Stung by land bill opposition, Modi talks about farmers welfare and power for the villages
Prime minister Narendra Modi’s independence day speech, his second, focused on farmers in most specific manner and there are reasons behind the details. The land acquisition bill, which is facing opposition, is the most obvious reason. But other provocations could be that his government is for the business class and it is a suit and boot sarkar.
However, industry bodies saw much beyond the farmer-friendly prime minister and hailed his startup India slogan.
"CII salutes Prime Minister for impressive implementation of new campaigns and schemes announced in 15 months. Social security, Startup India, and agricultural productivity, as stressed by the Prime Minister, are the foundations for the next growth trajectory," the industry chamber said in a statement.
The objective of offering incentives for investments is to promote employment. It makes eminent sense to give incentives directly as per employment generated, it added.
The parameter of employment in financial incentives to new manufacturing units, as stated by the Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech, can be a game-changer for the labour intensive sectors such as textiles, leather, food processing and so on," CII said.
Industry body FICCI also said the announcements on 'Start up India, Stand up India' and for providing employment linked incentives to industries are welcome steps as these will boost entrepreneurship and create the much needed employment opportunities for the nation's youth.
Creating a few million entrepreneurs across the country will not only create many more million jobs but also provide livelihood opportunities for the poor in remote corners of the country," FICCI President Jyotsna Suri said in a statement.
Strengthening merit-based employment ecosystem by doing away interviews for low-end jobs is a step in the right direction, inculcating a sense of confidence and empowerment for all citizens, she added.
However, the emphasis on farmers should be noted with optimism.
Stressing the need for farmers’ welfare, Modi announced that the ministry of agriculture would be renamed the ministry of agriculture and farmers' welfare. Asserting that his government was focusing on farm productivity and provision of power and irrigation to farmers, Modi said that the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana had been launched with an outlay of Rs. 50,000-crore.
Modi promised to provide electricity to the country's all 18,500 villages without power with electricity in the next 1,000 days.
“The development pyramid should be strong at its base. Financial inclusion will strengthen the development pyramid,” Modi said. “Respect for the poor should be our national pride. It should be the strength and worship of all.”
Asserting that his government had successfully implemented financial inclusion, the Prime Minister said his government had opened 15-crore bank accounts for the poor till now under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
He underlined that poor people had already put Rs 20,000 crore in these accounts, though these were zero-balance accounts, hailing this gesture as the “richness of the poor” (garibon ki ameeri). He congratulated bank officials for having brought such a large number of people into the banking system.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the welfare schemes launched by the government, including Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana.
Modi spelt out his vision for 2022, when India would complete 75 years of its independence: Making India a developed nation with a house and access to basic services like electricity for all.
The PM took the opportunity to list out other promises implemented till now. He said almost 4.25-lakh toilets were built in 2.62-lakh schools in one year. He also claimed that the Clean India campaign was on track, seeing this as an effort of “Team India”, his term for India’s 125-crore population. He claimed children had become the biggest brand ambassadors of Clean India who would convince even their parents to maintain cleanliness.
Full text of PM’s address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 69th Independence Day
My Beloved 125 Crore countrymen of India,
My best wishes and heartiest greetings on the occasion of this sacred festival of our Freedom. This morning of the 15th of August is not a usual morning. This is the dawn of the freedom-festival of the greatest democracy of the world. This dawn is also the dawn of the dreams of the one hundred twenty five Crore Indian Citizens. This dawn also heralds the resolve of 125 Crore people of India. On this pious occasion I also extend my many many salutations to all those great persons of India who sacrificed their lives and led a life of penance while making persistent efforts to fight for the honour of the country. They even spent their youth in the prison, went through all kinds of sufferings; but never gave up their dreams and resolve to see India free.
Recently many distinguished citizens of India, youths, literary artists and social workers- sons and daughters of Mother India- have achieved many great feats to make our country proud. They are countless in number and from the ramparts of Red fort I extend my best wishes and greetings to all of them from the core of my heart.
The vastness and the diversity of India is always talked about, but Our India has many other great characteristics as well, there is a lot of diversity in India. India is a large country. And there is simplicity among the people of India. There is unity running through all the parts of the country and that is what is our strength; the strength of our nation. Strength of our country has been sustained over centuries together. Every era has seen the attempts to boost it further. They have been moulded according to the requirements of realising the dreams for the future, they have been nurtured and it is due to that only that this country has reached this far with our age old traditions and ever new resolves. Our unity, simplicity, fraternity, harmony are our biggest strength. This strength should never be blemished, it should never be hit. If the unity of the country gets disturbed, the dreams also get shattered, therefore, whether it is the poison of casteism, communal fanaticism, we don’t have to allow it in any form whatsoever, not allow it to take root, and then we have to cure the poison of casteism, the fanaticism of communalism with the nectar of development, distribute the flow of the nectar of development and through the flow of this nectar attempt bringing about a new awareness.
