Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded his government's achievements at the News18 Rising India Summit on Monday, saying his government has brought a change in national priorities and the direction of nation-building by taking corrective measures against corruption.
Throughout his speech, Modi mainly targeted the Congress, comparing statistics of government work done during the UPA and NDA eras. Comparing the performance of his government over the last 55 months to 55 years of Congress rule, Modi accused the Congress of obstructing the country's growth.
"When the Atal Bihari Vajpayee govt's tenure ended, it left with 8 percent GDP growth rate, but when UPA was leaving, the GDP was at 5 percent. In 2014, we took the responsibility again and now increased GDP to 7-8 percent," he said, adding, that in the UPA rule, "what should have been rising was falling".
"Inflation should be under control, but in the last government, prices of essential commodities were touching the sky. Inflation is now 2-4 percent in our government. This change can happen when one moves from politics to national policy," he said.
Accusing the Congress of working against the country's progress, Modi said that when the NDA government came to power, India was among the fragile five economies, and now it has become the world's fastest-growing major economy.
He also lauded his government's achievements in improving the ease of doing business ranking. "It was Congress' culture due to which India's ranking in ease of doing business fell from 132 to 142. We corrected it and moved India to the 77th position," the prime minister said.
Modi also claimed that the change was possible only because of the government's efforts to curb corruption. "From spectrum to the submarine, nothing was left where corruption didn't exist. Every organisation, be it Supreme Court, CAG, or the media was opening files on corruption. Now, to oppose me, some are manufacturing stories. They are approaching courts, which are censuring them," he said.
Modi also termed the opposition to the Aadhaar as a scheme to thwart the progress of government-sponsored welfare schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana and the Direct Benefit Transfers championed by his government.
"When we launched Jan Dhan Yojana four years ago, they made fun of us. Some even asked what people will do with bank accounts if they don't have money. It was due to this mentality of the Congress that people didn't have a bank account even after over six decades of independence. After creating Jan Dhan Accounts, we connected them to Aadhaar, and then to mobile numbers," he said.
"When we used Aadhaar to weed out duplicate and fake beneficiaries of government welfare schemes, they went to court against Aadhaar. Why did they go to court against Aadhaar? Because we had blocked all leakages. Under our government, the Centre directly transferred six lakh crore rupees to beneficiaries' accounts. They weren't happy that all the middlemen were flushed out of the system. Unlike in the past, when only 15 out of 100 paise would reach the beneficiaries, now the entire amount is reaching them," he claimed.
The prime minister also responded to claims of increasing unemployment under the NDA rule. The prime minister quoted figures from the EPFO and state governments like Karnataka and West Bengal to debunk those claims.
He said, "Is it possible that with India growing at record rates, there are no jobs in the country? With FDI at an all-time high, Indians moving out of poverty at a record rate, roads and railway lines being constructed, is it possible that India not producing jobs? More than 6 lakh professionals have joined the workforce in the last 4 years, and these professionals have themselves created lakhs of jobs."
"In the last four years, the number of foreign tourists has increased by 45 percent. Income in foreign currency due to tourism has increased by 50 percent. The Indian aviation sector has increased at a historic pace. Are these fields not creating jobs?" he asked.
Taking a dig at critics, Modi also said those who don’t believe him should at least believe what Opposition-ruled states are saying about jobs creation. “When jobs were created in West Bengal and Karnataka, how can anyone say no jobs were added in India,” he asked.
"Karnataka claims to have created 53 lakh job opportunities. Isn't it part of India?" he said.
He also said that to under the ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’ initiative, making North East "a growth engine" of the new India is an important element.
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Updated Date: Feb 25, 2019 22:25:57 IST