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#RailBudget2016 a progressive, dynamic & passenger centric: PM Modi
Be it the poor, women or youth, #RailBudget2016 caters to all sections of society: PM Modi
Last year we have seen lot of success & this budget is an effort to further improve on this: PM on #RailBudget2016
Along with using latest technology, investments in Railways has been given importance to: PM on #RailBudget2016
Numerous steps are being taken for increasing the railway connectivity in the North-East: PM Modi #RailBudget2016

I congratulate Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu, on presenting a thoughtful budget for the dynamic Railways of a progressive nation.

This budget strives for the dignity of the poor, honour of the women, enthusiasm of the youth and broadening the smile of the middle class.

This budget presents an optimistic strategy for the future, while giving a complete account of the promises made in the budget of previous year. We have achieved a lot in the past one year and this budget presents an effort to make it further better.

Cleanliness and upgradation of passenger facilities and technology remains the basic Mantra of last two budgets. Beside this, Railway projects have been defined on the basis of ‘Commissioning’, in place of ‘Completion’. I believe this policy-transformation is a Paradigm-shift in nation’s economy. The special arrangement of the ‘Super-fast trains’ for the poor through launch of Antodaya Express and Deen-Dyalu rail coaches , reiterate the commitment of our government to the poor.

This budget will have long-term positive impact on the national economy by effective execution, enhanced capital investment and infusion of technology along with IT, in the Railways.

Appropriate steps has been taken towards fulfilling the Government’s promise to enhance connectivity in the backward areas of the country, especially the North-East. Beside, the chronic problem of our rail routes due to the lack of capacity, has been done away with to a large extent over the past one year. This Rail Budget has further strengthened the measures..

We have seen the budgets before Mr. Suresh Prabhu. I don’t want to criticize those, but if I see the Budgets of last five years by the previous Government, the Budget by Suresh Prabhuji has taken a big jump with 2.5 times higher investment. This budget will be an important tool towards the renovation of the nation. The best thing is that the State Governments are also enthusiastically participating in the expansion of our Railways. A detailed road-map in this direction has also been presented. Along with that an effort has been made to seek the co-operation of Passengers and the Railway Employees, as well. Discipline in spending, efficiency in management and accountability to the consumer is the focus of our Government, which is reflected in this budget.

My congratulations once to the Railways Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Rail Family and the Team Railway.

Thank You very much.

Pariksha Pe Charcha with PM Modi
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Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle against Covid: PM
Combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed in this fight: PM
PM emphasizes significance of tracking, tracing and testing; highlights importance of increasing RTPCR tests
Government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines: PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.