Dear brothers and sisters, this country is moving ahead because of the "Team India" and this "Team India" is a big team of our one twenty five crore countrymen. The world might never have thought about the team of one twenty five crore citizens working as a team together as to how they take the nation to new heights, build the nation and also protect it! So, whatever we are doing and wherever we are trying to reach, it is all because of the "Team India" and we are grateful to this "Team India". People’s participation is the biggest strength of democracy. If we run the country through the participation of One Hundred and twenty five crore Indians, our country will be moving ahead one hundred and twenty five crore steps every moment. That is why we have encouraged this people's participation as "Team India". We have given priority to "Team India". Through electronic platform mygov.in, through lacs of letters of the countrymen, through my Mann Ki Baat, through dialogues with citizens, this people’s participation is on the rise day by day. About every affair of the Government we receive a number of suggestions from the far flung villages of our country and this is the real strength of our "Team India".
My dear fellow citizens, this is a fact that there is only one mandate of this "Team India" and that is all our schemes, all our systems should benefit the poor of the country. We should support the poor in their fight against poverty and empower them in this arduous effort of theirs because no one wants to remain poor and they also wish to get rid of poverty. Hence the meaningfulness of our resources, our schemes and our programmes is in their usefulness to the cause of welfare of the poor.
Brothers and sisters, last year on the occasion of 15th of August, I had expressed some of my views before you. At that time I was new, whatever I saw in the government, I expressed them with an open mind before one hundred and twenty five crore citizens. Today after one year, standing under the Tricolor from the same ramparts of the Red Fort , I assure the countrymen that in this period of one year our "Team India", consisting of one hundred and twenty five crore people, is committed to realize our dreams within the timeframe with new hope, new energy and utmost hard work. An atmosphere of trust has emerged. I had announced ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’ on the last 15th of August. Even after sixty years of independence; even when the banks were nationalized for the poor, 40% people of the country were without a bank account till the last 15th of August; the doors of the banks were not open for the poor. We resolved that we would erase this blot and would provide a solid base to the financial inclusion which is talked about the world over, by integrating the poorest of the poor to the mainstream economic activities; and this is only the beginning. We had decided that unlike the previous work culture of talking in terms of uncertain time frames, we will complete the work by the 26th of January as the country celebrates the next Republic Day.
My countrymen, today I can proudly say that we achieved that target within the time frame. 17 Crore people opened their bank accounts under ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’. With a view to extend opportunities to the poor, we had said that these bank accounts could be opened with zero balance. We had even said that we would bear the operational costs of the bank. After all, what for the banks exist? They should be for the poor and that’s why we had decided to open accounts with zero balance. We have seen the rich of our country; however, this time around we have also seen our poor and seen their wealth. From the ramparts of the Red Fort, let me salute and bow to the large-heartedness of these poor; because even if there was a provision of opening the account with zero balance, these poor people have deposited twenty thousand crore rupees in their bank accounts. It could be possible only due to richness of our poor citizens. And hence, today my conviction bears proof that it is all because of the spirit of these poor that this "Team India" will march ahead.
Brothers and sisters, if the branch of a bank is opened or a building of the bank is constructed in a certain part of our country, it becomes the hot topic of discussion, people rejoice, it is hailed as a mark of great development and remarkable progress. This is so because in the past 60 years, we have measured the development of the country only on the basis of these parameters. This has been the yardstick that if any branch of a bank is opened somewhere, it elicits lots of accolades and praises, the Government receives much adulation, but my dear fellow citizens, it is not a challenging task to open a branch of a bank. This task can easily be accomplished through the Government exchequer, but to bring 17 crore countrymen to the doorstep of the bank is an arduous task, it takes a lot of hard work, you have to give your heart and soul to accomplish this task, you are required to be ever vigilant. And here I would extend my heartfelt congratulations to various Banks and their employees who have been a very significant part of "Team India". I congratulate them for making banks so easily accessible to the poor and this fact will bring a major change in the coming days.
Among the global economic schools of thought, there is also the one which maintains that financial inclusion doesn’t always bring positive results and due to that the system has to bear the pressure of poverty. I disagree with this thought. In a country like India, if we look at the pyramid of development, its base is the broadest. If it be firm, the entire pyramid of development tends to be strong. Today the downtrodden, the exploited, oppressed, deprived, and the ignored ones of our country form the base of the pyramid of development. We have to strengthen the foundation of this pyramid of development so as to ensure that these people are empowered through financial inclusion and this pyramid of development remains unshakable. It would stand firm amid any crisis and if this pyramid of development is based on economic strength, it would increase the purchasing power of these people to a great extent. And when the purchasing power of the poorest of the poor in the society increases, nobody can stop that economy to flourish and move ahead. It takes the country swiftly to the newer heights of development and therefore it is our intention to give impetus to that. We have laid great stress upon social security and also the welfare of the poor - and thus Prime Minister's Suraksha Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana and Prime Minister's Jeevan Jyoti Bima yojana have been launched. Crores of the people of our country have no social security cover. Leave the poor aside, benefit of insurance has not reached even the lower middle class. So we made a plan - just pay one rupee per month, not more, that is just Rs. 12 per annum and be entitled to the benefits of Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana. If your family faces any calamity then they will receive 2 lac rupees. We know how to manage an economy ! That's why we launched Prime Minister's Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana for 90 paisa a day, even less than 1 rupee. So it is Rs. 330 annually for the health of one's family - and for the security of one's family- insurance of 2 lac rupees. This is what we have done.
