Wanted to create a powerful Nation with empowered citizens
21st Century is India's Century. This is the confidence that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given every citizen of the country in the last 5 years", said Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah while addressing distinguished members of the industry and management field on the topic of 'New India, Great India', at the 46th National Management Convention held by All India Management Association (AIMA), in New Delhi today.
Shri Shah extended best wishes to the Prime Minister on his birthday and wished that he keeps on leading the Nation from the front for many years to come and make India a global leader. Shri Shah also remembered Sardar Patel for his bold leadership in creating a unified India and said that today is Hyderabad liberation day when the Iron Man of India initiated the Police Action to merge the erstwhile Nizam state into India.
"What is 'New India'?", asked the Home Minister while trying to explain PM's vision. He said that it is not an effort to carve out a new country altogether, rather, it is a vision to build a Confident India, a Secure India, a Prosperous and Progressive India, an India which, on the basis of its rich past, can emerge as a widely accepted world leader. This is how the PM sees a ‘New India, a Great India’ of the future, he added.
For realizing PM's dream, Shri Shah said that it is required that 130 crore Indians move ahead in a coordinated fashion. "Together we can take 130 crore steps in the direction of realizing PM's vision of a New India. This is the core management principle of achieving a target", he said. Giving a unified vision, providing a decisive leadership, efficient planning and uniting the people to achieve that vision are the basic constituents of the principle on which this Government has functioned under PM's leadership in the last 5 years, Shri Shah added.
Talking on the achievements during first 5 years of Narendra Modi government, Shri Shah first gave a background of the condition in which the country was, when the new government came to power in 2014. He said that the Founding Fathers of the country envisioned a multi-party Parliamentary democratic system in the country to create a Welfare State and give voice to every citizen of the society in the country. They wanted to create a powerful Nation, with empowered citizens, that can provide leadership in the field of global welfare. This is evident in the debates of the Constituent Assembly also, he said.
"But after nearly 70 years of independence, there was a question in the minds of the people whether the vision of the founding fathers had really been realized. Whether the multi-party democratic system had failed to fulfill the aspirations of the citizens of the country?" Shri Shah said that people were absolutely disappointed with the performance of previous governments. In the India of 2013, there was widespread corruption, our borders were not secure and our soldiers were dying every day, there was a total policy paralysis, lack of clear vision of the leadership, the economy was in doldrums, women didn't feel secure and the youth was disappointed. There was a government where every Minister considered himself as the PM, whereas, the PM himself was not considered as PM, he added.
Shri Shah said that the state of the country was such in 2014 that the common man was clueless as to where the Nation is headed and whether the leadership was actually able to steer the country out of this mess. In this scenario, the Nation gave a resounding majority to Shri Narendra Modi-led government, an absolute majority government for the first time in 30 years. This government worked in an organized manner with clear targets, did detailed analysis of the resources, formed a well laid out implementation strategy and did micro planning on how to correct the wrongs committed by the previous governments. This is how the wheels of development started turning in the country and reached the stage that we see today, he added.
Talking more on how the culture of policy paralysis earlier has transformed into a bold decision making one, Shri Shah said that previous governments could take only 5 decisions in the last 30 years, whereas, Modi government took over 50 decisions in last 5 years. These included implementing GST and insolvency and bankruptcy code, opening Jan Dhan accounts, ending triple talaq, surgical strikes on terrorist camps across the border, one rank one pension, removing Article 370 and 35A, to name a few bold decisions taken by the Modi Government.
Shri Shah said that the people who earlier questioned India's ability to take bold decisions, like in the case of GST, have now appreciated the government's decision-making ability as the revenue generation has crossed Rs. 1 lakh crores and over 95 lakh tax payers have been registered under GST. He said, "I agree there are many teething problems in the initial phases. Which reform doesn't have teething problems?" Such problems are being continuously rectified, but it is also true that only those citizens who are ready to bear some initial difficulty, have the right to enjoy the fruits of reforms later. We are a government that doesn't take decision on vote bank considerations, but on what is in the interest of the people, he added. "Only when we compare the state of the country in 2013 and what it is in 2019, we realize the kind of steps taken by the government and the progress made by the country in the last 5 years", said Shri Shah while describing the achievements of the government in last 5 years.
