Amid Coronavirus Crisis, PM Modi Deliberates On Sector-Wise Measures To Boost Growth
People wearing protective masks wait in line on the banks of Yamuna River to be transferred to a shelter during a lockdown. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Amid Coronavirus Crisis, PM Modi Deliberates On Sector-Wise Measures To Boost Growth

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Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday deliberated on how the labour force can propel India's growth and reviewed the performance of the aviation and power sectors, with a focus on reducing costs and making them more efficient.

"We discussed ways through which this (labour) sector can power India's growth," the prime minister tweeted.

He said deliberations were held on labour welfare during the meeting.

The migrant labourers are one of the most hard hit segments during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The meeting came on a day when trains were started to carry them to their home states.

Reviewing the power sector, the prime minister underlined its importance in propelling the economy.

The need for effective enforcement of contracts to attract private investment was also discussed.

Six More Airports To Go The PPP Way

At the review of the civil aviation sector, it was decided that the country's air space should be effectively used in a manner that the flying time for travellers is reduced and airlines save costs.

The prime minister also reviewed the strategies that could help make India's civil aviation sector more efficient.

"For generation of more revenue as well as to bring in more efficiency at the airports, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has been asked to expedite the process of handing over of six more airports on PPP (public-private partnership) basis by commencing the tender process within three months," a statement said.

The civil aviation sector meeting, which was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri among others, also reviewed the e-DGCA project, aimed at bringing in more transparency in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's office and helping all stakeholders by reducing the processing time for various licences and permissions.

"It was also decided that all reform initiatives taken by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the organisations under it should proceed in a time-bound manner," the statement said.

Later, in a tweet, Modi said aspects relating to the aviation sector were reviewed at the meeting.

"This includes ways to make airports more efficient and integrating the sector with latest technological advancements," he said.

The civil aviation sector has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced governments around the world to impose restrictions on the movement of people and virtually shut flight operations.

Reviewing the power sector, Modi asked officials to work towards ensuring round-the-clock supply of electricity to all consumers.

Focus On Improving Power Sector Efficiency

At the meeting on the power sector and the impact of Covid-19 on it, the prime minister also discussed various long-term reforms for enhancing the sustainability, resilience, and efficiency of the sector.

Measures to improve the viability of distribution companies, including tariff rationalisation and a timely release of subsidies, along with an improved governance, were discussed as well, a statement said.

Taking to Twitter, the prime minister said, "The focus is on enhancing sustainability, resilience and improving efficiency."

The statement said the discussions included measures regarding ease of doing business, propagation of renewables, flexibility in the supply of coal, the role of public-private partnerships and boosting investment in the power sector.

The meeting was attended by the home minister, finance minister and Minister of State for Power, Skill and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh, the statement said.

Online Education Push

The prime minister also reviewed the education sector in which special emphasis was given on the use of technology by adopting options such as online classes, education portals and class-wise broadcast on dedicated education channels.

Modi had held a series of meetings on Thursday to discuss strategies to attract foreign investment, promote local manufacturing and boost the economy that has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown to curb its spread.

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