Brothers and sisters, schemes have been made in the past also. There is no Government which doesn't make schemes. Every Government does that. There is no government which doesn't make announcements. Every Government does that. There is no government which doesn't light the inauguration lamps, doesn't cut ribbons--every Government does that. But the touchstone is whether we walk the talk or not. We have laid a great stress upon a new work culture. Dear Countrymen, our nation has many schemes which are 40 years old or 50years old but these schemes could not reach more than 5 or 7 crore people. This scheme has just completed a hundred days, 100 days! I mean it, and in these hundred days ten crore citizens have been benefited 10 crore people! Ten crore citizens of this country means ten crore families. And this means that out of total 30-35 crore families of our country, ten crore families have joined this scheme within a span of hundred days.
Brothers and sisters, the uniqueness of our government, of "Team India", during last one year, especially the great strength and the biggest achievement of "Team India", consisting of one hundred and twenty five crore people has been to fulfill the tasks within the set time frame.
Last year I referred to toilet facilities for all from this Red Fort, I also referred to cleanliness. It sounded strange to the whole country for a few hours as to what sort of Prime Minister is this! But today in all the surveys that has been carried out in the entire country, this point has come out in all of them that if there is something that is the most important factor of "Team India" and that has touched every person, is the movement towards cleanliness.
Brothers and sisters, we used to invoke the people of the society and marked the names of various people to promote the "cleanliness drive". That was such a period, but today I have to congratulate this "Team India". People from all walks of life whether they are Celebrities, Diplomats, Social Workers, Educationists, community leaders or spiritual leaders or our friends from media, all of them have taken a major responsibility to train the common man without criticising anybody and without pointing towards the lacunas. Today I greet them all from the core of my heart who have done this job but I only wish to stress upon a point- from whom this "Swachh Bharat" drive has gained maximum strength? Who are its biggest brand ambassador? You may not have paid heed to it, but try to remember what happened in your family? There are crores of such families in India, whose children are in the age group of five, ten and fifteen and they have become the greatest ambassador of "Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan". These children prevent their parents from littering in their homes and ask them to avoid spreading filth and rubbish here and there. In case, any father is addicted to consuming gutka and whenever the father opens the windows of the car to spit, his son prevents him to do so on the plea of keeping India clean. The success of this programme is due to those little children. I wish to bow my head towards the future of my country, I wish to bow my head and greet those children. The fact which is not realized even by the elite people has been easily understood by the innocent children and it is my belief that such a country where a child is so much aware, so committed towards cleanliness, such country is bound to become clean; Abhorrence against filth and dirt is bound to arise there.
In 2019 we are about to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and on 150th anniversary of Gandhiji we have to handover him "Swachh Bharat" as a tribute. There cannot be a greater tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary. The task has just started, but I have to take it forward, not to stop it, not get to satisfied. I had announced such a programme from here, just for a trial, so that I could ascertain whether "Team India" is able to do it or not. I had announced it without consulting anybody. It was not announced after collecting relevant information from districts and villages. It just came into my heart and I had announced that we would build separate toilets for boys and girls in all of our schools till the next 15th August. But later on, when we started work, the "Team India" figured out its responsibilities, we realised that there were 2 lakh and 62 thousand such schools, where more than 4.25 lakh toilets were required to be built. This figure was so big that any government could rethink to extend the deadline, but it certainly was the resolve of the '"Team India"' that no one sought any extension. Today, on this 15th August, I salute the "Team India", who, keeping the honour of our tricolour National Flag, left no stone unturned to realise that dream, and the '"Team India"' has now nearly achieved the target of building all the toilets. I compliment to all the state governments, government officers of the districts, policy framers and implementers of educational institutions, who were involved in realising this achievement. This is not just an issue of building more than 4.25 lakh toilets. This is an issue of creating an atmosphere of self-confidence at a time, when we were so engulfed with the negativity that it was being told that nothing could happen, there was no hope, it was not possible. But now, the "Team India" has demonstrated that we are ready to accept challenges, we would not withdraw, and we are committed for our success. The nation runs on this self-confidence, the nation runs by realising newer resolutions. We cannot stop anywhere, we have to continuously move forward. Therefore, Brothers and Sisters, we have prepared a plan for the labourers of our country, and it has been named as "SHRAMEVA JAYATE". Our attitude towards the poor labourers is not good.
