All-party resolution; In solidarity with forces in defending India’s unity

All-party meeting resolution: In solidarity with forces in defending India’s unity

An All-party meeting on Saturday on the car bomb attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, Kashmir, that killed 40 jawans adopted a unanimous resolution to condemn terrorism and the support it receives from across the border. The meeting was presided by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Opposition leaders told Mr. Singh that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should convene another meeting with the leaders of the national and regional parties to discuss the future course of action. “We condemn terrorism in all forms and the support being given to it from across the border. India has, during the past three decades, faced the menace of cross-border terrorism. Of late, terrorism in India is being actively encouraged by the forces from across the border. India has showed both firmness and resilience in dealing with these challenges,” read the resolution. “The entire nation speaks in one voice to express its determination to fight these challenges. Today, we stand united, in solidarity with our security forces in fighting terrorism, and in defending the unity and integrity of India,” it added.

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and other dignitaries during an all-party meeting on the Pulwama terror attack at Parliament House, in New Delhi, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the entire nation stood united, and pointed out that the attack was the biggest casualty that armed forces had suffered since 1947, barring wars.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said the Prime Minister should personally handle the sensitive situation and immediately take strong action.

Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena said the government should learn from former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s tenure to take immediate action against Pakistan.

D. Raja of the Communist Party of India said concerns were also expressed about the safety of Kashmiri students and citizens settled in other parts of the country after Mr. Abdullah raised the issue of Kashmiris facing the ire of people in Jammu on Friday.

The Home Minister assured the meeting that the government will not allow social harmony to be affected and will take action, even if someone from the BJP, was involved in any such act.

Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress, Jithendra Reddy of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Jan Shakti Party, among others, also attended the meeting.

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 16, 2019

Rafale deal of NDA 2.86% cheaper than UPA’s: CAG

Rafale deal of NDA 2.86% cheaper than UPA’s: Comptroller and Auditor General

The much-awaited Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the acquisition process of 36 fighter jets on Wednesday said the NDA Government’s Rafale deal was 2.86 per cent cheaper than the UPA’s offer in 2007, but the Government made major concessions to the French vendor by including unwarranted India-specific enhancements that led to price escalation.

The report said that as per the deal signed by the NDA regime, the delivery of the aircraft would be faster by just one month compared to the UPA schedules.

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While the CAG report contradicted the claims made by several Government Ministers that the current price of Rafale jets in fly-away condition was nine per cent cheaper than the UPA’s deal, it said the price of the 36 fighter jets was 17.08 per cent cheaper after equipping it with India-specific enhancements under the new deal.

The report tabled in Parliament noted that the Government overruled the IAF suggestion to postpone six enhancements till more Rafale aircraft were procured in future. The IAF proposal was not accepted by the Defence Ministry which said this would tantamount to dilution of Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs). The Ministry said this was also not in consonance with the basic framework provided by the Joint Statement of April 10, 2015 by the Defence Acquisition Council that aircraft must have same configuration.

Moreover, during negotiation of 36 aircraft in 2015, in view of the huge cost escalation and the reduced number of aircraft to be purchased, the Indian negotiation team headed by the Deputy Chief of Air Staff proposed to reduce the number of India-specific enhancements. But the Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of Rafale jets, stated since its price was a total package the Defence Ministry would have to take up the matter with the French Government.

The Defence Ministry, while rejecting the IAF suggestion, said reduction of India-specific enhancements was not considered after due deliberation as it was a temporary deferment only for cost reduction measure. The CAG noted that four of these enhancements were stated to be not required in the technical and staff evaluations. The cost of these four enhancements constituted about 14 per cent of the India-specific enhancements contracted cost.

The Ministry stated that “scaling down the requirement to limit cash outgo cannot be considered as saving,” the CAG report said.

The Rafale deal was inked in 2016 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Minister Francois Hollande in a joint statement on April 10, 2015 announced an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) to procure 36 jets from France in fly-away condition.

The NDA Government went in for the IGA after scrapping the nearly decade long negotiations under the UPA regime for procuring 126 medium multi-role aircraft (MMRCA) often termed as mother of all deals then. Rafale, manufactured by Dassault Aviation of France, emerged as the lowest bidder but differences over various issues delayed the final inking of the deal. The MMRCA envisaged buying 18 jets in fly-away condition and the remaining to be manufactured by the public sector aviation giant Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under a transfer of technology pact. The overall deal at that time was pegged about Rs 45,000 crores.

While the Congress has all along alleged wrongdoings in the Rafale deal claiming that the NDA Government bought the each aircraft at a huge cost of Rs 1,600 crore as against the UPA offer of Rs 560 crore.  However, the Government in Parliament two years back said the cost of each aircraft without weapons was Rs 670 crores.

In the backdrop of the NDA Government justifying outright purchase of 36 Rafales urgently to meet the operational requirements of the IAF due to its depleting squadron strength, the CAG noted as per the Dassault offer in UPA regime for supplying 18 jets off the shelf covered delivery schedule between 37 months to 50 months from the signing of the contract.

Audit indicts Govt for useless India-specific enhancements that led to price escalation

The next 18 aircraft, which were to be manufactured by the HAL were to be delivered from 49th to 72 months. However, the CAG noted as against the delivery period of 72 months in the earlier offer, the contracted delivery schedule for the latest deal was 71 months, thus an improvement of one month.

The report also mentioned that the Indian negotiating team had asked the French side for a delivery schedule of first batch of 18 jets in 24 months and the next batch of 18 in 36 months.  However, the French offered 18 jets by 36 to 53 months and remaining 18 aircraft to be delivered in 67 months. This was better than the delivery schedule of 2007 by five months.

The Indian negotiation team had apprehensions about this delivery schedule of 71 months because at the time of signing the contract the Dassault had an order backlog of 83 aircraft. Considering its production rate of 11 aircraft a year, clearing this backlog itself would take more than seven years. The Defence Ministry in its response to the CAG said the project was currently on schedule and the progress was being closely monitored by the resident project management team and also through the inter Governmental bilateral high level group. As per the IGA, the first aircraft will be delivered to India in October this year while the last one will be handed over in October 2022.

