PM Modi addresses The Times Group Global Business Summit 2024

Published By : Admin | February 9, 2024 | 20:12 IST
“This is India’s Time”
“Every development expert group in the world is discussing how India has transformed in the last 10 years”
“World trusts India today”
“Stability, consistency and continuity make for the ‘first principles’ of our overall policy making”
“India is a welfare state. We ensured that the government itself reaches every eligible beneficiary”
“Productive expenditure in the form of capital expenditure, unprecedented investment in welfare schemes, control on wasteful expenditure and financial discipline - Four main factors in each of our budgets”
“Completing projects in a time-bound manner has become the identity of our government”
“We are addressing the challenges of the 20th century and also fulfilling the aspirations of the 21st century”
“White Paper regarding policies followed by the country in the 10 years before 2014 presented in this session of Parliament”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the ET Now Global Business Summit 2024 at Hotel Taj Palace in New Delhi today.

The Prime Minister began his address by highlighting the significance of the theme of ‘Disruption, Development and Diversification chosen by the Global Business Summit 2024. “When it comes to disruption, development and diversification, everybody can agree that this is India’s time”, the PM remarked noting the growing trust towards India in the world. Speaking about the unprecedented enthusiasm towards India in Davos, the Prime Minister recalled the discussions about India being termed an unprecedented economic success story, its digital and physical infrastructure soaring to new heights, and India dominating every sector in the world. PM Modi also recalled a senior official comparing India's capability to that of a ‘raging bull’. The Prime Minister said that development expert groups in the world discussing India’s transformation in the past 10 years show the growing faith of the world towards India today. “Never before have we seen such positive sentiment regarding India's potential and success in the world”, Shri Modi remarked recalling his acclamation from the Red Fort – ‘This is the time, this is the right time’.

Underlining that there comes a time during the development journey of any country when all the circumstances are in its favor, the Prime Minister said that it is at this time when the country makes itself strong for centuries to come. “I see the same time for India today. This time period is unprecedented. In a way, the nation’s virtuous cycle has started”, PM Modi said, mentioning the continuously increasing growth rate and declining fiscal deficit, export rising and current account deficit remaining low, productive investment witnessing a record high and inflation under control, rising opportunities and income, declining poverty, growing consumption and corporate profitability and a record decrease in bank NPA. The Prime Minister further added that production and productivity are both going up.

Expressing delight in the praise received by economic experts and journalists regarding this year’s Interim Budget terming it as ‘not a populist budget’, the Prime Minister thanked them for their reviews, but also drew attention to the ‘first principles’ of the Budget or overall policy-making. “Those first principles are - stability, consistency and continuity”, Prime Minister Modi said adding that this budget is an extension of these principles.

Looking back on the Coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister recalled how the entire period that followed turned out to be a huge test for governments all over the world where no one had a clue about dealing with the twin challenges of health and economy. He emphasized that during this period, India gave priority to saving lives. “If there is life, there is everything”, he remarked, highlighting the government’s effort to gather life-saving resources and make people aware of the dangers. He stated that the government decided to provide free ration for the poor, focused on Made in India vaccines and also ensured quick vaccine availability. “The government addressed both health and livelihood demands”, PM Modi said as he mentioned direct benefit transfer to women’s accounts, financial assistance to street vendors and small entrepreneurs, and measures to tackle farming-related issues. He said that the government took the resolve to convert disaster into opportunity. Recalling the opinion of experts at the time to print more money to increase demand and help big businesses, the Prime Minister pointed out that this approach adopted by many governments of the world resulted in rising inflation levels. “There were many attempts to put pressure on us too”, the Prime Minister continued, “but we knew the ground reality and understood it. We moved forward based on our experience and our conscience.” PM Modi credited India’s policies, which were once being questioned but proved to be correct, for the economy’s strong position today.

“India is a welfare state. The government’s priority is to make the lives of the common citizens easier and improve the quality of life”, the Prime Minister remarked. He underlined that on the one hand, new schemes were created, while on the other, the government took the benefits to every eligible beneficiary. “We invested not only in the present but also in the future of the country”, he added. The Prime Minister highlighted the four main factors in each of the budgets and mentioned record productive expenditure in the form of capital expenditure, unprecedented investment in welfare schemes, control on wasteful expenditure and financial discipline. He underscored that a balance was maintained and the set targets were achieved in all four subjects. Crediting the mantra of ‘money saved is money earned’ in achieving the desired targets, the Prime Minister mentioned completing projects in a time-bound manner. Mentioning rising project costs caused due to delays, PM Modi gave the example of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor project launched in 2008 and informed that the project costs rose from Rs 16,500 crores to more than Rs 50,000 crores upon completion last year. He also mentioned the Bogibeel Bridge of Assam launched in 1998 whose project costs rose from Rs 1100 crores to Rs 5,000 crores upon completion in 2018.