If we meet a person wearing coat, pants, tie or we meet a great person wearing long kurta, jacket we salute him by standing in his honour. But if an auto rickshaw driver, pedal rickshaw puller, newspaper vendor or a milkman come to us, our feelings towards these poor men are not proper. One hundred and twenty five crore citizens of the country have to remove this deficiency of the nation by their resolution of mind. The persons due to whom we look good, who serve us good, no one is our better well wisher than them and therefor, dignity of labourers, honour of labourers, pride of labourers- this should be our national duty , this should be our national character, this should be the tendency of everyone, nature of everyone. Recently, we started a campaign of issuing special identity card to the unorganized labour falling under certain schemes. They are to get the benefits of many schemes of security through that identity card. These unorganized labourers were never taken care of. Similarly, labourers of our country had deposited their share of hard earned money in Government coffers. Slowly, this amount grew to Rs. 27 thousand crores, but when that poor labourer moves to some another place after 6-8 months of employment there, moves to another place after a year or two from there, no account of the money he deposited there is maintained. The amount is also so low that he does not wish to bring back the same by spending two hundred rupees on fare. That is why Rs. 27 thousand crores of poor people of my country, labourers of my country, money earned by them by the sweat of their brow was lying idle in the coffers of the Government. We found a solution to it. We provided a special identity card number to these labourers and told them wherever you are transferred now, even if you move to another place by quitting the job or if you move from one factory to another, from one state to another, you will always retain this number and you will retain your money, no one will be able to misappropriate your single rupee. So, we have tried to return the Rs. 27 thousand crores to the poor.
It has become a fashion in our country- make law for everything and keep our courts busy. One law may contradict the other but the law should be on the same subject. Confusion was being created here always. This is not a good sign for good governance and therefor, law should be explicit, law should be correct, law should not be out of sync with time, only then society progresses.
Where will a poor labourer look for his thing of interest in the pile-up of different types of 44 legislations meant for our labourers? We have brought about a change therein. By incorporating these 44 legislations into four codes of conduct, the poorest of the poor and even an illiterate labourer can know about his or her interest, we have emphasized this scheme.
Brothers and Sisters, corruption is a much discussed topic in our country. We must have seen an ailing person, habitually, giving tips to others on how to be healthy. He does not care for himself, but it is the nature of every human being to advise others that you do it and you will become healthy and you do that and you will become healthy. Corruption is also like this. The person involved in it, also advise, the person who is suffering due to it, also advise and thus they advise each other, and this goes on and on.
Brothers and Sisters, I have never made this announcement, but today I wish to state, I want to assure my fellow countrymen, I want to tell the "Team India" comprising 1.25 billion people that this country can become corruption-free. On the basis of experience I am saying this. This job has to be started from the top. Corruption is stuck with our country like a termite and the termite keeps on spreading, initially it is not visible, but when it spreads in our bedroom and reaches the cupboard where clothes are hung, we find that and when we want to get rid of it, insecticides have to be injected per square meter of land. After so many of years of efforts, we get rid of termite. Countless efforts of several types have to be made to wipe out the corruption in such a vast country, and that can be done. If I had said that I would cut subsidy worth Rs. 15 thousand cores on LPG gas, then I can say that hundreds of articles would have been written to glorify my Government. They can say that this man has the power and strength to discontinue the subsidy worth Rs. 15 thousand cores on LPG gas. It is this man who can take tough decision and if it is not done so, then nothing happens my dear friends and nothing is visible. Sometimes people are fond of sinking into despair. Until they talk of despair amongst people they can not sleep at night.
They have this habit. There are some ailing people, who do not like to disclose about their illness and they also do not like to someone inquiring about their ailment. While there are some others who wait for a particular person to enquire about their health and if he does not visit, they talk about this for hours together. I can see that there are some people who always search for negativism, propagate negativism and they enjoy it as much as they can. Such people neither have any schemes nor activities, yet "Team India' consisting of 1.25 billion Indians is ready to invest time for them, but how does that happen? We have put in place a scheme of Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG subsidy. Taking advantage of Jan Dhan Accounts and Adhaar Card we have transferred the subsidy directly into the accounts. As a result of this the brokers, the middlemen and the blackmarketeers have disappeared. Only the real beneficiary got the benefit. Our Government have neither slashed a penny from anyone's benefit nor we have made announcements to earn praise. We have improved the system and today I wish to inform the 'Team India' of 1.25 billion Indians that as a result of this an amount of Rs.15 crore, which was being siphoned off annually in the name of gas cylinders has been stopped. My countrymen, the corruption has stopped.
My brothers and sisters, you can see how work is done? We have done it. Rupees 15,000 crore is not a small amount for a country like India. We have launched an open website, displayed a board of delivery there, even then if someone has a complaint, he would get a cylinder even at midnight but we cannot permit those who loot the country and poors as well. Tell me whether this is not a fight against corruption?
My brothers and sisters, I had made a request to my countrymen that if you are economically sound, then why do you avail subsidy on L.P.G? Why do you need this paltry amount of rupees five to seven hundred which you usually spend on petty snacks. I had just started giving message about this, I didn't launch any campaign as yet, because I have faith in "Team India'. As the message spreads the result would come, but to-day I can tell with pride that ever-since I had launched movement of "give it up" subsidy of LPG gas cylinder, till date 20 lakh consumers have already given it up.
