Ladies and gentlemen,
Lord Siva's favourite month of the year i.e. Shravan is here. Devotees of Lord Siva from different parts of the country have set out with their kavad. In a way, this marks the beginning of the festive season that will end with Diwali.
Apart from festivals, a large part of the country is also receiving heavy rainfall. Good monsoon is a blessing for agriculture and a sound economy but this heavy rainfall in some parts of the country is bringing miseries to the people. The government is wary of every kind of situation. The government along with the state governments is leaving no stone unturned to rescue the people stranded in difficult circumstances.
I believe that being a sensitive government; it is our primary responsibility to make the lives of the common man easier and hassle-free. This is our one and only goal. We have been striding ahead with this objective for the last four years. Today, gathering here in this Hall of Lucknow is a part of this endeavour. I had got the opportunity to attend the programme meant for making the urban life smart and endowed with facilities yesterday. I have also got the opportunity to lay the foundation stone of several projects related to the cities of Uttar Pradesh and to hand over the keys of the houses to my poor homeless brothers and sisters. I am glad that today we are moving forward with the resolution of bringing about a transformation in every corner of Uttar Pradesh.
This is the second time in 5 months that I am meeting my entrepreneur friends in Lucknow. Earlier, I had come to Lucknow during the UP Investors Summit in February. I was told that a proposal was made to invest more than Rs.4.25 lakh crores in UP during that summit. I am glad that a major step has been taken today to put that resolution on ground.
I don't know why Satish ji was hesitantly saying that 60 thousand crores was not a big amount. His humble and conscientious tone was undermining the value of Rs. 60 thousand crores. I had been the Chief Minister for a long time and I belong to a state which is associated with industrial activities. Rs.60 thousand crores is not a small sum of money. It is a huge amount! You have no idea as to what you have achieved!
I would also like to congratulate the officers here. What you have done is beyond imagination. I know the types of hurdles that occur during capital investment. Just a single petition in court would suspend the work for 2-3 years. If environmental activists get hold of it, they keep sitting over it. And if it reaches a media person, Satish ji, even the government gets scared of handing over the project; because the rivals have a well chalked out game plan. In such a scenario, overcoming these hurdles within 5 months and investing Rs.60 thousand crores is indeed an exceptional achievement! I am saying all these things because I have experienced it. I also congratulate the farmers who have given up their lands wherever it was required. Even the junior-most government servants and the Patwaris must have cleared all the obstacles. Therefore, it was possible to make this investment. The country can either be run by the Prime Minister or by the Patwaris. Therefore, due to a successful leadership, the entire team from the Chief Minister to the Patwari could think in the same direction in such a short span of time.
Secondly, I am glad that you didn't leave everything upon the whims of a single individual. You have formulated policies for different sectors and have made everything transparent. Anyone can access these online and see for oneself whether that person fits within that policy framework or not. It is a policy-driven state. It is one of the greatest achievements of Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, it is my request to you all; kindly don't think that this sum of Rs.60 thousand crores is a small amount. It is an extraordinary achievement! I know very well how much effort is required as I have worked in this field for a long time. One has to take that initiative and pursue it further. One also has to bear the brunt. However, when one is committed to the state, new pathways automatically open up.
There is another reason to be happy. See, filling the cycle's tube with sufficient air up to a certain point allows it to start moving. Sometimes there is an air bubble in one corner of the tube. Even though the metre indicates that right amount of air has been filled inside, the air bubble will not allow the cycle to move. I am glad that the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has focused upon comprehensive development, balanced development of all the regions of the state. There is a need for balanced development. Although the state can progress just by the sole development of Noida and Gaziabad but the needs of Uttar Pradesh will not be fulfilled in that way. I am glad that the way these things have been accomplished, all the initiatives that have been undertaken and all the nuances that have been taken into consideration are commendable!
Some people are describing it as a groundbreaking ceremony. Although traditionally it is a groundbreaking ceremony but I call it a record-breaking ceremony. The processes have been expedited and changes have been made in the archaic working system in such a short span of time. I believe that no one can stand up and claim that such a thing was ever accomplished before in Uttar Pradesh. These are absolutely new things for the governance of Uttar Pradesh. I am glad that the government under the leadership of Yogi ji was in constant touch with the investors and created a conducive environment for converting the intent into investment. Initiatives such as online MoU tracker or single window platform like Nivesh Bandhu for clearances show not only the transformed work culture, but also an enabling environment prevalent in UP for carrying out business. There was a time when investing in UP was considered as a grave challenge. Those challenges have now emerged as opportunities. These opportunities in the form of employment, business, good roads, sufficient electricity, better present and a bright future indicate the growing trust of the people of UP and growth and development of the state. I hope that the speed with which you are striding ahead, UP will soon cross the trillion dollar economic threshold. I congratulate my industrialist friends for their commitment and my best wishes are with you all.
