Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a public address in Oman on Sunday, lauded the country's culture of respecting diversity, reiterated his commitment to 'minimum government, maximum governance' and took thinly-veiled jibes at the previous UPA government.
"The entire system — the bureaucrats, the files, the constraints — is the same as it was earlier. But now, the results are different," Modi said to cheering crowds at the Sultan Qaboos Stadium in Muscat.
The prime minister further said that India's image had suffered due to a long list of scams in the previous regime and his government worked hard to change the "style of misgovernance".
Modi also made a reference to the health insurance scheme announced in the Budget unveiled on 1 February. He claimed that the 'Ayushman Bharat' scheme will benefit 40-50 crore people, and said, "After we announced the scheme, there were some who praised the idea but wondered how it will be implemented. However, it is the nature of Indians to achieve things that we set our sights on."
Claiming that no allegations of corruption have been made against the present government, the prime minister said, "Four years have passed that we came to power. However, no one has asked, 'Modi ne kitna liya?' (How much did Modi take away?)"
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 11, 2018
He further stated, "We renegotiated the oil deals (signed by the previous regimes) with Qatar and Australia and now we have to pay Rs 12,000 crores less that what we would have paid."
Modi arrived in Oman — the last leg of his tour to the Gulf and West Asia — on Sunday afternoon from Dubai. He is slated to hold talks with the Sultan of Oman and other key leaders. He will also meet Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said and Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs Sayyid Asa'ad bin Tariq Al Said.
The prime minister also made references to the government's initiative to do away with outdated laws and the country's improvement in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings. He further told the gathering, "When you come to India in 2022-23, you will find the bullet train, which will take people from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in just two to two-and-a-half hours.
Watch the full speech here:
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Feb 11, 2018 23:13 PM