This is not a small figure. Even if we are in the queue before a temple for the blessings (Prasaad), we sometimes wish that we should get some of the prasad for our younger brother also. This is in our nature. These 20 lakh people are not from rich or wealthy families. They are all from the common middle class. Some teacher may have been a pensioner, but when he learnt that this LPG cylinder may go to some poor person, he gave up his subsidy. My dear brothers and sisters, when these 20 lakh LPG cylinders will reach the poor families whose kitchens are smoke choked, just think of the happiness of the mothers working in those kitchens! Just think of the relief and happiness of the little children who had been crying due to the smoke! Whenever our efforts are in the right direction, we get great results.
My brothers and sisters, if I talk about coal, some of the political pundits or experts will judge me on a political angle. This is not a place for politicking, so I would like to urge upon all the political pundits that in this case, the kind of coal issue that I am going to raise, may please not be judged through the political angle. This is the requirement of our nation’s resolve. CAG said that when coal blocks were allocated through lottery, the nation lost Rs.1 lakh and 74 thousand crores. We also used this statistics in the election-speeches. Nevertheless, we sometimes thought that this much of loss may not have been there. But we went on saying like that. Later we decided that whether it be coal, or spectrum or any other mineral, all will be auctioned henceforth. Lo and behold ! the great strength of the Team India of 125 crore Indians and their resolve ! within a certain time limit the coal was auctioned and now almost Rs. 3 lakh crore would be accruing to the national exchequer.
Brothers and sisters, just ask yourselves whether corruption was rooted out or not? Whether the middlemen were ousted or not? Whether the door was shut on the face of the wealth-stealers of India or not? I did not make any speech in this regard. I just did it. The same thing happened in the case of spectrum. Right now FM radio auction is going on. A lot of pressure was put on me. People said 'Modi ji, FM is operated by the common men, there in no great profit in this business. Why are you putting even FM on auction? A lot of pressure was put on me. All attempts were made to dissuade me from this. But I said that the team India consisting of 125 crore of Indians wanted transparency.
Right now the auction is on for FM Radio in some 80-85 cities. The day before when I enquired, the auction amount had crossed Rs. one thousand crores. This money is going to be used for the poor people.
Brothers and sisters, what a run the country had at the hands of its leadership, how it was looted, what impact was put on the policies! What kind of an activity it was that continued in the country? Imported coal from the foreign countries was not given to the power plants near the coasts. It was transported to the factories of nearby areas of coal mines and the coal from those mines instead was taken to the factories in the coastal region. Now, even a small child in this country can understand as to how the goods can be utilized for the place where they are situated instead of going for their transport from that place to the other.
Brothers and sisters, we changed that decision. Nearby factories should be the first beneficiaries. And let me say that this small decision closed down the shops of the middlemen and the exchequer has got Rs. 1100 crores. My dear citizens, it will happen every year now.
Corruption in a way has become part of the system. Until it is stamped out from the system, dear brothers and sisters, I’ll keep suffering every atrocity, facing every obstacle but with your blessings I shall fulfill the dream of a corruption free India. I say this to you from the ramparts of the Red Fort with the tricolour as my witness and the understanding of the dreams of the 125 crore people. It’s been 15 months since you put our Government in Centre and gave me the mandate. This Government does not have any allegation of corruption against it for even a single penny. But I had said alongside that it was like the pests, the termite. Corruption free Government in Delhi only is not going to solve the whole problem. There are problems at the small places right now and the poor are getting troubled. We need to bring in a national level awareness for this. We need to comprehend this menace of corruption properly and get everyone on board to eradicate it. Then only can we get rid of the menace.
Brothers and sisters, let me say further that we have taken some very important steps one after the other to check black money, and that too in a very short span of time.
The day we formed the Government, we constituted an SIT under the supervision of the Supreme Court. We did what was pending for three years. The SIT is doing its job. I attended the G-20 summit. These are the countries whose support we need for bringing black money back. On India’s insistence a resolution was passed against black money. All G-20 countries resolved to cooperate with each other and send back the black money to the country where it belonged. We adopted FATCA along with the United States. We have signed agreements with many countries for receiving real time information regarding Indian’s black money. We have taken several measures to check black money.
Brothers and sisters, we have passed a strict law for this. After this enactment every week people call us and complain that we have passed a very stringent law. They call it a draconian law and a black law and say that officers would harass them. Dear fellow citizens, we need injections if the disease is serious. Doctors also warn us about the side effects of such injections. Similarly, this disease is so serious that if we want a treatment, we will have to bear the side effects also. I know that people are upset with the law which we have passed. They find it troublesome. We have received many messages for diluting the provisions and relaxing it. Today I would like to tell Team India of 125 crore countrymen that even while bearing the side effects, we are moving forward against black money. This much has been done. It’s a fact that the process of bringing back the black money is long but now no one can dare to send the black money out of the country. This much has been achieved, whether someone believes it or not. Not only this, we have given some grace period for declaring undisclosed income and today I can say that people have come forward and declared their undisclosed income amounting to Rs. 6500 crores. This amount will accrue to our exchequer. It will benefit the poor of India. Friends, I assure you all that we will move forward with all the resolve to fulfill the commitments we have made.
