Excellencies,
Leaders of the BRICS business community,
Namaskar!

I am pleased that as soon as we set foot on the land of South Africa, the beginning of our program is being made through the BRICS Business Forum.

First of all, I would like to thank President Ramaphosa for his invitation and for organizing this meeting.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the BRICS Business Council, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes.

Over the past ten years, the BRICS Business Council has played a very important role in enhancing our economic cooperation.

When the first BRICS summit was held in 2009, the world was coming out of a major economic crisis.

At that time, BRICS was seen as a ray of hope for the global economy.

In the present time as well, amid the COVID pandemic, tensions, and conflicts, the world is grappling with economic challenges.

In such times, the BRICS nations once again have a significant role to play.

Friends,

Despite the turmoil in the global economy, India is currently the fastest-growing major economy in the world.

Soon, India will become a five trillion-dollar economy.

There is no doubt that in the coming years, India will be the Growth Engine of the world.

This is because India has transformed times of adversity and challenges into an opportunity for economic reforms.

In the past few years, the reforms we have undertaken in mission mode have led to consistent improvement in the ease of doing business in India.

We have reduced the compliance burden.

We are replacing red tape with a red carpet.

The implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has boosted investor confidence.

Sectors such as defense and space, which were previously restricted, have now been opened up for the private sector.

We have particularly focused on public service delivery and good governance.

Through the use of technology, India has made a significant leap in financial inclusion.

The greatest benefit of this has been received by our rural women.

Today, millions of people in India receive Direct Benefit Transfers with just a click.

Over 360 billion dollars worth of such transfers have been made so far.

This has increased transparency in service delivery, reduced corruption, and minimized middlemen.

India has the most affordable per gigabyte data prices.

Today, from street vendors to large shopping malls, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is used for transactions.

Today, India stands as the country with the highest number of digital transactions in the world.

Countries like the UAE, Singapore, and France are also joining this platform.

There are numerous possibilities to work on this with BRICS countries as well.

The large scale investments being made in India's infrastructure are changing the country's landscape.

In this year's budget, we have allocated around 120 billion dollars for infrastructure.

Through this investment, we are laying a strong foundation for a new India of the future.

Transformations are taking place rapidly in rail, road, waterways, and airways.

New highways are being built in India at a pace of ten thousand kilometers per year.

The number of airports has doubled in the last 9 years.

To boost investment and production, we have introduced the Production Linked Incentives scheme.

The reduction in logistics costs is making India's manufacturing sector more competitive.

In the field of renewable energy, India is one of the world leaders.

We are actively taking steps to make India a global manufacturing hub in sectors such as solar energy, wind energy, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, and green ammonia.

It is natural that this will create a substantial market for renewable technology in India.

Today, India has the world's third-largest startup ecosystem.

There are more than a hundred unicorns in India.

In sectors like IT, Telecom, FinTech, AI, and semiconductors, we are promoting the vision of "Make in India, Make for the World."

All these efforts have had a direct positive impact on the lives of the common people.

Over the past nine years, there has been a nearly threefold increase in people's incomes.

Women have been a significant contributor to India's economic development.

From IT to space, banking to healthcare, women are contributing shoulder-to-shoulder with men towards the progress of the nation.

The people of India have pledged to build a developed nation by 2047.

Friends,

I invite all of you to be a part of India's journey of development.

The COVID pandemic has taught us the importance of resilient and inclusive supply chains.

Mutual trust and transparency are crucial for this.

By combining each other's strengths, we can contribute significantly to the well-being of the entire world, especially the Global South.

Excellencies,

Once again, I extend my congratulations to the leaders of the BRICS business community for their contributions.

I also express my gratitude to my friend President Ramaphosa for hosting this outstanding event.

Thank you.

 

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The momentum in Lok Sabha election campaigning escalates as the NDA's leading campaigner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ramps up his efforts ahead of the second phase. Today, PM Modi addressed an enthusiastic crowd in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena. He declared that the people of Madhya Pradesh know that once they get entangled in a problem, it's best to keep their distance from it. “The Congress party represents such an obstacle to development. During that time, Congress had pushed MP to the back of the line among the nation's BIMARU states,” the PM said.

Slamming the Congress for keeping those who contribute the most to the nation at the back, PM Modi asserted, “For the BJP, there is nothing bigger than the nation, while for the Congress, their own family is everything. Hence, the Congress government for so many years did not fulfill demands like One Rank One Pension (OROP) for soldiers. As soon as we formed the government, we implemented OROP. We also addressed the concerns of soldiers standing at the border and we have asked our jawans to fire ten bullets in reply to one.”

Training guns at Congress Party, PM Modi said, “As you all know, during the time of independence, the Congress accepted the division of the country in the name of religion to gain power. Today, once again, the Congress is scrambling for power. These people are once again using religious appeasement as a political tool. But Modi is standing as a wall between you and Congress' plans to loot you.”

Furthermore, he said, “The Congress has been conspiring to deprive Dalits, backward classes, and tribals of their rights for a long time. In Karnataka, the Congress government has essentially declared the entire Muslim community as OBCs. This means that the Congress has begun to give reservation to the Muslim community in education and government jobs by taking it away from the OBCs. The Constitution of the country does not allow reservation based on religion, so Congress has resorted to this deceit. Even Dr. B.R. Ambedkar himself was strongly against reservation based on religion. However, drowning in vote banks and appeasement, the Congress wants to implement this model of Karnataka across the entire country.”

The PM came out all guns blazing against Congress’s appeasement politics. He reminisced, “Back in 2014, the Congress stated in its manifesto that, if necessary, they would even enact a law to provide reservation based on religion. At that time, the country ousted the Congress from power, but now they are talking about completing this unfinished task. If the Congress comes to power here in MP, they will snatch the share of reservation from our Kushwaha, Gurjar, Yadav, Gadaria, and Dhakad Prajapati communities, as well as from our Kumhar, Teli, Manjhi, Nai, and Sonar communities, to give it to their favored vote bank. Will the people of MP allow this to happen?”

“According to the Congress, they would even provide the benefits of poverty alleviation schemes based on religion. Because the Congress bluntly states that Muslims have the first right on the country's resources,” he added.

Accusing the Congress’s Shehzaade of hatching a deep conspiracy, PM Modi remarked, “One of the Congress leaders is talking about conducting an X-ray of people's assets across the country. Whatever you earn, the Mangalsutra, gold, and silver that our mothers and sisters have, Congress wants to seize it and distribute it among their vote bank supporters. Even the wealth left after you leave this world won't go to your sons and daughters. Congress wants to snatch more than half of your earnings. For this, Congress wants to impose an Inheritance tax on you.”

In a scathing critique of the Congress's proposal to impose an Inheritance tax, PM Modi said, “When Mrs. Indira Gandhi passed away, her property was supposed to go to her children. If there had been the previous law, the government would have taken a portion of it. At that time, there was talk that, in order to save their property, her son and the then Prime Minister simply abolished the inheritance law. When it came to their own interests, they removed the law. Today, driven by the greed for power once again, these people want to reintroduce the same law. After accumulating limitless wealth for generations without taxes on their families, now they want to impose taxes on your inheritance. That's why the country is saying – ‘Congress ki loot – Jindagi ke saath bhi, jindagi ke baad bhi’.”

PM Modi urged that the stronger the voter turnout on May 7th, the stronger Modi will be. “I have one more request: please go door-to-door, convey my regards to the people, and inspire them to vote,” he said.