Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that his aim was to make India a developed country in one generation. Hailing the demonetisation move as a step that will reap benefits in the long term, Modi said, “[The] government will continue with sound economic policies to ensure India’s bright future in [the] long run. No decisions for short-term political gains.” The prime minister was in Raigad, Maharashtra, to inaugurate a new campus for the National Institute of Securities Markets.

Modi said that India is being looked upon as a “bright spot” and he credited the “well-regulated” securities marets for this. “To see how far we’ve travelled, we should look back to 2012-13, when the currency was falling sharply,” said Modi, adding that the government still has a long way to go.

He said, “Our stock markets need to raise capital in innovative ways for [the] agricultural sector.” The prime minister urged those who profit from the financial markets to make “a fair contribution” to nation building by paying their taxes on time. “The true measure of success is the impact in villages, not the impact on Dalal Street or Lutyens’ Delhi,” he added. The prime minister said the government is keen to encourage startups and highlighted the role of stock markets for the “startup ecosystem”.

Modi further said the long-awaited Goods and Services Tax, which will soon become a reality, will be a game-changer. On Friday, the GST council representatives agreed that states will be paid 100% compensation for loss of revenue every two months from the time the new tax regime is rolled out for a period of five years. However, the subjects of dual control and cross-empowerment remained unresolved.

Later in the day, the prime minister visited south Mumbai to inaugurate the Maharashtra government’s controversial mid-sea Shivaji memorial. On board a ship, Modi performed the ‘jal pujan’ ritual for Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were present on the occasion. The planned memorial will include a statue, museum, amphitheatre and jetties. Modi also paid floral tribute to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue and laid the foundation stone for two metro corridors and other projects.

However, the fishing community of Mumbai has been opposing the 192-metre high Shivaji memorial ever since it was announced in 2010. They said that the location of the memorial is a breeding ground for at least 32 species of the city’s most commonly eaten fish. According to them, building the memorial will effectively rob thousands of fishing families of their livelihoods.