My dear fellow citizens,
One year ago, you had entrusted me with the task of building a new India and putting a derailed economy back on track. We have achieved a lot. Economic growth has been revived, and is amongst the fastest in the world. Inflation is substantially down. Fiscal prudence has been restored. Confidence is up. Foreign investments have increased. This positive outlook is endorsed by major rating agencies and international institutions across the world.
Bold reforms pending for decades have been implemented. Diesel prices have been decontrolled. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is slated to be introduced next year. By facilitating companies to Make in India through a focus on Ease of Doing Business, new jobs are being created. Cooking gas subsidies are being paid directly to beneficiary bank accounts under PAHAL – ensuring the right amount of subsidy, reaches the right people, at the right time. FDI limits in insurance, railways and defence production have been raised. Moreover, we have embraced the states as equal partners in national development, working as Team India in the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism.
Political interference in public sector banking decisions is a thing of the past. Transparent coal auctions and allotments have mobilized potential revenues of Rs. 3.35 lakh crores to coal-bearing states over the lifespan of mines. And reform in the Mines Act has replaced a discretionary mechanism with a transparent auction process. To combat black money, a Special Investigation Team has been appointed and a new stringent law passed.
Nearly Rs. 1 lakh crores of public investment have been allocated in this year’s budget to improve physical as well as digital connectivity. A comprehensive transformation of the railways into a locomotive of growth has begun. Stalled highway projects are being restructured and revived. Power generation is at an all-time high. A new National Infrastructure Investment Fund has been set up with an annual government funding of Rs. 20,000 crores.
Economic growth benefits all Indians. Growth however, has meaning only if it empowers the poor, farmers, women, as well as middle and neo-middle classes of all communities. To enable us to continue paying remunerative prices to our farmers, we secured a permanent ‘peace clause’ at the WTO. The world’s largest financial inclusion project has brought banking to the doorsteps of the poor, opening a record 15 crore plus bank accounts with deposits of over Rs. 15,800 crores. An affordable social security system including pension, life insurance and accident insurance, has already witnessed 6.75 crore enrolments in its first week. MUDRA has been set up with a corpus of Rs. 20,000 crores to help our small businessmen, who despite being our biggest job creators have historically been starved of credit.
A lot has been achieved. However, this is just the beginning. There is much more to be done and I know your expectations are high. A year ago I gave you my word that while I might perhaps commit errors, I would always act with pure intentions and spend every available moment working for a better India. I have kept my word. I seek your continued support, suggestions and blessings in building the India of our dreams.
Always in your service.
My dear fellow citizens,
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met today with His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The meeting reviewed progress on various ongoing bilateral initiatives, including those taken under the aegis of the Strategic Partnership Council established between both countries. Prime Minister expressed India's keenness to see greater investment from Saudi Arabia, including in key sectors like energy, IT and defence manufacturing.
The meeting also allowed exchange of perspectives on regional developments, including the situation in Afghanistan.
Prime Minister conveyed his special thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for looking after the welfare of the Indian diaspora during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister also conveyed his warm greetings and regards to His Majesty the King and His Highness the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.