New Delhi: Traders must adopt new technology and pursue online format even as the mistrust of tax authorities against them must go, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said here Thursday.
"We have to convert challenges into opportunities. Do not be afraid of new challenges. Technology can improve delivery systems. Adopt technology and create virtual malls in your shops. Now, even people in small towns look for branded goods," Modi said.
"Use technology to cater to that. If necessary do attend workshops to learn the way. Do not run away," he said, addressing the All India Traders Convention here. "Our children have spread IT across the globe. We have to accept technology to improve businesses."
He said the BJP has the image of a traders' party. He praised the entrepreneurship of traders and said no person can pursue it unless he or she has risk-taking ability. "We will take your (traders) suggestions for our manifesto."
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. File pic
Regarding trust, or the lack of it, between the government and the people, Modi said the said traders were often looked upon as thieves, particularly by the tax authorities, and that this was not the way to treat them.
"People should rely on each other. That should be the way ahead. After that if there are any loopholes, law is there to take care of it."
Modi also criticised the foreign policy of the country towards overseas trade and said: "Our external affairs ministry is working in an old fashioned way. The trend of running the nation from Delhi must stop. They must think of trade diplomacy and commerce."
He said it was also important to recognise the strength of every state.
Modi, currently the Gujarat chief minister, also said the manufacturing industries in the country must also improve, as it will boost the purchasing power capacity of the people, essential for traders to flourish.
"Manufacturing activities will have to be given a push. And the government will have to take strong measures to improve manufacturing in the country. There will then be a chain that will be set up and improve linkages."