It is imperative for development that our administrative processes are transparent, responsible, accountable and answerable to the people: PM
Fighting corruption must be our collective responsibility: PM Modi
Corruption hurts development and disrupts social balance: PM Modi

Namaskar!

My Cabinet colleague, Dr. Jitendra Singh ji, members of CVC & RBI, Secretaries of Government of India, officers of CBI, Chief Secretaries of States, heads of State CID teams, Senior Managers of Banks, and all the dignitaries participating in this programme! I congratulate the CBI team for organizing the National Conference on Vigilance and Anti-Corruption.

The vigilance awareness week begins from today. The country is getting ready to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Sardar Saheb was the architect of administrative systems of the country besides 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat'. As the first Home Minister of the country, he tried to create a system that is for the ordinary citizens of the country and has ethics in its policies. But we have seen that in the subsequent decades, different circumstances were created. You all might recall that scams of thousands of crores of rupees, the network of the shell companies, tax harassment, tax evasion, etc. were the center of discussion for several years.

Friends,

When the country decided to bring a major transformation in 2014, when it moved towards a new direction, the major challenge was to change the existing environment. Would the country go on like this; will it continue? There was a need to change this thinking. After the swearing-in, the first 2-3 orders of this government included a decision to form a committee against black money. It was pending despite the Supreme Court order. This decision showed the commitment of the government against corruption. Over the years, the country has moved ahead with zero tolerance approach on corruption. Since 2014, there have been reforms in the administrative systems of the country, the banking system, the health sector, the education sector, labour, agriculture, and other sectors so far. This was a period of great reforms. Today, on the basis of these reforms, India is fully engaged in making the campaign of a self-reliant India successful.

We aim to take India to the frontline countries of the world. But friends, for development it is essential to ensure that the administrative systems that we have are transparent, responsible, accountable and answerable to the public. The biggest enemy of all these systems is corruption. Corruption is not just a matter of a few rupees. On the one hand, corruption hurts the development of the country and at the same time corruption disrupts the social balance. And most importantly, corruption plagues the trust that one places on the system of the country and the sense of belongingness. And hence, combating corruption is not just the responsibility of an agency or an institution but is a collective responsibility.

Friends,

Besides the CBI, other agencies are also participating in this conference. In a way, for these three days, almost all those agencies that play a crucial role in 'Satark Bharat, Samriddh Bharat' will be on a single platform. These three days are like an opportunity for us because corruption is not a stand-alone challenge in itself. When it is about the country, the scope of vigilance is very wide. Be it corruption, economic offences, network of drugs, money laundering, or terrorism, terror funding, it has been seen often that all these are related. Therefore, we have to do systemic checks, effective audits and capacity building and training against corruption together with a holistic approach. A synergy among all agencies, a cooperative spirit is the need of the hour today. I am confident that this conference will emerge as an effective platform for this and will also suggest new routes for 'Satark Bharat Samriddh Bharat'.

Friends,

In the vigilance awareness programme in 2016, I had said that there is no place for corruption in a country like ours which is fighting poverty. The poor people of the country face the maximum impact of corruption. The honest person faces a lot of problems due to corruption. You have seen that the poor did not get their rights under the conditions that had been prevailing here for decades. Earlier conditions were different, but now you see that through DBT, the benefits are 100% reaching to the poor directly; the funds are reaching their bank accounts. Due to DBT alone, more than 1 lakh 70 thousand crore rupees have been prevented from going into the wrong hands. Today it can be said with a great pride that the country has left behind that era of scams of thousands of crores of rupees. Today, we are satisfied that the trust of common people in the institutions of the country has increased again and positivity has been created.

Friends,

There is a lot of emphasis from the government to ensure that neither the government should pressurize nor should it be lacking. The government should be available only up to the point it is required. People should not feel any pressure from the government and at the same time must not feel the lack of government either. Therefore, over 1500 laws have been abolished in the past years and various rules and regulations have been simplified. Be it pension, scholarship, water bill, electricity bill, loan from banks, need to get a passport or a license, some kind of government support, setting up a start-up, a person doesn't have to physically go and deal with any official. He does not have to stand in long queues for hours. Now there are digital options to do the same.

Friends,

There is a saying - 'प्रक्षालनाद्धि पंकस्य दूरात् स्पर्शनम् वरम्''। That is, rather than cleaning the dirt later, it is better not to let it get dirty in the first place. It is better to focus more on preventive vigilance than Punitive vigilance. It is necessary to attack the circumstances that cause corruption to flourish. We all know how once upon a time the game of transfers and postings used to be played at higher levels. It was a different industry altogether.