Prime Minister Modi also touched upon saving the country's money by bringing transparency to the system and using technology. He mentioned getting rid of 10 crore fake beneficiaries who existed only on paper, putting an end to the leakage of funds with Direct Benefit Transfer helping save Rs. 3.25 lakh crore from falling into the wrong hands, GeM Portal for purchase of government goods resulting in savings of Rs 65,000 crores, and diversification of oil procurement saving Rs 25,000 crores. “In the last year, we saved Rs 24,000 crores just by blending ethanol in petrol”, he added. He also mentioned the Swacchta Abhiyan where the government made Rs 1100 crores by selling office junk lying around in government buildings.

The Prime Minister underlined that the government schemes were created in such a way that the citizens save money. He touched upon the Jal Jeevan Mission where clean drinking water was ensured for the poor, thereby reducing their expenses on illnesses incurred through waterborne diseases. Referring to Ayushman Bharat, PM Modi said that it has saved the poor of the country from spending Rs 1 lakh crore while Rs 30,000 crores have been saved through 80% cheaper medicines at PM Jan Aushadhi Kendras.

Shri Modi reiterated that he is accountable not only to the present generation but also to many future generations. Thus, giving top priority to financial management in policies and decisions.

Giving the example of electricity, the Prime Minister mentioned the Rooftop solar scheme for one crore houses where people can reduce their electricity bill to zero by generating electricity and also earn money by selling the extra electricity. He also mentioned LED bulbs provided under the Ujala scheme that helped save Rs 20,000 crores in electricity bills.

The Prime Minister pointed out that even though slogans for eradicating poverty have been raised in the country for the past seven decades, they failed to make an impact and those giving suggestions from air-conditioned rooms became millionaires while the poor remained poor. After 2014, the Prime Minister said that all-round work began resulting in 25 crore people rising out of poverty in the last 10 years. He credited the policies of our government for the same. “I have come here from poverty so I know how to fight poverty. By moving forward in this direction, we will reduce the poverty of the country and make our country developed.”, Shri Modi exclaimed.

“India’s governance model is moving forward on two streams simultaneously”, the Prime Minister said. He emphasized that on the one hand, the challenges of the 20th century are being addressed while on the other hand, the government is striving to fulfill the aspirations of the 21st century. Drawing comparisons of development parameters, the Prime Minister mentioned building 11 crore toilets and also creating new possibilities in the space sector, providing 4 crore houses to the poor while developing more than 10,000 Atal Tinkering Labs, establishing more than 300 medical colleges while completing the work of freight corridor and defence corridor, running Vande Bharat trains as well as about 10,000 electric buses in many cities including Delhi. He also mentioned connecting crores of Indians with the banking sector and creating multiple facilities through Digital India and Fintech.

Touching upon the curse of incremental thinking, the Prime Minister explained that it creates a limit and does not allow one to move at its own pace. He pointed out that a similar issue existed in the bureaucracy when the present government came to power. To bring about change, the Prime Minister said that he decided to work at a much larger scale and greater speed than the previous governments. Throwing light on the comparisons of work done till 2014 with the last 10 years, PM Modi mentioned electrification of railway lines increasing from about 20,000 km to more than 40,000 km, construction of four-lane National Highways increasing from 18,000 km to about 30,000 km, expansion of Metro Rail network from less than 250 km to more than 650 km. Under the Jal Jeevan Mission since 2019, the Prime Minister informed that 10 crore homes in rural areas received tap water connections in the last 5 years alone compared to 3.5 crore tap water connections in India in seven decades till 2014.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the policies followed by the country in the 10 years before 2014 were actually taking the country on the path of poverty and mentioned the White Paper tabled in the Budget Session of Parliament regarding this has also been presented in this session of Parliament. He pointed out the great disappointment among investors around the world due to scams and policy paralysis leading to a huge risk of losing the confidence of investors. He underlined that now that India’s economy is in a strong position, the government has presented the entire truth before the country in the form of the White Paper.

“India is soaring to new heights of progress”, the Prime Minister said assuring everyone that the country is on the path to becoming the third-largest economy in the world. He also expressed confidence that the present government’s third term will witness huge decisions and preparations are already underway for new schemes to eliminate poverty while giving a new impetus to India's development. He informed that the suggestions from more than 15 lakh people have been taken into consideration. Concluding the address, the Prime Minister said, “New India will work with super speed. This is Modi’s guarantee”.

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