The Prime Minister was speaking while laying the foundation stone for development projects in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged everyone to be ‘vocal for local’ big time and buy local products this festival season, saying it will give a new boost to the economy.

While inaugurating and laying the foundation of various projects worth ₹ 614 crores for Varanasi via video conferencing, the Prime Minister said, "Celebrating Diwali with locals will give a new boost to the economy. I would like to say to the people of Varanasi and all countrymen that they promote ''local for Diwali'' big time.”

The Prime Minister said there is a need to spread the word and for that to happen every person must buy local products with pride, and continue talking about local products.

"When every person will buy local products with pride, will talk about local products, hail them, and take the message to others that our local products are so good, this message will go far," PM Modi said.

‘Vocal for Local’ is the mantra introduced by PM Modi in March when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out to promote local businesses. However, the idea behind the initiative is not new. It finds its roots in the Swadeshi movement that was popularized in 1905 during the Indian independence struggle.

While extending festival greetings to people, Modi said, “You are seeing today that along with vocal for local, the mantra of local for Diwali is resonating everywhere.” He added that going for local products will encourage the artisans in making the products.

PM Modi launches 16 schemes worth Rs 220 crore

The Prime Minister's address came after he inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of development projects in Varanasi through video conference. While 16 new schemes worth Rs 220 crore were launched, work has already begun on 14 schemes worth Rs 400 crore in Varanasi.

The projects inaugurated today include Sarnath Light and Sound show, upgradation of Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital Ramnagar, sewerage related works, infrastructure facilities for protection and conservation of cows, multipurpose seed storehouse, agriculture produce warehouse of 100 MT, IPDS phase 2, a housing complex for players in Sampurnanand Stadium, Varanasi city smart lighting work, along with 105 Anganwadi Kendras and 102 Gau Ashray Kendras.

Pointing out that tourism is also a part of the development plan of the city and countryside in Varanasi, Prime Minister Modi also said that the renovation of sewage treatment plant project under Ganga Action Plan has been completed. He listed the infrastructure works carried out in Varanasi like Ghats being decorated, introduction of CNG to reduce pollution, and a Tourist Plaza at Dashashwamedh Ghat.