Indian PM promises houses, power, water for all

Indian PM promises houses, power, water for all

15 August 2018 Wednesday 13:11
Indian PM promises houses, power, water for all

NEW DELHI

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that his government's priority was to provide housing, power, water, connectivity, skill, toilets "for all countrymen."

Modi said this while delivering his Independence Day speech in New Delhi. Modi's speech is being seen as an "election oriented speech" as it's less than six months before India goes for the next general elections.

Also, this was Modi's last Independence Day speech before the next parliamentary polls.

He claimed that things had changed in the past four years under his government, "which could not happen in the preceding 70 years".

Hailing his government's last year's move to introduce goods and services tax (GST), Modi said that it had been a great success, thereby broadening the tax base in the country.

"Till 2013, India could have only 40 million direct tax payers in the past 70 years, but in the past four years this figure reached over 67 million. Similarly, till four years ago, the number of indirect tax payers was only 7 million, which has increased to nearly 11 million today," he said.

Encouraging the countrymen to pay taxes honestly, Modi said that taxes paid by one person helps feed three poor families.

Listing out his government's achievements in the past four years, the Indian prime minister said that India's position had changed globally as an investment destination in terms of ease of doing business.

"From being seen as among the fragile five earlier, India is now the land of reform, perform and transform. We are poised for record economic growth. In the past two years, 50 million people have come out of poverty under the 'Ayushman Bharat' scheme," he claimed.

In the same breath, he stated that he wanted to see India attain a position of "domination" in the world.

Modi further stated, "We have weeded out 60 million dubious beneficiaries of government schemes. We have killed nepotism and checked corruption by shutting down three lakh dubious companies.

"Indulging in rhetoric and patting his government's back, Modi said that during the past four years electricity and optical fiber connections were provided to all villages in the country.

"It would have taken 100 years (for other governments) to provide the number of cooking gas connections which we provided in only four years. Similarly, it would have taken generations to provide as many optical fiber connections as we provided to the villages in a matter of four years," said Modi.

During his 90-minutes speech, Modi touched upon issues related to women, social security, farmers, the poor, defence personnel and small businessmen.

"The last four years have seen record food production with agriculture revolution taking place. Our endeavour is to double farmers' incomes."In order to encourage new start-ups, Modi said, his government had seriously extended loans to the youths to be self-sufficient. 

"We have provided 130 million loans to the youths to generate self-employment. Out of these which 40 million are first-timers. This is an example of a changed India," added Modi.  

Xinhua

Updated: 15.08.2018 17:10
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