The topic of today's budget webinar on National Science Day is very important. The changing India of the 21st century is constantly empowering its citizens with the power of technology. In every budget of our government in the last few years, emphasis has been laid on improving the ease of living of the countrymen with the help of technology. In this year’s budget also, we have endeavoured to give priority to technology with human touch at the same time.
Friends, there was a time when there was a lot of contradiction in the priorities of the government in our country. There was a section of the society, which wanted some kind of government intervention and influence at every step in their lives. In other words, the government should do something for them. But during the previous governments, this class always felt this absence. In such an absence, their lives used to be spent in struggle. There was this class of people in society, and at the same time there was another class of people who wanted to move forward with their own potential, but faced various obstacles of government interference at every step. Now this situation has started changing due to the efforts of our government in the last few years. Today the positive effect of the policies and decisions of the government is visible everywhere where it is most needed.
Our efforts are making life easier for every poor and deprived and improving their ease of living. The interference and pressure of the government in the lives of the people has also reduced. Today people do not consider the government as an obstacle. Rather, people see our government as a catalyst for new opportunities. And certainly, technology has played a major role in this regard.
You see, technology became the basis of One Nation-One Ration Card and as a result free ration to crores of poor people in a transparent manner could be ensured. It has become a huge blessing for migrant workers. Along with technology, Jan Dhan accounts, Aadhaar and mobile have made it possible to send money directly to the bank accounts of crores of poor.
Similarly, technology became an important tool for Aarogya Setu and CoWIN app and this helped a lot in tracing and vaccination during Corona. Today we find that technology has made railway reservation more modern and the common man has been relieved of the headache. The network of Common Service Centers is also connecting the poorest of the poor with government services with the help of technology. Our government has increased the ease of living of the countrymen with several such decisions.
Friends, today every citizen of India is feeling this change that it has become very easy to communicate with the government. That is, the countrymen are easily able to convey their message to the government, and they are also getting their solution immediately. For example, the tax-related complaints used to be very high earlier and tax payers were harassed in many ways. Therefore, we made the entire tax process faceless with the help of technology. Now there is no individual but technology between your complaints and disposal. I have given you an example. But we can solve problems in a better way in other departments also with the help of technology. Different departments can use technology to make their services of global standard. Taking this step further, we can also identify areas where communication with the government can be further simplified.
Friends, you must be aware that we are giving training to government employees through Mission Karmayogi. Our aim behind this training is to make the employees citizen-centric. There is a need to update this training course on a regular basis. But it will get better results only when the changes are made on the basis of people's feedback. We can create a system which can keep getting people's suggestions to improve the training course.
Friends, technology is giving everyone an equal opportunity to move forward by providing correct and accurate information. Our government is investing on a large scale to promote technology. We are creating modern digital infrastructure in India. Along with this, we are also ensuring that the benefits of digital revolution reach every section of the society. Today, the GeM portal has given this opportunity to even small shopkeepers or street vendors from far-flung places to sell their products directly to the government. e-NAM has given farmers an opportunity to connect with buyers from different places. Now farmers can get the best price for their produce while remaining at their place.
Friends, 5G and AI have been discussed for a long time. It is also being said that industry, medicine, education, agriculture and all other sectors will undergo major changes. But now we have to set some specific goals for ourselves. What are the ways in which this technology can be used for the betterment of the common man? What are the sectors on which we need to pay more attention? Can we identify 10 problems of society that can be solved through AI? Lakhs of youths join hackathons and provide very good solutions.
Friends, we have introduced the facility of DigiLocker for every individual with the help of technology and now there is a facility of DigiLocker for entities as well. Here companies and MSMEs can store their files, and share the same with various regulators and government departments. The concept of DigiLocker needs to be expanded further. We have to see in what other ways people can benefit from it.
Friends, we have taken many important steps to support MSMEs in the last few years. There is a need to find out the problems faced by small scale industries of India in becoming big companies. We want to reduce the compliance cost for small businesses and small industries. It is said in business that time is money. Therefore saving the time spent on compliance means saving the compliance cost. If you want to make a list of unnecessary compliances, then this is the right time, because we have already eliminated 40,000 compliances.
Friends, the lack of trust between government and people is the result of a slave mindset. But today the government has won the trust of the people by decriminalizing minor mistakes and as a guarantor of MSME loans. But we do not have to stop there. We also have to see what has been done in other countries of the world to strengthen the trust with the society. We can make similar efforts in our country by learning from them.
Friends, the success of the budget or any government policy depends to some extent on how well it is prepared. But more than this, it is very important how to implement it and people's cooperation is very important in this regard. I am sure that with the input of all the stakeholders, Ease of Living will get a big boost. And I would definitely like to say that we often say that we have to create a manufacturing hub. ‘Zero Defect, Zero Effect’ should be our priority. There should not be any compromise in our quality. And technology can help a lot in this regard. We can bring the product in a much better way by monitoring the minute details during its production with the help of technology. And only then can we capture the global market.
We have to accept that the 21st century is technology driven. The influence of technology in life is going to increase a lot. We should not limit ourselves only to internet and digital technology. Similarly, today the optical fiber network is reaching every village. It will reach Panchayats, wellness centers and cover telly medicine as well. Even the health sector is becoming completely technology driven. Today the country imports a lot of things in the defence and health sectors. Can't the industrialists of my country go in that direction by upgrading technology as optical fiber is reaching every village now?
We can develop a model on how common citizens can take advantage of the optical fiber. And we want public participation in everything. It is neither our thinking nor our claim that the government has all the knowledge. And therefore, I urge all the stakeholders to make maximum use of the technology-driven century, to make it simple and empower the common man. It will help the country and the people as well since technology will play an important role in achieving the goal of a developed India in 2047. And we are fortunate that India has a natural gift.
We have talented youth and skilled manpower. And the people living in India's villages also have a huge capacity to adopt technology. How can we take advantage of this? I want you to discuss it in detail and how to get the best out of the budget and how the best benefits of it should reach the people. The deeper your discussion on this point, the more meaningful this budget will be.
I wish you the very best. Thank you very much.