We are not afraid to stand alongside the industrialists. You must have seen some people who are always hesitant to even get a photo clicked with an industrialist. But there may not be a single industrialist who does not go to their house and prostrates before them. Amar Singh ji is sitting here. He will bring out the entire history. However, when your intensions are right and honest, it is never demeaning to stand beside anyone. A pure soul like Mahatma Gandhi was never hesitant to go and even stay with the family of Birla ji. He was never hesitant to stand alongside Birla ji as his intensions were pure. Those who avoid meeting publicly but are engaged in everything behind everyone's back are the ones who are always afraid. Just as the hard work of one farmer, one artisan, banker, financer, government servant and labourer plays a signed role in nation building, the hard work of one industrialist also is crucial in the process. This is extremely unjustified to insult them or to label them as thieves. Definitely, the ones who are engaged in wrongdoings will be thrown out of the country or will languish in prisons. Earlier no action was being taken because everything used to happen behind everyone's back. It was well known as to who was siding with whom!
Therefore, everyone's cooperation is needed to carry the nation forward. It is the responsibility of every Indian to pay respect to the 125 crore Indians. The projects that have been launched today will provide employment to more than 2 lakh youngsters and the factories that will be set up will provide jobs to the local people. Everyone is going to benefit; be it a farmer, a worker or a youngster.
I had promised the 22 crore people of UP that I would return their love with interest. The inception of these projects is one of the crucial steps towards fulfilling that promise. These projects will help in doing away with the financial and Industrial misbalance in Uttar Pradesh. These will not be limited to only a few regions of the state. These will be extended to Noida, Greater Noida, Meerut, Muzzafarnagar, Jhansi, Hardoi, Amethi, Raebareli, Jaunpur, Mirzapur and Gorakhpur. These projects will prove to be huge steps in giving impetus to the Digital India and Make in India programmes. The digital infrastructure in UP such as delivery of high speed internet in UP, or laying optical fiber network or setting up IT centres will provide a new momentum, direction to UP and new opportunities to its youth. It is a part of that massive plan of the government under which we want to make the lives of the common man easier with digitalization. We want to erect a system where there will not be any scope of discrimination. The processes must show speed and sensitivity. There should not be any discrimination between the rich and the poor or high class and low class. There should be an equal treatment to all i.e. 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas'.
The Digital India Programme is playing a crucial role in ensuring fast and transparent delivery of services. More than 3 lakh common Service centres are transforming the rural lives in our villages. Now the villagers are not compelled to visit government offices for availing numerous services like ticket booking, telemedicine, Jan Aushadhi, Aadhaar, paying electricity and telephone bills, etc. The Common Service Centres in the villages, free WiFi hotspot and cheap mobile internet are making the lives of the poor and the middle class easy.
The IT sector has been our strength for several years. Today the IT export sector is at a record level. More than 40 lakh people are associated with this industry but this strength of the country has remained confined to the big cities and the metro cities only. Our government is working towards pushing this strength to the smaller towns and cities as well as the villages.
The tradition of thinking in isolation in the government has now ended. Solutions and synchronization are being encouraged by putting an end to silos. There is a direct link between government's schemes and actions. Digital India Programme and Make in India Mission are the best examples to prove this point. The falling price of mobile phones is one of the reasons for increased digital transactions. These days the prices of mobile phones have dropped because the mobile phones are being manufactured in India at an accelerated rate. Today the country is becoming a mobile manufacturing hub for the world. We are ranked second in terms of mobile manufacturing in the world and I am glad that Uttar Pradesh is taking the lead in this manufacturing revolution. At present, UP have more than 50 mobile manufacturing factories. Recently, the world's largest manufacturing unit was started in UP. Mobile manufacturing factories are also present among the factories that have been launched today.
The government has taken several decisions in the last four years for creating the present environment. These decisions include those related to Foreign Direct Investment, giving incentives for manufacturing or making the processes simple. These have created a favourable environment for the industries. GST was stuck for several years. Now it has liberated the country from the tax net. The industrial world has highly benefitted from it.
In the last few years, several significant steps have been taken to promote manufacturing in the country. By public procurement preference to make in India order, the government is pushing the various departments and institutions to make purchases of goods and services from the domestic sources. Make in India is being promoted. This order is also aiding the small industries. In the last one year, UP has twice benefitted from the changes that have been made, the policies that have been formulated and the control over crime rates under the leadership of Yogi ji. Friends, the BJP government is working on its approach of ‘holistic vision, inclusive action'.
I want to reassure the industrialists from this platform. It is just the beginning of this race for me. There is a long way to go and there is a need to hasten the process. You are an important unit of nation building and your resolution is also linked to the dreams of crores of youngsters of the country. We have both the intensions and the strength to make robust decisions in the future in order to fulfil these dreams.
As our major projects related to infrastructure get ready, disinvestment in the country will become much easier. The expenditure on logistics will especially be low. Next generation infrastructure will benefit not only the public but also the industrial sector.
There are immense possibilities in UP in the areas of IT, consumer electronics and electronics manufacturing. The MSME sector is also going to benefit with the new infrastructure in the near future. I want to make an appeal to the small and medium entrepreneurs who are still carrying out cash-based transactions to tilt towards digital transactions.
