In this era of a globally connected market economy, the option of cutting trade ties with other nations is almost a utopian-like idea. So, the objective of encouraging the local economy can only be achieved by making it a people’s movement and not shutting our doors to other countries in trade. Of course, policy to create a conducive eco-system is needed such as Make In India and Start-Up India, but the success of the indigenous market depends on behaviour of people at last.
Apparently, PM Modi’s administration believes in this and chose to follow the people participation model in supporting the local business, the model which is much-tested in the instances of Swachh Bharat and Jal Shakti Abhiyan.
Is the Approach Working?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been asking people to encourage local products for quite a long time. Recently, in his Mann Ki Baat delivered just before the Diwali festive season had appealed people to shop local. He said:
“Along with the best of wishes on Deepawali, I would urge you to come forward and become a patron of local things and buy local. And witness for ourselves, how we can play an important role in making Mahatma Gandhi’s dream come alive.”
It seems that PM Modi’s appeal and similar concerns by other organisations found a reckoning among people.
According to the industry body CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders), the sale of Chinese goods have witnessed a major drop in the run-up to Diwali as about 60% less Chinese products were sold this year. The survey conducted by CAIT across 21 cities has said “About 85% of traders agreed that they have witnessed a decline in sales of Chinese products during this Diwali festival. The rest of the 15% traders were of the view that Chinese goods still have a market in India.”
So, it is evident that people themselves are becoming more and more aware of the significance of encouraging local products.
PM Modi Shaped the Narrative
In his address to the nation on the occasion of the Independence Day on August 2019, PM Modi asked the Indians to think decisively about promoting local business. Even while urging people to shun single-use plastics, he suggested encouraging cloth bags prepared by women using the raw materials produced by farmers, which is also a way to encourage the local economy.
PM Modi puts across his buy local philosophy in a simple way.
“We should try to buy local products. There is no need to go to the tehsil if our need is met in our village. If it is found in Tehsil, then there is no need to go to the district. The more we try to buy our local things; the ‘Gandhi 150’ will become a great event in itself. And I keep insisting that we must buy some handloom products made by our weavers, our khadi artisans.”