Meanwhile, the CAG in its report said in terms of engineering support package and performance-based logistics, the deal was 6.54 per cent expensive. The report did not include controversial issue of pricing as the Defence Ministry maintained that price could not be revealed due to security concerns and therefore the pricing part was redacted from the CAG report.

The report said it examined 11 contracts pertaining to the IAF signed between 2012-13 and 2017-2018 with a total value of Rs 95,000 crores. These included Rafale, Apache attack helicopters, Chinook heavy lift helicopters, PC-7 basic trainer aircraft, pods, missiles, additional C-130 J aircraft, ammunition and associated equipment, reconnaissance systems, full mission simulator for SU-30 and Doppler weather radar.

-Microstat | 14 February 2019 | New Delhi

INTERIM BUDGET 2019-2020 SUMMARY

BUDGET SUMMARY WITH MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS OF INTERIM BUDGET 2019-2020

Interim Budget 2019-20 was presented in Parliament by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal on 01 February, 2019. Besides having a major Scheme for the farmers, it provides tax concession and sets the Developmental Agenda for the years to come.

A New Deal for 12 Crore Small and Marginal farmers with direct income support, a path breaking Pension initiative for 10 Crore unorganized sector workers, exempting income up to Rs 5 lakhs from Income Tax, reforms in stamp duty, highest ever budgetary allocation of Rs 3 lakh crore for Defence, record allocation of funds at Rs 58,166 crore for North Eastern Areas, a new AIIMS for Haryana, single window clearance for Indian film makers at par with foreigners and higher budgetary allocations for Education, Health, Infrastructure and for the welfare of weaker sections including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, a Separate Department of Fisheries for welfare of 1.5 crore fisherman are some of the major highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20.

Major Schemes

New Scheme- namely “Pradhan Mantri KIsan SAmman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)” to extend direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year to farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares is announced.

While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said that “our Government is launching a historic programme PM-KISAN with an outlay of Rs.75,000 crore for the FY 2019-20 and Rs.20,000 crore in the Revised Estimates of FY 2018-19”.

Under this Government of India funded Scheme, Rs.2,000 each will be transferred to the bank accounts of around 12 crore Small and Marginal farmer families, in three equal installments. This programme would be made effective from 1st December 2018 and the first installment for the period upto 31st March 2019 would be paid during this year itself, Shri Piyush Goyal said.

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To provide sustained and focused attention towards development of Fisheries, the  Government has decided to create a separate Department of Fisheries. Finance Minister said that through the measure, the Government wants to promote further growth over 7% to promote livelihood of about 1.45 crore people dependent on the sector.

The Finance Minister announced 2% interest subvention to the farmers pursuing the activities of animal husbandry and fisheries, who avail loan through Kisan Credit Card. Further, in case of timely repayment of loan, they will also get an additional 3% interest subvention.Quote_7.jpg

Allocation of Rs.750 crore for Rashtriya Gokul Mission has been announced for the current year itself. Setting up of “Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog” to upscale sustainable genetic upgradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows has also been announced. The Aayog will also look after effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cow.

Quote_5.jpgTo provide pensionary benefits to at least 10 crore labourers and workers in the unorganised sector a new Scheme called ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan’ is announced.  The Finance Minister said that within next five years it would be one of the largest pension schemes of the world. A sum of Rs.500 crore has been allocated for the Scheme. Additional funds will be provided as needed, Shri Goyal added. The scheme will also be implemented from the current year, he said.

Tax Benefits

Individual taxpayers having taxable annual income up to Rs.5 lakhs will not be required to pay any income tax. The Finance Minister said that persons having gross income up to Rs. 6.50 lakhs are not required to pay any income tax if they make investments in provident funds, specified savings and insurance etc. Additional deductions such as interest on home loan up to Rs. 2 lakh, interest on education loans, National Pension Scheme contributions, medical insurance and medical expenditure on senior citizens etc, are also provided for in the Interim Budget 2019-20. Thus tax benefit of Rs. 18,500 crore is proposed to be provided to an estimated 3 crore middle class and small taxpayers comprising self employed, small business, small traders, salary earners, pensioners and senior citizens.

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For salaried persons, Standard Deduction is being raised from the current Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000. This will provide additional tax benefit of Rs. 4,700 crore to more than 3 crore salary earners and pensioners.

Exemption on levy of income tax on notional rent on a second self-occupied house is also now proposed. Currently, income tax on notional rent is payable if one has more than one self-occupied house.

TDS threshold on interest earned on bank/post office deposits is being raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs.40,000.

TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent is proposed to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs.2,40,000 for providing relief to small taxpayers.

The Finance Minister says that the Government wants the GST burden on home buyers to be reduced and accordingly the GST Council was moved to appoint a Group of Ministers to examine and make recommendations in this regard at the earliest. Shri Goyal said that soon, businesses comprising over 90% of GST payers will be allowed to file quarterly return.

Inflation

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The Finance Minister said that the Government has been successful in bringing down average inflation to 4.6% over last five years, which is lower than the inflation during the tenure of any other Government. In fact Inflation in December 2018 was down to 2.19% only.

Shri Goyal said if we had not controlled inflation, our families would have been spending around 35-40% more today on basic necessities such as food, travel, consumer durables, housing etc.

The average rate of inflation during previous five years 2009-2014 was a backbreaking 10.1%, he pointed out.

Fiscal Deficit

The fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from the high of almost 6% seven years ago, the Finance Minister mentioned.  He said, the Current Account Deficit (CAD), against a high of 5.6% six years ago, is likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year. “We contained the fiscal deficit notwithstanding the Finance Commission’s recommendations increasing the share of the States from 32% to 42% in central taxes, which we accepted in the true spirit of cooperative federalism, thereby transferring significantly higher amounts to the States”, Shri Goyal said.