Sustainable development and ceaseless efforts are the key to realize the dreams of 125 crore Indians. The infrastructure of electricity is a crucial part of sustainable development. Affordable and continuous supply of electricity is an essential requirement for the people. Electricity is equally important for agriculture and industries. Therefore, electricity is the focus of this government. Today, the country is striding towards green energy from conventional energy. The government is particularly emphasizing upon solar energy. Our initiative of the International Solar Alliance has got recognition world over. UP is about to become a hub for solar energy. A few months back, a massive solar plant was inaugurated in Mirzapur. Today, the foundation stone of another plant has been laid.
Brothers and sisters,
Today there is a crying need for solar technology and machines like solar pumps not only in India but also in African and other developing countries. I urge all my industrialist friends to come forward and make the best use of the unique environment that has been created in the field of clean and green energy in India.
The work ranging from generation of electricity to its distribution to every household is moving at an unprecedented rate. Our energy deficit has shrunk from 4.2% to less than 1% within four years. Coal that was once the reason for a scam is now being produced at a record level. Today, power grids don't fail due to lack of coal.
Moreover, all the reforms that have been brought to the field of electricity have saved money of the people of the country.
The UDAY scheme has given a new lease of life to the distribution companies. With the help of UJALA scheme, the installed LED lights have reduced the electricity bills in the last three years with the savings of Rs.50 thousand crores especially for the middle class families and for the Nagarpalikas who pay the bills for the street lights. If Modi had announced a concession of Rs.50 thousand crores, it would have made headlines. People would have been impressed. However, we formulated a scheme that helped the people to save Rs.50 thousand crores! The country is transforming and working with the right intensions will help in proper development.
Today electricity is easily accessible. India has jumped about 82 places in the World Bank's Ease of getting electricity rankings. There has been such a commendable improvement! Today, efforts are on to provide every village with electricity. We are hastening the process of achieving our goal of electrifying every village of the country by March next year.
I am surprised that some people just find reasons to be after us. If we say that we have done something, they will say that no, it wasn't done. I want to tell my critics that if you are looking for facts to criticize and condemn Modi, there were projects that were pending for 70 years. If at all you want to look for facts you will certainly come across the fact that certain things were pending for the last 70 years. Well, we are also trying to achieve our goal of providing uninterrupted power supply to the country. Therefore, the network of power transmission is being strengthened.
The Ghatampur-Hapur transmission line that was launched today is a part of the same plan. Yogi ji's government is being encouraged to rejuvenate the system of transmission that was disrupted during the previous government's tenure. We have had Parliamentarians from UP's Lucknow for a long time. Our respected former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Bajpayee ji keeps saying that he wants to see an India that is prosperous, capable and sensitive, where there will not be any gap between the rich and the poor or between labour and capital or between administration and the citizens.
Atal ji had not only dreamt of it but had also clearly chalked out a road map to achieve the same. He had once said that roads were like the palm lines. As a result of this thought, he focused upon infrastructure. We are striving hard to carry forward this idea to the next level according to the needs of the 21st century.
We are trying to complete a plethora of projects such as the country's largest expressway, the Purvanchal Expressway and Defence industrial corridor at Bundelkhand at a rapid pace. Friends, the government is making every possible effort to make the best practices of the world available to the youth and the 125 crore Indians. Our one and only roadmap is to fulfil the dreams of the crores of people and to build a New India with public participation. I congratulate you all from the bottom of my heart for everything that you are doing for Uttar Pradesh and for the country. One or two months ago I had gone to Mumbai and invited the industrialists. Usually people invite them but don't have the courage to say anything. I had shown a presentation to them through which I explained that although they were so rich and prosperous with big businesses but the corporate investment in agriculture is just 1% in the India. It is one of the lowest among the countries of the world. I had spent half a day planning out how the corporate world could start investing in agriculture. This 1% too was dominated by tractor makers and urea manufacturers. I had urged the industrialists to come up with ideas of how they could help every farmer, how they could make value addition or incorporate technology in agriculture. Warehouses, cold storage, packaging etc. are things that can highly benefit the farmers. I had urged the industrialists to work in that direction. I had told them that they could form a brainstorming team and discuss about the various areas. The more corporate investment goes into agriculture; stronger will be the farmers' ability to produce more and more. Sometimes, a major part of the yield is wasted. Just a while ago, Suri ji was saying that we could produce fruit juices out of the pulps of the fruits that are grown in the country. This decision is going to highly benefit the farmers. The consumer of juices will also become stronger. A strong citizen makes a strong nation.
In a nutshell, I wish to link the industries with the village life. We need to think how these minor things can be incorporated in village life. This is significant in the coming days and I am emphasizing on it. I believe that the results will follow soon. I also believe that just like we have put the Rs.60 thousand crores project on ground, the other projects such as the Rs.50 thousand crores worth project are also on the verge of completion as Yogi ji was saying. I believe that this really is a great achievement. I would like to congratulate your entire team once again.
Thank you all! Moreover, being an MP from Uttar Pradesh, I feel delighted to know about the development of the state. It is my responsibility towards the people of Uttar Pradesh and the people have a right over me. Therefore, I may visit Uttar Pradesh twice, 5 times or 15 times; I am for you and at your service.
Thanks a lot!