First of all, many-many congratulations and greetings to all of you for organising this event.
Earlier also I had opportunities to associate myself with India Today Conclave. I have been told that the Editor in Chief of India Today Group gave me a new post, “Disrupter-in-Chief” yesterday and for the past two days you have been deliberating on “ The Great Disruption”.
Friends for many decades we have been going in a wrong direction and following wrong policies. The idea that the Government will do everything was prevailing. This came to our notice after several decades. Attempts were made to correct the mistakes but our thought was confined to the lone attempt that was made two decades ago and that was taken as reform.
For a long time the country witnessed either one type of Government or coalition government. Because of this, one set of thinking or activity was visible across the country.
Earlier, it was either something borne out of election driven political system or something based on rigid frame work of bureaucracy. These were two systems and evaluation of government’s performance was also done in this parameter.
We have to accept that the technology has undergone a rapid change in last 20 years compared to the changes that occurred during the past 200 years.
Also, the aspirations of todays youth are quite different from those of the youth 30 years ago. And all the equations of Bipolar World as well as Inter-dependent world have also got changed.
If you look at the Freedom Movement, you will see that during those days national aspiration was given more weightage than personal aspirations. The movement was so intense that it forced the country out of the centuries old bondage. The movement for development on the lines of freedom movement is the need of the hour. A movement that extends personal aspirations to collective aspirations and collective aspiration lead to the overall development of the country.
This government is going ahead with the vision of Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat. Approach to handling problems is different. For many years the country witnessed Hindi-English conflict. All Indian Languages are our assets. Attention was drawn on how to knit all languages in the chord of unity. We made pairing of two states with the result that now states are getting familiar with the cultural diversities of their counterparts.
Obviously change is there with different approach. Hence this word of yours becomes short of expression for new things. This is not a system crashing view. It is rejuvenation for keeping the soul of nation intact and making the system up to date. And this is the psyche of 21st century people. So if anyone is “Disrupter-in-Chief” for now, it’s the 125 crore Indians. Anyone inter twined with the masses of India, will readily understand who is the disrupter.
Rigid ideology and orthodox thinking make some persons presume that its only corridor of power that changes the world. But it’s not correct.
We have clubbed time bound implementation and integrated thinking with the work culture of Government. And our working is to ensure transparency in system, citizen friendly- cum -development friendly processing and re-engineering of process to bring efficiency. Friends, today India is one of the rapidly developing economies. World Investment Report has assessed India in top three prospective host economies. In 2015-16 a record investment of more than 55 billion Dollars has been attained. In last two years India has up scaled by 32 ranks in the Global Competiveness Index of World Economic Forum.
Make in India is today our biggest initiative. Today India is Worlds 6th biggest manufacturing nation.
Friends, this Government lays emphasis on Cooperative Federalism. The progress of GST is a result of deliberative democracy wherein talks were held with every state. Consensus on GST is an important outcome but its process is equally important.
This is a unanimous decision. All the states have ownership in this. You may call it disruptive but in fact GST is a proof of federal structure reaching new heights.
Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas is merely not a slogan, it is a reality.
Friends, for years a thought prevailed in our country that labour laws are hurdles in development. Contrary to it those calling for reforms in Labour laws were considered as anti-labour. Means extreme at both ends.
It was never thought to proceed ahead with a holistic approach for employer, employee and aspirants as well.
Earlier an employer had to log entries in 56 separate registers for the compliance of diverse labour laws. Same information was getting entered in different registers. Government has notified last month that now employer will have to maintain only 5 registers instead of earlier 56 under different labour laws. This will help employers to a great extent in doing business easily.
The government is paying full attention on expending job market. Besides Public and Private Sector Government is pressing upon Personal sector also. Youth are being granted loans without guarantee under the Mudra Yojana. During the last 2 and half years loan amounting more than three lakh crore has been given under the Mudra Yojana to more than six crore persons.
States have also been advised to ensure the opening of normal shops and establishments 365 days in a year.
By establishing Ministry of Skill Development for the first time work on it is being done with full planning. Formal Employment is being promoted by way of Prime Ministers Employment Promotion Scheme and rebate in Income Tax.
Similarly, number of Apprentices has been enhanced by amending the Apprenticeship Act and the stipend admissible during this period has also been increased.
Friends, peoples power is more important than power of Government. On earlier occasions I have repeatedly said that without peoples connect it is not possible to run the country. Without taking along the people power of nation marching ahead is not possible. You all have witnessed the unprecedented people power during the post Diwali action against black money and corruption, the one that is visible only in war time or in any critical situation.