Growth and FDI

The Finance Minister Shri Piyush Goyal stated that a stage for high growth in decades to come, has now been set, after a wave of next generation path breaking structural reforms over the last five years, including introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other taxation reforms.

The country witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability during the last five years. “We are the fastest growing major economy in the world with an annual average GDP growth during last five years higher than the growth achieved by any Government since economic reforms began in 1991. From being the 11th largest economy in the world in 2013-14, we are today the 6th largest in the world”, the Finance Minister asserted in his Opening Remarks  of his Budget speech.

Shri Goyal said that due to such a stable and predictable regulatory regime, growing economy and strong fundamentals, India could attract massive amount of as much as $239 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the last 5 years, when most of the FDI was allowed to come in through the automatic route.

Enhanced allocations for major Schemes

Announcing an allocation of Rs.60,000 crores for MGNREGA for Budget Estimates 2019-20,  the Finance Minister said that additional allocations will be made, if required.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is being allocated Rs.19,000 crore in BE 2019-20 as against Rs.15,500 crore in RE 2018-19. During the period 2014-18, a total number of 1.53 crore houses have been built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, he announced.

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By March, 2019, all households will be provided with electricity connection.  Till now, 143 crore LED bulbs have been provided in a mission mode which has resulted in saving of Rs.50,000 crore for the poor and middle class.

He said through the world’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, to provide medical treatment to nearly 50 crore people in the country,  around 10 lakh patients have already benefited through free treatment for medical treatment which would have otherwise cost them Rs. 3,000 crore. Lakhs of poor and middle class people are also benefiting from reduction in the prices of essential medicines, cardiac stents and knee implants, and availability of medicines at affordable prices through Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras, the Finance Minister added.

Shri Goyal also said that 14 of the 21 AIIMS operating or being established in the country presently have been announced since 2014. He also announced setting up of a new – the 22nd AIIMS in Haryana.

Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is being increased from Rs.23,357 crore in RE 2018-19 to Rs.27,584 crore in BE 2019-20.

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A substantial increase is proposed in the allocation for welfare of the Scheduled Castes  and Scheduled Tribes. The allocation of  Rs.56,619 crore  made in BE of 2018-19 for Scheduled Caste, further increased to Rs.62,474 crore in RE is proposed to be enhanced to Rs.76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20, an increase of 35.6% over BE of 2018-19. For the Scheduled Tribes also, proposed allocation in 2019-20 BE is Rs.50,086 crore as against Rs.39,135 crore in BE 2018-19, an increase of 28%.

The Finance Minister said that a Welfare Development Board to frame special strategies for the benefit of the  hard-to-reach De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities will be set up under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. He said that a Committee under NITI Aayog will also be set up to complete the task of identifying De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities not yet formally classified.

Shri Goyal said under the Ujjwala Yojana aiming delivery  of 8 crore free LPG connections, more than 6 crore connections have already been given and the remaining will get free gas connections by next year.

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The Finance Minister announced that a National Artificial Intelligence Portal will also be developed soon as a part of the National Programme on ‘Artificial Intelligence’.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will now be renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade.

The Finance Minister stated that the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), created by the present Government two years ago, resulted in average savings of 25-28% and the platform will now be extended to all CPSEs. Transactions of over Rs. 17,500 crore have taken place so far. The Finance Minister announced that for the first time, the country’s Defence Budget will be of over Rs.3 lakh crore.  The Finance Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal pointed-out that domestic air traffic passengers have doubled during the last five years, leading to large number of jobs also being created. The number of operational airports has crossed 100 with the commissioning of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim.  Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India’s rail map for the first time.

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Capital support from the budget for Indian Railways is proposed at Rs.64,587 crore in 2019-20 (BE). The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs. 1,58,658 crore. The Finance Minister, who is also holding the portfolio of Railway Ministry, announced that the Operating Ratio is expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18 to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and further to 95% in 2019-20 (BE).

India’s installed solar generation capacity has grown over ten times in last five years. Stating this, Shri Goyal said that “our commitment to promote renewable energy is reflected in setting up the International Solar Alliance, the first treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs, he added.

The Finance Minister announced that in Entertainment industry, which is a major employment generator, regulatory provisions will now rely more on self-declarations. To promote entertainment industry, the Single window clearance for ease of shooting films, now available only to foreigners, will also be made available to Indian filmmakers. “We will also introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control the menace of piracy”, he said.

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Saying that “We are poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years and aspire to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter”, Shri Piyush Goyal said that there has been a Growth of 18% in Direct Tax Collections in 2017-18 and increase in tax base by as many as 1.06 crore people filing income tax returns for the first time in FY 2017-18, mainly on account of demonetization.

Shri Goyal said that he is proposing, through the Finance Bill, necessary amendments to levy Stamp duties on one instrument relating to one transaction and get collected at one place through the Stock Exchanges.

The duty so collected will be shared with the State Governments seamlessly on the basis of domicile of buying client, he said.

In all the total expenditure is to incrRailway.jpgease from Rs.24,57,235 crore in 2018-19 RE to Rs.27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE.

A rise of Rs.3,26,965 crore or approximately 13.30%. This reflects a high increase considering low inflation. The fiscal deficit of year 2019-20 is estimated to be 3.4% of GDP.

 

The Finance Minister pointed out that after completion of the fiscal deficit consolidation programme, the Government would now focus on Debt consolidation.

He said “We have maintained the glide path towards our target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21. India’s Debt to GDP ratio was 46.5% in year 2017-18.

The FRBM Act prescribes that the Debt to GDP ratio of the Government of India should be brought down to 40% by 2024-25.

“Along with completion of the fiscal deficit consolidation programme, we will now focus on Debt consolidation”, he added.

Highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20

The key highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20 presented by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal in Parliament today are as follows:

New Announcements

Farmers

·         12 crore small and marginal farmers to be provided with assured yearly income of Rs. 6000 per annum under PM-KISAN

o   Outlay of Rs. 75,000 crore for FY 2019-20 with additional Rs. 20,000 crore in RE 2018-19

·         Outlay for Rashtriya Gokul mission increased to Rs 750 crore

·         Rashtriya Kamdhenu Ayog  to be setup for sustainable genetic up-gradation of the Cow resources

·         New separate Department of Fisheries for welfare of 1.5 crore fishermen

·         2% interest subvention to Farmers for Animal husbandry and Fisheries activities; additional 3% in case of timely repayment.

·         Interest subvention of 2% during disaster will now be provided for the entire period of reschedulement of loan

 Labour

·  Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme to ensure fixed monthly pension to 10 crore unorganized sector workers

o   Rs 3000 per month after 60 years of age with an affordable contribution of only Rs 100/55 per month

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 Health

·         22nd AIIMS to be setup in Haryana

 MGNREGA

·         Rs. 60, 000 crore allocation for MGNREGA in BE 2019-20

 Direct Tax proposals

·         Income upto Rs. 5 lakh exempted from Income Tax

·         More than Rs. 23,000 crore tax relief to 3 crore middle class taxpayers

·         Standard Deduction to be raised to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 40,000

·         TDS threshold to be raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 40,000 on interest earned on bank/post office deposits

·         Existing rates of income tax to continue

·         Tax exempted on notional rent on a second self-occupied house

·         Housing and real estate sector to get boost-

o   TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs. 2,40,000

o   Benefit of rollover of capital gains increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for capital gains up to Rs. 2 crore.

o   Tax benefits for affordable housing extended till 31st March, 2020 under Section 80-IBA of Income Tax Act

o   Tax exemption period on notional rent, on unsold inventories, extended from one year to two years

 Fiscal Programme

·         Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4% of GDP for 2019-20

·         Target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21.

·         Fiscal deficit brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from almost 6% seven years ago

·         Total expenditure increased by over 13% to Rs.27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE

·         Capital Expenditure for 2019-20 BE estimated at Rs. 3,36,292 crore

·         Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) allocation increased to Rs. 3,27,679 crore in BE 2019-20

·         National Education Mission allocation increased by about 20% to Rs. 38,572 crore in BE 2019-20

·         Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) increased by over 18% to Rs. 27,584 crore in BE 2019-20

·         Substantial increase in allocation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes –

o   Allocation for SCs increased by 35.6% – from Rs. 56,619 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20

o   Allocation for the STs increased by 28% – from 39,135 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 50,086 crore in 2019-20 BE

·         Government confident of achieving the disinvestment target of 80,000 crore

·         Focus now on debt consolidation along with fiscal deficit consolidation programme

Poor and Backward Classes

·         “First right on the resources of country is that of the poor”: FM

·         25% additional seats in educational institutions to meet the 10% reservation for the poor

·         Targeted expenditure to bridge urban-rural divide & to improve quality of life in villages

·         All willing households to be provided electricity connections by March 2019

North East

·         Allocation to be increased by 21% to Rs. 58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE

·         Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently

·         Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram came on India’s rail map for the first time

·         Container cargo movement through improved navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra

 Vulnerable sections

·         A new committee under NITI Ayog to identify all the remaining De-notified nomadic and semi-Nomadic tribes.

·         New Welfare development Board under Ministry of social justice and empowerment for development and welfare of De-notified nomadic and semi nomadic tribes

 Defence

·         Defence budget to cross Rs 3,00,000 crore for the first time ever

 Railways

·         Capital support of Rs.64,587 crore proposed in 2019-20 (BE) from the budget

·         Overall capital expenditure programme to be of Rs. 1,58,658 crore

·         Operating Ratio expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18

                                                                             to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and

                                                                             to 95% in 2019- 20 (BE)

 Entertainment Industry

·         Indian filmmakers  to get access to Single window clearance as well for ease of shooting films

·         Regulatory provisions to rely more on self-declaration

·         To introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control piracy

 MSME and Traders

·         2% interest subvention on an incremental loan of  Rs 1 crore for GST registered SMEs

·         Atleast 3% of the 25% sourcing for the Government undertakings will be from women owned SMEs

·         Renewed Focus on Internal trade ; DIPP renamed to Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal trade

Digital Villages

·         The Government to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years

 Other Announcement(s)

·         New National Artificial Intelligence portal to support National Program on Artificial Intelligence

Achievements during 2014-19

State of the Economy

·         India universally recognized as a bright spot of the global economy during last five years

·         “Country witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability during 2014-19”, says FM

·         India is now the 6th largest economy in the world from being the 11thlargest in 2013-14

·         Annual average GDP growth during 2014-19 higher than any government since 1991

·         Government has broken inflation’s back from backbreaking inflation during 2009-14: FM

·         Average inflation down to 4.6%, lower than during any other Government

·         Inflation in December 2018 down to 2.19% only

·         Fiscal deficit down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from the high of almost 6% seven years ago

·         CAD likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year against a high of 5.6% six years ago

·         India attracted massive amount of FDI, worth $239 billion, during the last 5 years

·          “India is solidly back on track and marching towards growth and prosperity”, says FM

·         India becomes the fastest growing major economy in the world

·         Double-digit inflation contained and fiscal balance restored

·         Liberalization of FDI policy, allowing most FDI to come through the automatic route

Farmers

·         Assured MSP of minimum 50% to all 22 crops

·         Interest subvention doubled in last 5 years

·         Soil Health card, Neem coated Urea game changer in farm sector

Labor

·         Employment opportunities expanded ; EPFO membership increased by 2 crore

·         Minimum income for every category of workers increased by 42% in last 5 years

Poor and Backward Classes

·         10% reservation for the poor  in educational institutions and government jobs

·         Free electricity connection to every household under Saubhagya Yojana

·         World’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, for nearly 50 crore people

·         Aspirational Districts Programme for development in 115 most backward districts

·         Rs. 1,70,000 crore spent during 2018-19 for cheaper food grains to poor and middle class