Talking on how the Governments in the past have got derailed from their path, Shri Shah said that governments in the past have always been plagued by questions like 'is it a government with backward looking or is it reform oriented; is it a government run by elected representatives or by bureaucrats; is the government with the rich or the poor; what has the government done for the farmers', among others. Shri Shah said with pride that the Modi government is the only government that has gone beyond such questions and has given a governance structure that cares for the last man in the society. This government is a balanced government where the leaders take bold decisions and the bureaucracy implements it seamlessly. The Modi Government has shown in the last 5 years that the Government that thinks for the poor can also bring path-breaking and bold reforms, he added.
Talking about bold decision making on national security front, Shri Shah said that though every Indian feels proud when steps like surgical strikes and air strikes are taken, but it is a fine line that the government has to tread and ensure that nothing goes wrong. He reassured the Nation that Modi government will not compromise even a bit on National Security and only a strong leadership can take such bold decisions. This is amply evident again in the bold decision of removing Article 370 & 35A to realize a truly integrated and unified India, he said.
Shri Shah continued on this point and said that such steps have changed how the world perceives India. Earlier the world used to say that India does not have a National Security policy, India only talks and does not take action to secure its people. People used to say that the surgical strikes were a fluke and a knee jerk reaction. With the Balakot air strikes, a clear message was sent out that India has a well defined policy to defend our borders and not even an iota of aggression towards the country would be tolerated. Post the air strikes, India stance has attained respect globally, he added.
Speaking on the global leadership role of India, Shri Shah said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s speech in Hindi at World Economic Forum in Davos showed that India is respected by the world. Shri Shah also noted the leadership role of Shri Narendra Modi during the Paris Climate Talks. He said that today the world is standing like a rock behind India in its crusade in ending terrorism and its right to defend its borders. Such a vision of global leadership was seen by our founding fathers, which has been achieved by the Modi Government today. The world is recognizing India's leadership. When the PM gets awarded at global level, it shows the respect those nations and the world have towards India and Indians, Shri Shah added.
Shri Shah said that India was well on way to becoming 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024 and that a strong foundation has been laid in the direction by the Modi Government. He noted that 5 years ago, GDP growth rate was around 6%, but now it is around 7.5%. Speaking on the economic transformation of the nation over the last five years, he said that the National per capita income increased from about Rs. 78,000 to over Rs. 1,26,000; Agricultural Growth rate has picked up pace after the government has increased the budget substantially; National highways construction increased 2.5 times; near total rural electrification has been achieved; 1,20,000 gram panchayats have been linked with broadband; 99.4% citizens have bank accounts today; Health cover was given to 50 crore people under Aayushman Bharat; NDA government built 83 lakh houses in last 5 years, as against 10 lakh houses constructed during 10 years UPA government; 8 crore LPG connections given; houses to 2.5 crore people were given and 8 crore people have access to toilets now. Ease of doing business, global competitiveness, foreign investments, innovation index, among other global benchmarks have seen immense progress in the last 5 years. This shows that there has been efficient, policy-based decision making and implementation by a forward looking government, Shri Shah said.
The Home Minister said that this Government has been focusing on giving the youth a platform to encourage entrepreneurial spirit in the country. He recognized the important role industry and entrepreneurs play in boosting the economic growth of the country. Shri Shah said that India is progressing fast towards becoming a $5 trillion economy and expressed confidence that this target will be achieved by 2024. The industry would have to play an important part in this journey, he said.
Emphasizing on the importance of a stable policy environment in the country, Shri Shah said that 'Rule of Law' is imperative for economic growth and in India becoming a global leader. He added that 'From lawlessness towards the rule of law' is the hologram of this government. He said that it was the responsibility of organizations like AIMA to provide the industry a direction and platform to make India a global trade leader. There is a need to setup sector-based R&D clusters, bring in investments and take 'Make in India', 'Start up India' forward so that India does not need to look towards the world for anything. There is need to ensure that the benefits of intellectual property rights remain in India and India is able to reap the benefits of the rich demographic dividend available in the country. "India is world's largest market and has the best brains. The government has revamped the business environment in the country. I see no reason why we do not become world leaders in times to come", he added.
Shri Shah assured full government support to industry associations and asked them to bring innovative ideas and take forward the push that the government is giving for industrial and trade growth. There is a need to prepare our industries to face global competition amidst changing times and challenges. By 2022, the 75th year of India's Independence, 130 crore Indians need to rise and realize PM's vision of a 'New India, Great India', he concluded.