ludhiana: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India was the fastest growing economy and that it can play a major role in providing strength to global economy that is facing slowdown.
While exhorting small businesses to make products with "zero defect" and "zero effect" on environment, he also stressed upon the need to promote Khadi industry.
Modi, who distributed 500 wooden charkhas to women, said there was a time when Khadi was used as a tool in fight for Independence now it should be used for fashion.
"Things are different today. See how well Khadi is marketed now. Earlier it was only 'Khadi for nation', now it's also 'Khadi for fashion'," he said.
Appealing to people the use Khadi products, he said that it is a priority for India as a Charkha at home brings more income.
"I urge entrepreneurs that they participate in ZED (zero defect, zero effect) movement. At least 10 lakh units should come forward. We have set 50 parameters to meet ZED certification standard. Please enable yourself to comply with those," the Prime Minister said addressing at National Award function for MSME.
Modi also launched ZED Certification Scheme for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and SC/ST HUB for providing support to entrepreneurs.
"The spirit of entrepreneurship among Dalits will benefit us. There are youngsters whose dreams are to create enterprises and jobs," he said.
Modi stressed that MSME was crucial for India's economy and said "our aim should be to target the global markets".
He also said India today is the fastest growing major economy in the world and amid global slowdown, India is providing strength to the world economy.
"For India's economic progress, the MSME sector is crucial," he said.
With an initial outlay of Rs 490 crore, the hub launched today will work towards strengthening market access/linkage, monitoring, capacity building, leveraging financial support schemes and sharing industry-best practices.
Modi also went around an exhibition and tried his hand at a Charkha.
After giving national awards to MSMEs, he said the central government was working to give boost to small and medium enterprises.
Noting that India aim should be to target global markets, Modi told the entrepreneurs that government stands shoulder to shoulder with them to realise this aim.
He said that India is fastest growing economy in the world.
Modi said that despite two earlier years when there was drought and when agriculture production dropped considerably, it was the manufacturing sector, especially MSMEs, which ensured that country had a steady economic growth rate.
He said at a time when world economy was facing slowdown like the one witnessed in 2008, India's economy was strong and was giving strength to world economy.
On promoting Khadi, Modi, who also moved the spinning wheel here, said the sector provide self employment opportunities, especially to women, and helps to realise Mahatma Gandhi's dream to strengthen rural economy.
Modi, who visited a Khadi stall, said he was impressed to see the changes in the quality of Khadi and its packaging.
"During country's Independence movement, the mantra was Khadi for nation..today's mantra is Khadi for fashion, if we give boost to this, it will help bring change in rural landscape," he said.
Modi appealed to the people to buy more and more Khadi products including during festivals like Diwali, and make Khadi part of one's wardrobe.
He said that be it tribals or Dalits, they too have bigger aspirations and need of the hour was to provide them right opportunities.
"If they get opportunity, they can contribute even more to change the fortunes of our country," he said.
SC/ST entrepreneurship has to be promoted and given a boost, he said.
About ZED scheme, he said times have undergone a change and common consumer is not willing to make compromise on quality.
He also asked the small and medium entrepreneurs to look beyond Indian markets and said our aim should be to adopt global standard in quality control and make our presence felt in international markets.
Modi also said how one used to blindly trust when one found "Made in Japan" mentioned on any product, because of the global standard in quality which that nation had adopted.
"Can't we have the same identity for Make in India products. We have to move ahead with this dream," he said, adding that it was also important how we package our products.
He also said, "Our new generation wants to innovate and take bold steps. New products will have to be introduced and Start up supports innovation."
The Prime Minister also touched upon the strides which India has made in its space programme and talked about country's Mars Mission and its cost effectiveness which cost lesser than a "Hollywood movie".
Notably, India created history by becoming the first country to enter the Mars orbit in its maiden attempt.
Modi said the world was acknowledging the progress made by country in space programme, pointing out that India has made fast progress.
Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, Union Ministers Kalraj Mishra, Vijay Sampla, Piyush Goyal, Giriraj Singh, Punjab's Industries Minister Madan Mohan Mittal were also present at the occasion.
Modi accepted Parkash Singh Badal's request to lay the foundation stone for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhatinda, to be set up with a sum of Rs 1,000 crore.
He presented National Awards for MSMEs to 250 entrepreneurs, saying that the idea behind the ZED scheme is to spur competition among small businesses and help them attain recognition in the international market.
Modi said employees of the firms getting certified under the ZED scheme can wear logos to demonstrate the capabilities of their company. He said the scheme will have a layered approach to grant certification in five slabs ranging from bronze to platinum, with a platinum certification denoting the highest standard.
"Commonly, it used to be said Delhi bahut dhoor hain. And it was actually so. Such a big country, but even small and big works used to happen in Delhi, but we changed that tradition ... We should accept that even outside Delhi, large part of India exists," he said.
"Aur isiliyein ab delhi durast nahain delhi sameepast, delhi pass hain (Therefore, now Delhi is not far, but closer)," he added.
"During past few days, schemes launched by Centre were in different parts of India like Kolkata, Ranchi, Raipur, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Sonepat..we believe every state has its own importance and its own strength," he said, adding that he was happy to be in Ludhiana for the function here.
Modi also said that he wanted to personally hand over the award to all the 250 entrepreneurs, but time constraints would not permit that, he said.
On the occasion, he also made a mention of Dalit Chamber of Commerce, a body of Dalit entrepreneurs, which was doing good work of promoting entrepreneurship within the community.
Highlighting the importance of product packaging, Modi recalled that during Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's government, a Commission had been set up to market and make Ayurveda popular.
"The Commission in its report on very first page mentioned that if we have to boost Ayurveda, first of all stress has to be on its packaging," he said.