·         143 crore LED bulbs provided in mission mode with the cooperation of private sector

·         Poor & middle class are saving Rs. 50, 000 crore p.a. in electricity bills due to LED bulbs

·         10 lakh patients benefited from free treatment under Ayushman Bharat

·         Jan Aushadhi Kendras providing medicines at affordable prices to poor and middle class

·         14 out of 21 AIIIMS operating presently have been announced since 2014

·         Government tripled rural roads’ construction under the PMGSY

·         15.80 lakh habitations out of 17.84 lakh connected with pucca roads

·         Rs. 19,000 crore for PMGSY in BE 2019-20 against Rs. 15,500 crore in RE 2018-19

·         1.53 crore houses built under PM Awas Yojana during the 2014-18

Women development to women led development

·         6 crore free LPG gas connections provided under Ujjwala Yojna ; All 8 crore by next year

·         70% of MUDRA Loan availed by Women

·         Maternity leave extended to 26 weeks

·         Financial support for pregnant women under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana

Youth

·         Over one crore youth trained under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana

·         Self-employment boost through MUDRA, STAND-UP and START-UP India

MSME and Traders

·         Up-to Rs 1 crore loans can be availed in less than an hour

·         25%-28% is the average savings due to GeM (Government e-Market place)

Income Tax

·         Tax collections nearly doubled in five years- from Rs. 6.38 Lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs. 12 lakh crore this year

·         80% growth in tax base- from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore in five years

·         Tax administration streamlined- Last year, 99.54% of the income-tax returns accepted as were filed

·         Technology intensive project approved to improve assessee friendliness –In two years, returns to be processed in 24 hours and refunds issued simultaneously

·         Earlier benefits given to middle class-

o   Basic exemption limit increased from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh

o   Tax rate reduced from 10% to 5% for the tax slab of Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh

o   Standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 introduced for the salaried class

o   Deduction of savings under section 80C increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh

o   Deduction of interest for self-occupied house property raised from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh

·         Special benefits and incentives already given to small businesses and startups-

o   Overall compliance processes simplified.

o   Threshold for presumptive taxation of business raised from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2 crore

o   Benefit of presumptive taxation extended for the first time to small professionals fixing threshold limit at Rs. 50 lakh

o   Presumptive profit rate reduced from 8% to 6% to promote a less cash economy

o   Tax rate for about 99% companies reduced to 25%

GST

·         GST made India a common market

·         GST led to increased tax base, higher collections and ease of trade

·         Inter-state movements now faster, more efficient, and hassle free

·         Responsive and sensitive reduction of tax rates – Most items of daily use now in the 0% or 5% tax slab

·         Relieving the businesses and service providers-

o   Exemptions from GST for small businesses doubled from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 40 lakh

o   Small businesses having turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore pay only 1% flat rate and file one annual return only

o   Small service providers with turnover upto Rs.50 lakhs can opt for composition scheme and pay GST at 6% instead of 18%

o   Soon, businesses comprising over 90% of GST payers to be allowed to file quarterly return

·         Encouraging GST revenue trends – The average monthly tax collection in the current year is Rs. 97,100 crore per month as compared to Rs. 89,700 crore per month in the first year

Infrastructure

·         Civil Aviation – UDAN Scheme

o   Number of Operational Airports crossed 100

o   Latest: Pakyong airport in Sikkim

o   Domestic Passenger traffic doubled in last 5 years

·         Roads

o   India is the fastest highway developer in the world

o   27 kms of highways built each day

o   Stuck projects completed – Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi

 – Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

·         Waterways

o   Flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas

o   For first time, container freight movement started on Kolkata to Varanasi inland waterways

·         Railways

o   ‘Safest year’ for railways in its history

o   All Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network eliminated.

o   Semi high-speed “Vande Bharat Express” introduced – first indigenously developed and manufactured

Climate Change

·         International Solar Alliance

o   To promote renewable energy

o   First treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India

o   Installed solar generation capacity grown over ten times in last five years

o   Now creating lakhs of new age jobs

Digital India Revolution

·         More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) exist to deliver services to the citizens

·         India now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data

·         Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years

·         Under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities

Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer

·         In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts opened

·         Aadhaar now near universally implemented

·         Ensure the poor and middle class receive the benefits of Government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen

Customs and trading across borders

·         Customs duties on 36 capital goods abolished

·         Digitization of import and export transactions

·         RFID technology to improve logistics

Steps against corruption

·         Government walked the talk on corruption and ushered in a new era of transparency: FM

·         RERA and Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act have brought transparency in real estate

·         The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 to help confiscate economic offenders

·         Government conducted transparent auction of natural resources such as coal & spectrum

Drive against Black money

·         Undisclosed income of about Rs 1,30,000 crore brought under tax through initiatives like Black money Law,  Fugitive Criminal offenders Act, Demonetisation etc.

·         Benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore have been attached

·         18% growth in Direct tax

Banking Reforms and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

·         The IBC has institutionalized a resolution-friendly mechanism

·         Government has stopped the culture of “phone banking”: FM

·         Government adopted 4Rs approach of recognition, resolution, re-capitalization & reforms

·         Government has implemented measures to ensure ‘Clean Banking’

·         Government has already recovered Rs. 3 lakh crore in favor of banks and creditors

·         Government has invested Rs. 2.6 lakh crore for recapitalization of public sector banks

Cleanliness

·         Government launched Swachh Bharat Mission as a tribute to 150 years of Gandhi Ji

·         FM thanks 130 crore Indians for translating Swachh Bharat into a national revolution

·         India has achieved 98% rural sanitation coverage

  •  5.45 lakh villages have been declared “Open Defecation Free”

Defence

·         OROP under implementation in full spirit with Rs 35,000 crore already disbursed

·         Military pay service hiked

Other achievements

·         Government put a stop to questionable practices of hiding high NPAs

·         Swachh Bharat Mission as the world’s largest behavioral change movement