This people power is now getting united just because masses are willing to eliminate the maladies rampant within the country, desirous of going ahead by way of defeating weakness and want to make a new India.
If today more than 4 crore toilets have been constructed in country under Clean India campaign and more than 100 districts have been declared free from defecation, is the glaring proof of the unity of his people power.
Surrendering of gas subsidy by more than one crore people too is a proof of this people power.
So it is pertinent to have respect for peoples sentiments and decisions should be taken in accordance of public aspersions and they should be implemented in definite time frame.
When Jan Dhan Yojana was launched, it was said that through this the poor and deprived people will be connected with the Banking System. So far 27 crore bank account of poor persons have been opened under this scheme.
Similarly, the Government had fixed a target of providing free gas connections to five crore people in three years. In only 10 months nearly two crore people have already been given gas connections.
The government had promised to provide electricity within thousand days in those 18 thousand villages where even after 70 years it was yet to reach. In 650 days over 12 thousand villages have been provided electricity.
Wherever required laws, rules and regulations have been amended and repealed where they were required no more. So far over 1100 obsolete Laws have been repealed.
Friends, for years the General Budget of country was tabled in Parliament at 5 pm. This was a British arrangement as 5pm in India meant 11.30 am in Britain. Atal ji brought this change.
You have seen this year budget has been tabled one month before. By view of implementation this is a very big alteration. Else, budget was tabled in February end and funds reached various departments months later. Then monsoon months further delayed start of works. Now to implement the programmes smoothly the departments will get their funds well in time.
Similarly, there prevailed an artificial partition of plan and non-plan in the budget. For making headlines newer things were given high emphasis while the ongoing works were side lined. Due to this there was too much imbalance on the ground. By doing away this artificial imbalance we strived for a very big change.
This time the Railway Budget has been merged with the General Budget. The system of separate Railway Budget was also a British creation. Now the transport means have become multidimensional. Now there is Rail, Road, Aviation, water way and Sea route and an integrated approach for all these is a must. Governments this step will become a basis for technological revolution in the Transport Sector.
During the last three years you have gone through the Governments Policies-decisions and intentions. I am of the view that in 21st century this very approach for New India will lead the nation to new heights and will further strengthen the base of New India.
So far, the lighting of lamps, cutting ribbons has been the approach of most of our governments. This too was taken as work and no one had taken it otherwise. Yow will wonder that though in our country more than 1500 new projects were announced but most of them could not come out of files.
Such many mega projects are stalled for years. Now one system PRAGATI has been developed for the proper monitoring of projects. PRAGATI means Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.
Now in a meeting I chair in Prime Minister’s Office and through video conferencing all the Secretaries of various ministries/ departments of Government of India as well as Chief Secretaries of all the States come all along for deliberations. Before it, the list of pending/ stalled projects gets readied.
Till now more than 8 lakh crore rupee worth projects have been review it PRAGATI meetings. More than 150 Highly Important projects stalled for years have now been expedited.
Government is focusing on those Next Generation Infrastructures which are highly needed for the nation. Highest ever allocation has been made for rail and road sector during last three years. Their working potential expansion is under constant watch. This has resulted in the remarkable enhancement of the working speed of these two sectors which was so far going at an average speed.
Earlier the railway electrification work was being done at a very slow speed. Government has accelerated the pace of this programme. This reduced the railway running expenditure and the available electricity was meticulously used.
Similarly, Railway was given open access under the Electricity Act. Now Railway is able to save its funds even in the cost of electricity bill payments. Earlier Electricity companies were stiffly opposing this open access initiatives leading to forced procurement by railways on higher prices. Now railway is able to procure electricity on lower cost.
Earlier the linkage of Power Plants and Coal was in such a manner that for a plant situated in north then coal will be brought from central India and coal from north or east will go to western India. This resulted in higher expenditure for power plants on coal transportation leading to higher electricity prices. We rationalized the coal linkages which reduced transportation cost as well as saved time and electricity got cheaper.
This clearly shows that this Government is not vying for Tunnel Vision, rather it has Total Vision in his thought during the discharge of duty.
See. Earlier even railway did not granted permission to construct Rail Over Bridge for months in the case of making road below the rail track . For a couple of months there prevailed mere negotiations on design of Rail Over Bridge. Now this Government has prepared a Uniform Design for Rail Over Bridge and the proposals are based on this design and NOC is given hand to hand.
Availability of Electricity is key to the Economic Development of this country. We are working holistically on power sector and succeeding from the moment we have assumed the office. A generation capacity of 46 thousand Mega Watt has been connected. There is a rise of 25 percent in generation capacity. Transparent auctioning of coal and making it available to power plants is our priority.