Friends, Kautilya had said, "न भक्षयन्ति ये त्वर्थान् न्यायतो वर्धयन्ति च । नित्याधिकाराः कार्यास्ते राज्ञः प्रियहिते रताः ॥" That is, those who do not loot the government money but rather help in growing it by using proper methods and those officials who work in the interest of the state should be appointed to important posts. But a few years ago this was forgotten in a way. The country has also witnessed the great damage caused due to the same. The government has shown the willingness to change the situation. Many policy decisions have been taken. Now the period of recommendations in appointments to higher posts and of other types of pressure is over. In Group B and Group C services, as Dr. Jitendra Singh has just mentioned, the obligation of interview for jobs has also been abolished. That is, the scope for any kind of gameplay has also ended. With the formation of Bank Board Bureau, transparency has also been ensured in appointments to senior positions in banks.

Friends,

Many legal reforms have been made to strengthen the vigilance system of the country; several new laws have been introduced. The laws that the country has enacted on curbing black money and benami properties, the steps that have been taken have been set as examples before the other countries of the world. Action on the corrupt has been greatly facilitated through the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. Today India is among the few countries in the world where the system of face-less tax assessment has been implemented. Today, India is among those countries where technology is being used more and more to prevent corruption. The priority of the government has been to provide better technology to the agencies related to vigilance, provide capacity building, ensure access to the latest infrastructure and equipment so that they can work more effectively and deliver better results.

Friends,

In the midst of these efforts, we also have to remember that the campaign against corruption is not a one-day or just a one-week war. In this context, today I am going to mention another major challenge before you. This challenge has been gradually growing in the past decades and has taken a formidable form in front of the country. This challenge is - the dynasty of corruption i.e. corruption transferred from one generation to another.

Friends,

We have seen in the past decades that when one generation does not get the right punishment for corrupt practices, the other generation commits corruption with even more power. He sees that when nothing has happened to the person getting crores of rupees black money or has received a low intensity punishment, he gets encouraged. Consequently, in many states it has become a part of the political tradition. This dynasty of corruption, which goes on from one generation to the generation, can hollow out the country like a termite.

Laxity in a single case against corruption is not limited to just that case, it forms a chain and sets the foundation for future corruption and scams. When appropriate action is not taken, the media and the society starts taking the crime lightly. A large section of people and the media might know that the person had got hold of thousands of crores of rupees through wrong means but they start taking it easy. This situation creates a major obstacle in the development of the country. This is the biggest hurdle in front of a prosperous India and a self-reliant India.

Just imagine if one of us is working in PWD and the task assigned is to look after the engineering work. The person decides to build a bridge somewhere solely for the interest of money. So he becomes negligent about the work. He takes some money, divides some among his colleagues and the contractor also feels that it is mutually beneficial for everyone. The bridge is somehow constructed and it is ensured that it looked good for inauguration. The Money is taken home; the corrupt official retires without getting caught ever. But imagine that one day that official's young son is passing over that bridge and suddenly that bridge falls. At that time one would realize that it might be just corruption for him but how many lives could possibly be lost! And if your son passes away, then one realises that if the bridge was constructed honestly, he didn't have to lose his only son. Corruption can have serious consequences.

The onus of responsibility to change this situation is on all of us and more on you. I hope that this topic will also be discussed in the national conference. And you also have to pay attention to one more thing. The news on corruption reaches through the media, but when stern and timely action is taken against corruption, such examples too should be prominently placed before the people. This increases the society's belief and trust in the system and also sends a message among the corrupt that it is difficult to escape.

Today, through this programme, I also make an appeal to all the countrymen to continue strengthening India and defeating corruption through the fight called 'India vs Corruption'. I am confident that by doing so, we will be able to fulfill the dream of building the ideal India that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had imagined, and creating a prosperous and a self-reliant India. Best wishes to all of you for the upcoming festivals.

Stay healthy and take care of yourself!

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Srinagar Viksit Bharat Ambassadors Unite for 'Viksit Bharat, Viksit Kashmir'
April 20, 2024

Srinagar hosted a momentous gathering under the banner of the Viksit Bharat Ambassador or VBA 2024. Held at the prestigious Radisson Collection, the event served as a unique platform, bringing together diverse voices and perspectives to foster the nation's collective advancement towards development.