Key message in the Interim Budget 2019-20

·         Moving towards realizing a ‘New India’ by 2022 –

o   Clean and healthy India with universal access to toilets, water and electricity to all

o   An India where Farmers’ income would have doubled

o   Ample opportunities to youth and women to fulfil their dreams

o   An India free from terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption and nepotism 

Vision for the next Decade 

·         Foundation for India’s growth and development laid in the past 5 years

·         Poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years

·         Aspire to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter

Ten dimensions of Vision for India of 2030

India would be a modern, technology driven, high growth, equitable and transparent society

1.      To build physical as well as social infrastructure and to provide ease of living

2.      To create a Digital India, digitize government processes with leaders from youth

3.      Making India pollution free by leading transport revolution with Electric Vehicles and focus on Renewables

4.      Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment

5.      Clean Rivers, safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water through micro-irrigation

6.      Besides scaling up of Sagarmala, Coastline and Ocean waters powering India’s development and growth

7.      Aim at our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World and placing an Indian astronaut into space by 2022

8.      Making India self-sufficient in food, exporting to the world to meet their food needs and producing food in the most organic way

9.      A healthy India via Ayushman Bharat with women having equal rights and concern for their safety and empowerment

10.  Transforming India into a Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation with pro-active and responsible bureaucracy

-PIB/ 01 February, 2019 / New Delhi

CRISIL REPORT: GUJARAT STAYS ON TOP BUT BENGAL MAKES BIG GAINS

GUJARAT STAYS ON TOP BUT BENGAL MAKES BIG GAINS: CRISIL REPORT  

As many as 12 of 17 states in the Reserve Bank of India’s non-special category grew faster than the growth pace of  the national economy in 2018, a Crisil report has said. In its report titled ‘States of growth 2.0’, Crisil said, “As many as 12 of 17 states in the Reserve Bank of India’s non-special category grew faster than the 6.7% pace the national economy clocked in fiscal 2018”. Crisil said that the growth however has not been equitable.

“Low-income states have not sustained high growth long enough to meaningfully bridge the per-capita income gap with the high-income states. In fact, the chasm is widening,” the report added.

Moreover, growth has not quite been conducive to job creation in a majority of the states. That’s because 11 states have recorded lower growth in ‘employment-intensive’ sectors such as manufacturing, construction and trade, and hotels transport and communication services, compared with the national rate, it said.

Crisil report found that on the fiscal front, most states veered off the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) line. “Despite this, due to little fiscal legroom for the Centre and increased share of states in central transfers, states are now the new engines of public spending. Although Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar were the biggest spenders overall, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana topped the list of states that spent the most out of their budget on capex,” Crisil said.

It added that the spending is not as much as they ought to be in health and education. The debt ratio was over 30 percent in Punjab, Rajasthan and Kerala, while Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Karnataka managed to keep it relatively low.

For most states, an increase in the primary deficit (which captures the current fiscal stance of the government) was the major cause of the rise in the debt ratio, the report added.

-January 22, 2019

BJP National Convention 2019: Amit Shah’s speech

Salient points of speech of BJP National President Amit Shah at the BJP National Convention at Ramlila Ground, New Delhi

In the last week alone, the government of Narendra Modi ji has taken two major decisions that have massive implications for future. The first of to these two decisions was providing 10% reservation for the poor from the upper castes in education and jobs.  Prime Minister has got it cleared in the Cabinet and parliament in a manner of less than one week to fulfill the aspirations of crored of upper caste youth in this country. In my view, the 124th amendment to the Constitution giving reservation to the upper caste youth is one of the most significant amendments to the constitution since it was framed.

The second major decision of the government under the leadership of Narendra Modi ji is simplification of the GST and the relief given to the small traders and manufacturers. As per this major decision, small traders and manufacturers with turnover upto Rs.40 lakh are exempt from registration under GST. Likewise, the turnover limit for coverage under the composite scheme has been increased from Rs.1 crore to Rs.1.5 crore.

He called upon the entire parliamentary board of the Bharatiya Janata Party to join him in congratulating and complimenting the prime minister for the truly historic decisions in the last one week.

Describing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as the most popular Prime Minister since independence Shri Amit Shah exhorted the delegates attending the national convention to take a resolve and vow to re-elect the Prime Minister with a bigger mandate in 2019. Shri Amit Shah stated that the national convention was to strengthen our resolve to usher in New India as envisioned by Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Shri Amit Shah said that in a tribute to Swami Vivekananda during his Jayanti, which will be celebrated on January 12, the BJP would implement the vision of Swami Vivekananda. He said that the party would celebrate the party’s victory in 2019 which also happens to be 150th year of Gandhiji’s birth and 500th year of Guru Nanak.

Recalling the contributions of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee the BJP President stated the this is the first national convention of the BJP when Atal ji is not alive. Atalji provided leadership to the BJP from the Jan Sangh days and recalled how Atal-Advani duo strived to take the BJP to every corner of the country and in establishing it as a national party. Though there is a vacuum after the demise of Atal ji he would always remain with the people and the party as it pursues his goals.

Highlighting the significance of Ramlila Maidan as a venue where the party had resolved to secure a win in 2014 and the venue where the first rally to end the undemocratic Indira Raj after the imposition of emergency, Shri Amit Shah stated that 2019 would also become a significant milestone at the venue for securing outright majority for the BJP.

Shri Amit Shah emphatically stated that a victory in 2019 for the BJP is also important for 50 crore poor people of this country,  for the youth and for women who have suffered neglect under previous Congress dispensations and have not had access to even basic needs. For over 70 years people waited for a leader who would Make India great and Shri Narendra Modi had arrived to fulfill that desire.

Highlighting that the so-called Opposition Alliance has neither a leader nor any positive agenda, he said that the 2019 electoral battle will have an impact that would last for centuries. Underscoring the importance of 2019 battle, Shri Shah drew a parallel with the Great Maratha rulers in pre-British era who won 134 battles but a defeat in Panipat third battle had brought in the British Raj which subjugated India for 200 years.