Brothers and sisters, CBI had registered only eight hundred cases in the entire one year before formation of our government. We are still new in power but we have already registered eighteen hundred cases since we took charge; we have taken action against government employees. You can easily imagine and compare the figures. In the entire one year before we came to power, only eight hundred cases were registered and in the ten months of our government the corresponding number is eighteen hundred. It shows our ability to fight corruption.
In 2005, a law namely ‘PMLA’ was framed in our country. In ten years, an amount of ten thousand crore rupees has been recovered under that law. But you would be surprised to know that out of the total recovered amount of ten thousand crore rupees, four thousand five hundred crore rupees have been recovered in the last ten months. This is another example of our commitment to fight corruption about which we are not talking in press conferences on TV; rather we have taken steps on the ground and reaped success. We have endeavored to change systems. We have taken steps to ensure that the ‘MGNREGA’ wages go directly to the Jan Dhan account; that the scholarship for students goes directly into their bank accounts; and that there is least brokerage. And I believe that because of these steps the country can fulfill those objectives.
My farmer brothers and sisters, last year we had deficient rainfall. It was less than required. It affected the economy as well as our farmers. We were still able to curb the price rise. One will have to admit the fact that before us, the inflation was in double digits. Since we came to power, although there has been less rain and the farmers were distressed; we have been successful in bringing down the inflation from double digits to 3-4 percent. We will continue to strive to bring it further down because our dream is to provide wholesome meals to the poorest of the poor. However, we need drastic changes in the agriculture sector. The cultivable land is shrinking; it is getting divided between families and pieces of land are getting smaller. The fertility and productivity of our agricultural land must increase. The farmers need water and electricity and we are working towards their availability. We have decided to pump in fifty thousand crore rupees in ‘Pradhaan Mantri Krishi Sinchaai Yojna’. How will the water reach the farms? Water will have to be saved. We have to launch a movement in our agricultural sector with the mantra of “Save Water, Save Energy, and Save Fertilizers”. Hence, “Per drop more crop” is our watchword; each drop of water can contribute towards producing more crop and hence successful farming. We have moved in the direction of spending funds to take this cause further.
In the recent past, when our crops got damaged due to hailstorm, we increased the compensation enormously. Such an increase has never been witnessed in the past 60 years. Not only this, earlier if there were any losses, there was the norm according to which one would be entitled for compensation only if the losses suffered were at least 50 per cent. We have brought it down to 30 per cent. Never in the past 60 years was such a great initiative of helping the farmers taken. Farmers need urea. I would like to tell once again as to how to fight corruption. “Neem-Coating” is not the brain child of Modi, rather it is an idea propounded by Scientists and this idea has not only been brought before my government, it has come before previous governments as well. In our country, urea worth millions and billions of rupees is allocated in the names of farmers, but 15, 20 or 25 per cent of this urea is diverted to the chemical factories as raw material. Allocated in the names of farmers, this urea is pilfered through the middlemen. This pilferage of urea cannot be stopped unless we go for cent per cent “Neem-Coating” of urea. Therefore, irrespective of the burden caused to the exchequer, we have accomplished the task of doing hundred per cent “Neem-Coating” of urea. As a result of this, now urea cannot be used for any purpose other than farming. Now, no chemical factory can indulge in any kind of pilferage of urea. The farmers will have as much urea as they need. Since the urea is “Neem Coated”, even if they use 10 per cent less of urea, their land will be benefitted with the nutritional value it requires. The farmers of my country will be having a new advantage of urea - I would suggest to all the farmers that even if by chance someone shows you urea without “Neem-Coating”, you take it to be unauthorized by the Government. If someone gives you a yellow powder, don’t even touch it.
Brothers and sisters, India cannot develop till the eastern part of the country develops. India cannot be said to be developing only on the basis of the development of the western parts of the country. India will move ahead only when our eastern Uttar Pradesh becomes prosperous, our Bihar becomes strong, our West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, North Eastern regions tread the path of development. These territories of India should become powerful. And so whether is a matter of infrastructure or of rail connectivity or of digital connectivity - in all these aspects, we have focussed on eastern India. This focus has resulted in the proposed laying of a gas pipe line in this region. Who could have thought that the states where there was no potable tap water even in kitchen, there we are working to supply the gas through pipe lines. Four urea fertilizer plants were shut down in eastern India. Youth of these states were unemployed and farmers were in distress. We have made new urea policy and we have also formulated new gas supply policy. This has resulted in revival of fertilizer plants of eastern centers of Gorakhpur, Barauni, Talcher and Sindari. Thus we are working to provide employment to the youth and fertilizers to the farmers.
Brothers and sisters, there is a Government Department for Army soldiers and for their welfare. In our country farmers are as important as soldiers. What have we done in sixty years! We have emphasized on the economic aspect of agriculture. With the intention to have flourishing agriculture and for agricultural advancement, the concerned ministry of this government has been named as 'Ministry of Agriculture'.