Graced by the esteemed presence of Union Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri as the Chief Guest, the event saw the attendance of over 400 distinguished members of society, representing influencers, industry stalwarts, environmentalists, and young minds, including first-time voters. Presidents of Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Kashmir Industrial Corporation, House Boat Owners Association, and members of the writers' association were also present.

The VBA 2024 meetup began with an interesting panel discussion on Viksit Kashmir, which focused on the symbiotic relationship between industry growth and sustainable development. This was followed by an interactive session by Minister Puri, who engaged with the attendees through an engaging presentation. Another event highlight was the live doodle capture by a local artist of the discussions.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri discussed how India has changed in the last decade. He said India is on track to become one of the world's top three economies, surpassing Germany and Japan soon.

 

"The country is set to surpass Germany and Japan and will become the world's third-largest economy by 2027-28," he said.

 

According to official estimates, India's economy is projected to reach a remarkable $40 trillion by 2040. Presently, the economy stands at approximately $3.5 trillion.

He also stressed that India's progress is incomplete without a developed Kashmir.

 

"Bharat cannot be Viksit without a Viksit Kashmir," he said.

Hardeep Puri reflected on India's economic journey, noting that in the 1700s, India contributed a significant 25% to the global GDP. However, as experts documented, this figure gradually dwindled to a mere 2% by 1947.

 

He highlighted how India, once renowned as the 'sone ki chidiya' (golden bird), lost its economic strength during British colonial rule and continued to struggle even after gaining independence, remaining categorized under the 'Fragile Five' until 2014.

 

Puri emphasized that the true shift in India's economic trajectory commenced under the Modi government. Over the past decade, the nation has ascended from among the top 11 economies to ranking among the top 5 globally.

The Union Minister also encouraged everyone to participate in the Viksit Bharat 2047 mission, emphasizing that achieving this dream requires the active engagement and coordination of all "ambassadors" of change.

He highlighted India's rapid progress in metro network development, stating that the operational metro network spans approximately 950 kilometres. He expressed confidence that within the next 2-3 years, India's metro network will expand to become the second-largest globally, surpassing that of the United States.

 

Regarding Jammu and Kashmir, he mentioned that through the Smart project, over 68 projects totalling Rs 6,800 crores were conceptualized, with Rs 3,200 crores worth of projects already completed.

 

He further stated that Jammu and Kashmir possesses more potential than Switzerland but has faced setbacks due to man-made crises. He emphasized the Modi government's dedication to the comprehensive development of the region.

The minister highlighted a significant government policy shift from women-centred to women-led development. Drawing from his extensive experience as a diplomat spanning 39 years, he shared that when a country transitions to women-led development, there is typically a substantial GDP increase of 20-30%. 

He mentioned that the government is actively pursuing this objective, citing examples such as the Awas Yojana, where houses are registered in the names of women household members, and the implementation of 33% reservation for women in elected bodies as part of this broader mission. 

He also provided insight into the transformative impact of the Modi government's welfare policies on people's lives. He highlighted the Ujjwala Yojana, noting that 32 crore individuals have received LPG cylinders, a significant increase from the 14 crore connections in 2014. Additionally, he mentioned the expansion of the gas pipeline network, which has grown from 14,000 km to over 20,000 km over the past ten years.

The Vision of Viksit Bharat: 140 crore dreams, 1 purpose 

The Viksit Bharat Ambassador movement aims to encourage citizens to take responsibility for contributing to India's development. VBA meet-ups and events are being organized in various parts of the country to achieve this goal. These events provide a platform for participants to engage in constructive discussions, exchange ideas, and explore practical strategies for contributing to the movement.

Join the movement on the NaMo App: https://www.narendramodi.in/ViksitBharatAmbassador

The NaMo App: Bridging the Gap

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's app, the NaMo App, is a digital bridge that empowers citizens to participate in the Viksit Bharat Ambassador movement. The NaMo App serves as a one-stop platform for individuals to:

Join the cause: Sign up and become a Viksit Bharat Ambassador and make 10 other people

Amplify Development Stories: Access updates, news, and resources related to the movement.

Create/Join Events: Create and discover local events, meet-ups, and volunteer opportunities.

Connect/Network: Find and interact with like-minded individuals who share the vision of a developed India.

The 'VBA Event' section in the 'Onground Tasks' tab of the 'Volunteer Module' of the NaMo App allows users to stay updated with the ongoing VBA events.