Recalling the 2014 verdict the BJP national president said the people of this country have given an outright majority to a government after a gap of 30 years. He further stated the BJP was in power in only 6 States when the party secured a majority in 2014 while at present the party is in power in 16 States. Further, he said, the membership of the BJP has risen from 2.4 crores in 2014 to 11 crores at present. Once the party scores a victory in 2019 the party would expand its influence and become a dominant party even in the south of India going as far as Kerala, he added.

Stating the there is no leader to rival the popularity of prime minister Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Shah said that the BJP’s victory in 2019 was certain as the people of the country are with the BJP under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. Highlighting the desperation of the so-called grand alliance the BJP President said that the politics is not just arithmetic or physics but produces chemical reactions. Referring to the alliance between Samajwadi Party and Congress party in 2017 UP assembly polls , the BJP President stated that the BJP had secured a massive mandate despite that alliance. He exuded confidence that the BJP would secure over 50% vote and would go on to win at least 74 scenes in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Taking a dig at rival political parties that are feeling compelled to come together despite their known rivalries owing to the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP President said that these attempts would fail.

Reeling out statistics as to how poverty and deprivation remained unaddressed despite the Congress having ruled India for 55 years the BJP President stated howin the last 4.5 years 6 crore women have received free LPG connections , 9 crore households have received a toilet , 2.5 Crore houses have received electricity, 2.5 crore households received free housing under Awas Yojana. Describing Ayushman Bharat as the world’s largest Health Insurance programme, the BJP President said that 50 crore people of the country who could not afford Healthcare are receiving Rs 5 lakh health insurance cover for hospitalization and for other expenses as well.

Highlighting significant improvement in the overall national security scenario, Shri Shah attributed improvements to the security doctrine followed by the Modi government which gave freehand to the armed forces to retaliate every act of provocation and infiltration with a heavy response. Naxalism has also been curbed and the problem has nearly ended, he said. The BJP government had given respect to the armed  forces by fulfilling a long standing demand of the armed forces for One Rank One Pension (OROP), he added.

Unlike the week-kneed response of the Manmohan Singh government in similar situations, our government carried out retaliatory surgical strikes after 16 of our sleeping soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack in Uri, he said. The whole world has started looking at us differently and with more respect after the surgical strikes, he added.

Demanding that the Congress party must make its stand clear on the National Register for Citizens (NRC), Shri Shah said that many opposition parties in Parliament shed tears for illegal immigrants who pose a threat to India’s security. Describing how this problem is eating away our resources like termites, he castigated them for vote bank politics.

Highlighting how India’s image and prestige has enhanced over the last 4.5 years under Modi government, Shri Shah recalled that Shri Narendra Modi was asked to inaugurate Davos summit though leaders from India never received such honour in the past. He also noted as major achievements the International Yoga Day, UN Champion of the Earth award for the PM Modi and India’s contribution to the deliberations in Paris Climate Summit.

Lambasting the corrupt rule of the Congress party before 2014 which looted Rs.12 lakh crore in various scandals, the BJP President listed various initiatives of Narendra Modi government like the SIT against black money, framing of rules under the benami act, fugitives act demonetisation etc to launch a big attack against black money. By implementing direct benefit transfer (DBT) under various schemes, the BJP government has plugged leakages and insured savings to the tune of Rs.80000 crore, he added.

Describing the Narendra Modi government as a Spotless government, the BJP president stated that the party cadres can hold their heads high for a government of total integrity. Highlighting how the Congress Party continues to indulge in lies and calumny even after the Supreme Court found absolutely no merit in the allegations being made in Rafale procurement and no need for any investigations. Shri Amit Shah has congratulated and complimented finance minister Shri Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for exposing lies of Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party during the parliamentary debates on the issue. Stating that the Congress Party is getting desperate as the party’s image is tarnished after the revelations by “Mama Michel” and Uncle Quattrocchi. Scare of a big defeat and the immaculate image of the government have made a desperate Congress to resort to lies and Propaganda, Shri Shah revealed.

Shri Amit Shah said that the likes of Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi , Nirav Modi who escaped India were in partnership with the Congress Party which allowed them to loot public money and that they would never have fled India had the Congress been in power. Because “chaukidar is holding everyone by the neck, they felt compelled to flee. Modi ji’s government will ensure that they return to India and payback everything they looted from this country with the Congress party’s collusion and help.

Source – http://www.bjp.org/ 11 January 2019/ New Delhi

POLITICAL RESOLUTION PASSED IN BJP NATIONAL EXECUTIVE MEETING

Political Resolution of BJP Passed in National Executive Meeting on 09 September, 2018 in New Delhi

POLITICAL RESOLUTION: The National Executive of the Bhartiya Janta Party expresses it’s gratitude and compliment Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi for his vision of building a New India by 2022, when our country celebrates 75 years of its Independence. This New India will be free from hunger, homelessness and joblessness; this will be an India – united, strong, prosperous and confident. Our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed and leading to develop a New India, which will not have any place for poverty, homelessness, terrorism, corruption, casteism and secterianism.

As we meet at this National Executive, one crore families from lower income group, are ready to receive their own houses.  We are successfullly leading to the aim of providing homes to more than 5 crore families in next three years to end homelessness in the country. The commitment with which the Government is working towards its goal, gives this executive the confidence that the country will be completely free from homelessness very soon.

Today, as we are deliberating on the ways leading to this New India, a middle-aged, not-so-well-educated farmer, in a remote corner of the State of Mizoram is proudly announcing, the record production of mushrooms in his farm, using new scientific agricultural practices. It is this golden moment when our India is exploring new, multi-dimensional agricultural techniques to double the income of it’s farmers.

