The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the Network-18 Rising India Summit in New Delhi.
He expressed happiness that he has got an opportunity to speak on the subject “Rising India”, just a short while after dedicating the Rashtriya Samar Smaarak, or National War Memorial, to the nation. He said the theme – Beyond Politics: Defining National Priorities – is an extremely important one.
He said he will approach the subject by drawing a contrast between the past and the present, to illustrate the kind of results that can be achieved when national interest is prioritized.
He described how, before 2014, inflation and income tax rates were high, whereas GDP growth was low. He said now, GDP growth is back in the range of 7 to 8 percent, while inflation and fiscal deficit are low. He said people have also been given relief, as far as income tax is concerned.
Talking about India’s global standing, he said that the 21st century, was once described as India’s century. But by 2013, India had become one of the “fragile five” global economies. Today, India is the fastest growing major economy. On Ease of Doing Business, he said India slid from 132 in 2011, to 142 in 2014. Today, we stand at 77, he said.
The Prime Minister said one reason for this decline in “Doing Business” ranking, was corruption. In this context, he mentioned various scandals that had hit the headlines at that time, including coal, CWG, spectrum etc.
He explained how the Union Government began with the Jan Dhan Yojana, under which 34 crore bank accounts have been opened. He said these accounts were linked with Aadhaar numbers and mobile phones. Today, he said, benefits under about 425 welfare schemes are being directly transferred to these bank accounts. He said that six lakh crore rupees have been transferred directly to beneficiaries. He said 8 crore fake beneficiaries were also eliminated in the process, 1.1 lakh crore rupees are being saved.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the Ayushman Bharat scheme also does not have any scope for leakage, as the money is transferred directly into the account of the hospital. The beneficiaries have Aadhaar cards, and have been selected based on the 2015 socio-economic survey. Similarly, he said, leakages are not possible in the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, wherein about 12 crore farmers will receive direct benefit transfers.
The Prime Minister mentioned projects such as the Bansagar Dam in Uttar Pradesh, and the Mandal Dam in Jharkhand, which have seen huge cost escalations, as they have been delayed for decades. He said the honest taxpayer was paying for these delays. The Prime Minister said that he has himself reviewed progress of projects worth over 12 lakh crore rupees, under the PRAGATI initiative. He said a lot of these projects are in the North-East. He said Eastern India has been a focus area for the Government.
On employment, the Prime Minister said that India is now the fastest growing major economy; FDI is at an all-time high; poverty is reducing rapidly, as per international reports; pace of infrastructure development is faster than before; and tourism is rising. He said all of this could not be possible without employment opportunities also increasing.
He also spoke of the increase in numbers of professionals, and commercial vehicles sold. He said that under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, more than 15 crore entrepreneurs have been given loans worth more than 7 lakh crore rupees. He said that this too, would lead to creation of jobs. The Prime Minister also mentioned rising numbers of EPFO subscribers.
The Prime Minister said that the role of media is important in the making of New India, and in creating a constructive atmosphere.