Brothers and sisters, Agricultural growth is as important as the welfare of farmers. Only talking about agricultural development is incomplete for rural life style and for agriculture based livelihood. That will become complete, when the welfare of the farmer is also linked. Brothers and Sisters, the Ministry of the Government of India which was earlier known as "Ministry of Agriculture", from now will be known as the "Ministry of farmer Welfare" and in the days to come schemes for the welfare of farmers will also be formulated alike the schemes for agriculture are prepared and the Government would make efforts to provide help to the farmers by means of setting permanent system for the problems that my farmers has to face in his personal life, the hurdles that he has to go through.
Brothers and sisters, in the coming days I wish to concentrate on an issue. There has been so many years of independence but even today there are about eighteen thousand, five hundred such villages in our country, where electric wires and polls are yet to reach. Eighteen thousand five hundred villages are deprived of the sun of independence, deprived of the light of independence, they are deprived of the rays of development of independence. If we will keep on following the old methods, perhaps it will take ten more years to electrify these eighteen thousand, five hundred villages with wires and polls. The country is not ready to wait for ten years.
I took the meeting of government officials and enquired from them about the timeline. Someone promised to complete the task till 2019, someone assured to complete it till 2022. Some were hesitant due to dense forests or snowy hills, and some had apprehension due to inaccessibility of certain areas. But, it is now the solemn pledge of the "Team India" of 1.25 billion countrymen that the target of providing electric polls, electric wires and electricity to these 18,500 villages would be achieved within next 1000 days. I urge upon the states to come forward and accept this challenge. This is not pending in every state, only a few states will have to strive a little further. I would not like to count the name of such states, as it would be viewed politically and may attract political comments. Hence, it's better to avoid it. I, therefore, announce the pledge of the 'Team India' of our 1.25 billion countrymen, from the Red Fort, that electricity would be made available to 18,500 villages within the next 1000 days, with the help of states and local bodies.
I have taken up another issue of concern, which is 'Welfare of Farmers'. Similar issue of grave concern is the under-development of such mining areas, from where we get mineral resources, such as coal, bauxite and other minerals. Now, look at the life of people there. They sweat to make our country rich but that region is not developed and, therefore, we have formulated a special scheme for the development of the labourers and farmers of the region from where minerals are extracted and around rupees six thousand crores will be spent every year on the regions which fall in the areas of my tribals brothers, located in my tribal areas. Where coal is found? Coal is found in tribal areas. We have undertaken work to see development takes place there.
Brother and sisters, our youth power is of import for taking the country forward in twenty first century and today, I want to declare that if we have to move ahead in comparison to the whole world, we have to encourage our youths, we have to provide them opportunities. How our youths become new entrepreneurs, how our youths become new producers, how a complete network of start-up by these new entrepreneurs is set up in the whole country? There should not be any district, any block in Hindustan where there are not start-up initiated in the coming days. Whether India cannot dream that India becomes number one in the world of start-up. Today we are not at that position. Brothers and Sisters, I have to provide strength to start-up and, therefore, I resolve that in the coming days "Start-up India" and "Stand-up India" will be there or the future of the country. And for a bright future of the country "Stand-up India" shall be launched when I want to move forward this job pertaining to "Start-up India", "Stand-up India", my brothers and sisters, in our country our bank officials have done a herculean task, and when you do a good job, my expectations rise a lot.
My banker friends, my expectations are rising, so please do not get offended, but I trust you that your subordinate staff is contributing a lot for the economic advancement of this nation and in future they will continue to put in further more efforts. I want to assign you a task today. There are 1.25 lakhs banking units i.e. 1.25 lakhs branches of banks in the country. Today, I would like to assign a task to these 1.25 lakhs branches. This year marks the 125th anniversary of Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkarji. There are 1 crore 25 lakhs branches of banks. This is my programme referred to as "Start-up India", under this programme more schemes will be formulated, but every branch must resolve and in the days to come resolve once again to disburse loans for start-ups to the tribals in the locality where there is any tribal habitation, and where there is no tribal habitation, the branch can provide loans to a dalit or a tribal, give financial support to them and thus enable 1.25 lakhs Dalit entrepreneurs to come up. Let there be tribal entrepreneurs in the tribal settlements of this country. We can do this, we can give a new dimension to star-up and secondly whether these one lakh twenty five thousand branches can formulate a special scheme for women entrepreneurs? These one lakh twenty five thousand branches should promote start-up of women entrepreneurs and help them financially. You will find that with in no time, India would see a network of start up, new entrepreneurs would emerge and they would in-turn provide employment ranging form one to two to four persons which will transform India's economic life.
Brothers and sisters, when investment comes to the country, we expect more manufacturing work and more exports and the finance department of the Government offer new schemes to such investors. It has its own significance and this should continue. But today I have a new idea that the investment coming to our country in the manufacturing sector should be offered assistance based on new parameters and one of them shall be that an investor who comes with an enterprise which provides employment to maximum persons would be eligible for a different kind of economic package.
