Kolkata: Insisting that the COVID-19 crisis should be turned into an opportunity to create an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (June 11) said steps have to be taken to ensure that products imported from abroad are manufactured in the country.

Addressing the 95th annual plenary session of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata over video conference, he said this is the time to make bold decisions and investments for the country to scale new heights.

"India's goal of self-reliance has been paramount in the policy and practice of the country. The COVID-19 crisis gave us lessons on how to speed up efforts in that direction," he said.

The prime minister also said that people-centric, people-driven and planet-friendly development has become part of the BJP-led Central government's governance.

"India is fighting multiple challenges along with COVID-19, including floods, locust attack, earthquakes...We have to turn the crisis into an opportunity for creating Atmanirbhar Bharat and take steps to ensure that products which we import from elsewhere are manufactured in India," Modi added.
 
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 8,102 and the number of cases climbed to 2,86,579 in the country after it registered the highest single-day spike of 357 fatalities and 9,996 cases till Thursday 8 AM, according to the Union health ministry data.

The number of recoveries remained more than the active novel coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day.

The number of active cases stands at 1,37,448 while 1,41,028 people have recovered and one patient has migrated to another country, as per the data.