Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged lenders to finance rural businesses and projects aligned to national priorities like zero emission, health infrastructure, space, exports and start-ups.In a virtual event on ‘financing for growth and aspirational economy’ that focused on implementation of the Budget, Modi outlined the sectors that, adequately financed, could give a boost to the economy and help Indian businesses to become world leaders.Modi said that natural and organic farming, bee keeping, warehousing, food processing and agriculture logistics are areas in the rural economy that needed support from financial institutions. Given the right support, these and other sectors could produce champions that could find a place among the top three players in the world.Modi’s appeal to financial institutions to back these emerging areas including start-ups, exporters and sustainable infrastructure projects signals the government’s eagerness to get the covid-battered economy back on track and add much-needed jobs and livelihoods.The role of financial institutions is key to achieving self-reliance, Modi said, referring to his government’s emphasis on infrastructure creation and development of the most backward districts. In the eastern part of the country, blessed with natural resources, a lot of improvement in economic development and infrastructure creation is possible, Modi said, highlighting the need for project financing. Whether it is fintech or agri-tech, the pillars of industry 4.0 need to be given priority, he said.“Can we identify eight to ten such sectors and take efforts on that, can India not be within the top three in those sectors? This can happen in partnership with the private sector. Can there not be construction companies in India which are among the top three in the world? In the number of start-ups, we are progressing. But in terms of quality, uniqueness and technological base, can our start-ups get a place among the top three?” Modi said.Modi said the government has opened up the drone, space and geospatial sectors. “It is a game changer. Can we not dream to be among the top three in these sectors? Can our institutions not help them in that endeavour?”For all this to happen, it is very important that the companies coming in these sectors get support from financial institutions in a proactive way, the Prime Minister said, adding that financial institutions need to develop deep understanding and capacity to meet the requirements of these sectors.Modi urged financial institutions to take every product to every village as the government lays optical fibre network and take broadband to every village. He said banks needs to prioritise these in their financial planning.“Global warming is also a big issue. We have kept the goal of net zero emissions by 2070... Green financing is the need of the hour,” Modi said. He said building disaster resilient infrastructure was an example of such projects.