My colleagues in the Union Cabinet Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji, Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, Pankaj Choudhary ji, Shri Bhagwat Krishnarao Karad ji, other dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen!
Over the years, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Corporate Affairs have come a long way creating a legacy for themselves by taking the right decisions at the right time. All of you are a part of this legacy. Many colleagues have made a huge contribution in the last 75 years whether it is to make the life of the common people easier, or to strengthen the economy of the country.
This iconic week is an opportunity for every such colleague to vitalize every such effort of the past. This is a very good step if we can improve our efforts by taking inspiration from the past during the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of Independence. Today, the glorious journey of the rupee was also shown here, a digital exhibition acquainted with this journey also started, and new coins dedicated to the Amrit Mahotsav of independence were also issued.
These new coins will constantly remind the people of the country about the goals of ‘Amrit Kaal’ and inspire them to contribute to the development of the nation. Your department is going to organize many programs in the next one week. I convey my best wishes to all the departments and units involved in this virtuous work.
This Amrit Mahotsav of independence is not just a celebration of 75 years, but celebrating, fulfilling and instilling a new potential to the dreams of our heroes of independence for independent India, who took part in the long struggle for independence; added a different dimension to this movement and intensified its energy. This is the moment to move forward with new resolutions.
Some adopted the path of Satyagraha, while some chose the path of armed struggle; some chose the path of faith and spirituality, while some used the power of their pen to awaken the flame of freedom intellectually. Someone tried to add vigor in the independence of the country by fighting the court cases. When we are celebrating 75 years of independence, it is the duty of every countryman to make a special contribution at his own level in the development of the nation.
As a nation, India has constantly taken new steps at different levels and tried to do novel things in the last eight years. The public participation over the period has given impetus to the development of the country, empowering the poorest of the poor citizens of the country.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan offered the poor to live with dignity. Facilities like pucca house, electricity, gas, water and free treatment not only increased the facilities, but also improved the dignity of our poor and instilled a new energy in the self-confidence of our citizens.
The free ration scheme eased the fear of hunger of more than 80 crore countrymen during the Corona period. We included more than half of the country's population, which was deprived of the formal system and was excluded from the country's development, on mission mode. Such a great work of financial inclusion has not happened anywhere in the world in such a short time. And most of all, we got to see a new courage among the people of the country to make their dreams come true.
People-centric governance and good governance is at the center of such a big change that has come after seven decades of independence. There was a time when policies and decisions in our country were government-centric. It was the responsibility of the people to reach out to the government to take advantage of any scheme. In such a system, the responsibility of both the government and the administration was diminished. Earlier a poor student in need of financial help for studies was forced to take help from his family, relatives or friends. There were so many processes involved in government schemes that he would find it difficult and tiresome to avail of that help.
Similarly, if an entrepreneur or a businessman needed a loan, he too had to make rounds of many departments and go through many procedures. Often, he could not access the website of the ministry due to incomplete information. In such circumstances, whether it is a student or a businessman, he would give up his dreams in the middle and not take any steps to realize them.
The country has borne the brunt of government-centric governance in the past. But today the India of the 21st century has moved ahead with the approach of people-centric governance. It is the people who have sent us here for their service. Therefore, it is our top priority and responsibility that we reach out to the public, to reach every eligible person, and ensure full benefits for him.
Instead of going through different websites of different ministries, it is better that he has access to one portal of the Government of India for the solution of his problems. Today ‘Jan Samarth’ portal has been launched with this goal in mind. Now all the credit-linked schemes of the Government of India will not be available on different micro sites, but at one place.
The Jan Samarth portal will not only make the life of students, entrepreneurs, traders, businessmen and farmers easy, but will also help them in realizing their dreams. Now students will be able to easily get information about the government schemes which will benefit them the most. Similarly, our youth will be able to decide whether they want a Mudra loan or a Start-up India loan.
Now the youth and the middle-class people of the country have got a platform in the form of Jan Samarth for end-to-end delivery. With easier and minimum procedures, it is also natural that more and more people will come forward to take loans. This portal is going to play an important role in increasing self-employment and taking the government schemes to all the beneficiaries. I especially congratulate the youth of the country for the Jan Samarth portal.
Today the bigwigs of the banking sector are also present in this program. I urge all the bankers to increase their participation as much as possible to make it easier for the youth to get loans and to make the Jan Samarth portal a success.
If the goal of any reform is clear and there is seriousness about its implementation, then its good results are sure to come. In the reforms undertaken in the last eight years, great priority has also been given to the youth of our country to showcase their potential.
Greater emphasis has been laid so that our youth can easily open the company of their choice, set up their enterprises easily and run them easily. Therefore, by reducing more than 30,000 compliances, abolishing more than 1500 laws, decriminalizing many provisions of the Companies Act, we have ensured that the companies of India not only grow but achieve new heights.
Along with reforms we have also focused on simplification. GST has now replaced the web of many taxes at the Centre and the states. The country is also witnessing the result of this simplification. Now it has become normal for GST collection to cross one lakh crore rupees every month. We are also seeing a steady increase in the number of EPFO registrations. Moving beyond reforms and simplification, we are now building an accessible system.
It has become very easy for entrepreneurs and enterprises to sell their products to the government due to the GeM portal. In this also, the purchase figure is crossing one lakh crore rupees. The Invest India portal has all the information regarding the possibilities for investment in the country.
Today there is a single window clearance portal for various types of clearances. This Jan Samarth portal is also going to help the youth and the start ups of the country a lot. Today if we move forward with the power of reform, simplification and ease, then a new level of facilities is attained. It is the responsibility of all of us to provide modern facilities to all the countrymen, make new efforts for them, and realize new resolutions.
In the last eight years, we have demonstrated that if India is determined to do something, then it becomes a new hope for the whole world. Today the world is looking towards us with hope and expectations, not just as a big consumer market, but as a capable, game changer, creative and innovative ecosystem. A large part of the world expects India to solve its problems. This is being possible because we have trusted the wisdom of the common Indian in the last eight years. We encouraged the people as intelligent participants in growth.
We have full faith in the people of the country that whatever technology will be brought for good governance, it will be accepted and appreciated by the people of the country. The result of this public trust is in front of everyone in the form of the world's best digital transaction platform UPI i.e. Unified Payment Interface. Today, the street vendors and the countrymen in far-flung villages to the localities of cities are easily doing transactions ranging from Rs 10-20 to lakhs of rupees.
We also had great faith in the passion for innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth of India. The platform of Start-up India was created to give way to this hidden passion among the youth of the country. Today there are about 70,000 start-ups in the country and every day dozens of new members are being added to it.
Self-motivation and everyone’s efforts have played a big role in what the country is achieving today. The countrymen have become emotionally attached to campaigns like AtmaNirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local. As a result, the role of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Corporate Affairs has also increased a lot. Now we have to reach the saturation of schemes faster.
We have prepared platforms for financial inclusion, now we have to increase awareness about their use. Efforts should now be made so that the financial solutions, which have been prepared for India, should now give solutions to the citizens of other countries of the world.
It is also important to focus on how our banks can become a wider part of international trade and currency international supply chain. I am sure that you will continue to encourage better financial and corporate governance during the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence. I end my speech by wishing many good wishes to all the colleagues present at 75 places for this program.
Thanks a lot!