Today there is no such thermal plant which is critical due to availability of coal. Crital means coal available for less than 7 days. Occasionally big headlines used to scroll about impending power crisis and scarcity of coal stocks at plants. You may not recall when last time such breaking news has been scrolled down. May be this news stacked in your archives.
Friends, in the first two years of this government 50 thousand kilometre long circuit transmission line has been laid whereas during 2013-14 only 16 thousand kilometre circuit lines were laid.
Our scheme Uday has given a new lease of life to Government owned power distribution companies. All these actions have resulted in more availability of power and the electricity rates have also came down. Today through one App- one can check the availability of power and its corresponding prices as well.
Government is also emphasising on Clean Energy. A target of producing 175 Giga watt renewable energy has been fixed. Out of which so far 50 Giga Watt means 50 thousand Mega watts has been attained.
In the area of Global Wind Power Installed Capacity India is now on 4th place in the world.
Governments emphasis is on increase in power generation and reduction in its consumption. Till now nearly 22 thousand LED bulbs have been distributed so far in the country.
This has reduced power consumption and pollution has also receded and people are now able to save 11 thousand crore rupees annually.
Friends, the task of connecting 2.5 lakh Panchayats across the country through Optical Fibre began in 2011.
But between 2011 and 2014 cable could be laid in only 59 village Panchayats.
At this pace you can imagine the time taken in connecting 2.5 lakh Panchayats. Our Government took required corrective actions and prepared a mechanism for remedial measures.
During last 2 and half years more than 78 thousand village panchayats have been inked and connected through optical fibres.
Side by side we are arranging for providing Wi-Fi Hot Spot in each and every Panchayat so that the people of village may also use this facility easily.
Attention is olso being given to provide this facility in school, hospitals and Police stations too.
Means and resources are same but the style of action is changing with a quicker speed.
Before 2014 it took 15 days in incorporating one company, now it takes 24 hours.
It took months to get Income Tax Refunds previously and now it’s a matter of weeks. Earlier making of Passport was months long process and now within a week passport reaches your home. Friends this support system for technology and good governance is now available to us in addition for the empowerment of poor too.
Government is working with the intention of doubling the income of farmers.
For this purpose, government is standing with farmer right from the level of seed to market support.
Farmers are being provided good quality seeds and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchaaee Yojana has been launched for irrigating every field.
Under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana such risks have been covered which were not taken before. In addition farmers are being given Soil Health Cards. Shortage of Urea is now history.
For ensuring remunerative price of crops to farmers more than 580 agricultural markets (mandis) are being connecting online under the e-NAM scheme. Story and supply chain is being strengthened.
Friends, action is also being taken at all levels in the health sector schemes have been launch after keeping in mind the Immunisation of children, of health care of pregnant women, preventive health care and sanitation.
Recently government has approved National Health Policy. A road may has been drawn up under which health care system will be made accessible to every citizens.
Government is also trying that in future 2.5 percentage of GDP at least should be incurred upon health. Today country importing more than 70 percentage Medical Devices and equipment. Now effort is on for promoting local manufacturing under Make In India so that the treatment costs gets lowered further.
Friends government is also laying emphasis on social infrastructure. Our government is working in service mode for the physically handicapped persons.
By organising nearly 5000 camps more than 6 Lakh physically handicapped persons have been provided necessary equipment’s. Even these camps have been registered in the Guinness Book.
A Sugamya Bharat campaign is being launched keeping in mind the problems of physically handicapped while boarding or alighting at Hospitals, Railway Stations, Bus Stands and in Government Offices.
In government jobs for them reservation has been enhanced from present 3 to 4 percent.
Laws are also being amended for insuring handicapped persons rights.
A common sign language is being developed across the country for physically handicapped persons.
Friends our country of 125 crore citizens is full of resources and there is no dearth of potential.
Friends in 2022 our independence will be 75 years old, will it be possible for all to make the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Baba Saheb Ambedkar and Numerous fighters who sacrificed their life for attending freedom coming true?
All of us – be it Family, Organisation, Unit must resolve for the next five years for actuating the dream of making a New India.
Your dream, your resolve, your time, your dedication and results will be of course yours.
New India, an India marching ahead form aspersions to realty.
A New India where opportunity will prevail instead of benevolence.
The Doctrine for the foundation of New India is opportunity for everyone and motivation for everyone.
New India and India of new potential and new opportunities.
New India an India of green fields and smiling farmers.
New India, an India of yours and ours pride.
First of all, many-many congratulations and greetings to all of you for organising this event.
At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.
The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.
The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.
India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.
India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.
India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.
The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.
Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.
India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.