The Government would now formulate new schemes for new units linking it with employment and assistance of Government. We want to stress upon the growth of employment opportunities in the country. We have reached far beyond in the direction of fulfilling the dreams of skill India and digital India. Brothers and sisters, one area of corruption is job. The poorest of the poor man aspires for his son's job and we have seen that whenever a youth receives a call for an interview for a job, may be that is for interview in railway, for a teacher, for a peon, for a driver, he began to think about who he should approach for recommendation? Even his widow mother begin to brood over the issue. why? That is because in our country justice and injustice are mostly decided on the basis of interview rather than the basis of merit and it is said that the person has failed in the interview. I have not seen any such psychologist till now, who are capable of assessing a person on the basis of interviewing him just for two minutes.
Brothers and sisters, I have been thinking over it for many days that whether it is necessary to appear for an interview for a son of a poor mother, for a less educated person who is in need of petty jobs? Whether he can't get any job without an interview? Whether on the basis of his mark-sheet online-- it should be decided on the basis of online mark sheet that if we require five hundred people, than who should be those initial five hundred people, then who should be initial two thousand people. Of course, where the testing of physical fitness is required, the norms and system could vary there. Personality and experience of a candidate matters only for jobs of senior ranks, but it is painful to see that candidates even from the states of Nagaland and Mizoram rush to Mumbai to appear in exams for junior-level posts in Railways. I have to combat this problem. I impress upon the state governments and my colleagues of the Government to discontinue the stage of interview for junior-level posts as soon as possible. Such jobs should be given just on the basis of merit. This would help in curbing corruption, which hurts the poor people, and it would ease out their problem. It is my appeal to endeavour towards this goal.
My countrymen enjoy sound sleep. But, if our 1.25 billion countrymen are able to enjoy their undisturbed sleep, it is only due to ever-readiness of our jawans to sacrifice themselves, who are posted at the borders. No country can under-evaluate the importance of its armed forces. For the 'Team India' of 1.25 billion countrymen, each and every soldier or jawan is the strength of the nation, wealth of the nation and force of the nation. Many successive governments have come and gone over the years. The issue of "One Rank One Pension" has come before every government, each one has considered its proposal, and each and every government has made promises on it, but the problem is still pending to be resolved.
After my assuming office as Prime Minister I have not been able to do this by now. Today, I am again assuring all the service personnel and this is not being said by one man, I am saying this on behalf of One hundred and twenty five crores people of "Team India". I am saying this under the Tricolour from the ramparts of the Red Fort. I say to service personnel, we have accepted "One Rank One Pension" in principal but talks are going on with its organizations. Talks have reached at the final stage and we want that all get justice keeping in view the development of whole country. We have to find the solution of this problem in the light of above context which is lingering on from 20-25 years. I believe that the trust in which talks are being held, some positive result will come out of it. And, therefore, I again assure that this Government has accepted "One Rank One Pension" in principal. How it is implemented in view of its nitty-gritty situation, we are taking the talks forward by engaging with its stakeholders.
Brothers and sisters, India is completing 75 years of its independence in 2022. We have not to sit idle after celebrating 75 years of India's independence on 15th August, 2022. Today itself, on this 15th August, let we have a resolution for the 15th August, 2022 that 6 lakhs villages of India, each village must decide and resolve that by 2022, we will be able to overcome problem in every village. My 1.25 billion countrymen and we, in our lives, take a resolution for the 2022, the 75 years of Independence of India. Every citizen take a resolution that I will perform this task for the well being of the country and betterment of the society. Once my 1.25 crores fellow countrymen will move forward with a resolution, then by the dawn of 15th August 2022, when the souls of soldiers who laid down their lives for the freedom will see that the country might have fulfilled 1.25 crores resolutions, 6 lakhs villages might have realized their dreams. Cities, Metropolitan cities, every department of the government, every unit of the government should take a resolution and get to work. And there should not be any literature, there should not be any programme wherein 15th August 2022 is not re-iterated, where resolution for the 75th years of Independence is not re-iterated. A momentum need to be created. Brothers and Sisters the movement for freedom lasted several decades. Nevertheless the freedom was in the air only, then someone raised the issue of freedom in the year 1910, again in the year 1920 and again and again in the year 1930 and so on. The issue was re-iterated for decades, only then we attained freedom. In order to build a self confident, magnificent and prosperous India we have to make our country competent, prosperous and healthy. We have to fulfill the dream of a well cultured India, build self confident India and excellent India. No poor person in this country should remain without shelter by 2022. We have to succeed in providing round the clock electricity. Our farmer should be capable, our worker should be satisfied, our women should be empowered, our youth should be self dependent, our elderly should be hail and hearty and our poor should be prosperous. No one should remain backward in our society and everyone should enjoy equal rights and entire Indian society should reel in harmony. With this dream once again I convey my heartiest congratulation to 1.25 billion countrymen on this pious festival of freedom with preparedness to move forward in a specific role for 75th anniversary of independence. Repeat me with full strength:-
Bharat Mata Ki Jai,Bharat Mata Ki Jai,Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram.
Jai Hind, Jai Hind, Jai Hind!