Today, we are witnessing new rays of hope from each corner and State of our Country. These are the rays of hope of the New India. As we discussing, sitting here in this executive, a 19-year young college graduate in a small village in Rajasthan, fired by the zeal to innovate, is running a tractor by remote control in his small farm sitting under a tree nearby. He want to end the hardship farmers are facing day and night and says that he and his other farmers in the village need no longer toil in scorching sun to till their lands; they can just do it by quietly sitting under a tree, using the remote wheel that he has developed, under rupees one lakh. The spirit of inventions and innovations is sweeping across the country.

These are the times when the confidence of the common man of the country is taking a new shape. As we gather here, elsewhere in India, a daughter of a rickshaw puller from Maharashtra, and another one of a madrasa teacher from Tamilnadu, have got impressive ranks in the Civil Services examinations. This confidence is reflection of the fact that the common people are now becoming real stakeholders and are ready to lead  the country.

The concept of New India on the parameters of development is multi-dimensional. The country is reaching new heights in each and every field. A group of six women Navy Officers named Tarini has just returned completing a full round of the World. This proves India’s increasing influence and strength in maritime. Another, women officer of the Air Force is prepaing to go solo to fly the mosy powerful wartime sky machine, MIG21. On the other hand, daughter of a chaiwalla from Bhopal is soon getting to be commissioned as a fighter pilot. All such examples prove that the Country’s women are becoming more confident and courageous.

The idea of India and Indianness have become the most attractive ideas of discussion across the world. This executive considers the acceptance of International Yoga Diwas by the world community, as an extra ordinary success and acheivement of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. To quote our Prime Minister, “ People from 190 countries from Dehradoon to Dublin, Shanghai to Chicago, and Jakarta to Johannesburg, were stretching their limbs and controlling their breath as part of the International Yoga Day. India becoming the harbinger of global well being.”

Todays India is creating new fables of the success of multi-dimensional changes. More than 130 crore Indians are participants in this process of change. And, as we meet here to deliberate, the UNHRC was spreading a totally biased and factually incorrect, juvenile-sounding report on the human rights conditions in Jammu & Kashmir but on the other hand, a group of women beneficiaries of an important initiative of our government called ‘Stand Up India’ from Anantnag, the hotbed of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, were thanking and blessing Prime Minister Modi and stating that they had prayed to the Almighty Allah everyday during the holy month of Ramazan for his return of as Prime Minister for 5 more years.

A New India, moving ahead… 

India  is coming out of the silenced, once-smoke-puffing chimneys in our country side; it is now rising up of the eco-friendly LPG cooking stoves of our poor rural households. We have done away with the hazardous coal and wood-based cooking for our womenfolk, by supplying LPG connections to more than 5 crore households;

New India is rising out of the newly electrified remote villages of India; we have electrified all the 597,464 villages. Saubhagya scheme was launched to ensure electrification of all rural and urban households in the country. While 99% of urban households have electricity connection, the share of rural households having an electricity connection has risen from 55% in 2011-end to 88% currently.

A New India is rising on the able shoulder, and out of the skilled hands of millions of young men and women, especially the SCs and STs. We have extended soft loans to over 7 crore of them through MUDRA Yojana; today the youth in India are no longer just job-seekers; they are job providers too.

A new, confident, and well-skilled India is rising out of 20 AIIMS, 22 IITs and 20 IIMs which prepare thousands of highly skilled doctors, engineers and managers for the country and society.

A strong and healthy India is arising with millions joining Prime Minister’s ‘Hum fit hai to India fit hai’ – ‘If we are fit, India is fit’ campaign. The National Executive proudly proclaims that it is the government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi that is building this New India!!! We have built over 120,000 KM of highways in last 4 years, almost doubling the existing network. We express heartflet thanks to the Prime Minister for leading this change.

Builing New India by developing Basic Infrastructure

Urban Transport: We are building 101 smart cities. We have already built metro train services in 10 cities; and another 5 cities will be added very soon. Urban connectivity has been totally transformed; electric public transport is the next priority for our government to build a pollution-free India. Work has already started through electric local transport vehicles like auto rickshaws;

Power: With 1433 terawatt/hours of power generation, today India is an energy-surplus country. Ther isn’t any power shortage in the country now.

Success in Space Missions: We are going to launch Chandrayan 2 later this year and a unique solar mission called Aditya-L1 next year. With almost 12 launches in as many number of months in this year, our ISRO is adding new feathers to its glory on a monthly basis. ISRO is increasing it’s capacity of new inventions very fast.

Digital Connectivity: We are in the process of building 1 million KM of fibre optic network to digitally connect 2,50,000 villages in the country by the end of 2019. We have a mobile phone base of 1.2 billion today, a smartphone base of over 450 million and the internet-connected population in the country is above half-a-billion. We have revolutionised the IT sector through Digital India Campaign; the JAM trinity – Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile, has transformed the lives of ordinary Indians. DBT schemes have helped reduce corruption and delays to beneficiaries and improved systemic efficiency.

Commitment to Cleanliness: This is an undisputed fact that our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi ji has made ‘cleanliness’ a people’s movement in the country. We are building a Swatch Bharat – clean and hygienic India. The coverage of households with toilets which was 38.7 per cent in October 2014 increased significantly to 87.9 per cent in July 2018. So far 781.62 lakh household toilets have been constructed between October 2014 and July 2018. A total of 417 districts have self-declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) across all States/UTs along with 100 per cent ODF in 19 States/UTs. Today, our women, the real beneficiaries of this campaign are feeling more secure, healthy and educated. Swatch Bharat has become a people’s mission.

Health: We have announced the world’s largest government-funded health care programme titled ‘National Health Protection Scheme’ in Budget 2018-19 to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

Waterways: We are dredging our rivers so as to make dozens of waterways operational very soon. This executive have full faith that we are going to have a clean Ganga by March next year.

All this and more, we have achieved in a record time due to the visionary and disruptive leadership of our Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi.

Major landmarks of economic achievements: Four years ago we inherited a crumbling, corrupt and crony capitalist economy. We had the challenge to turn it around. The Prime Minister undertook the task of setting its basics right. It called for some harsh action, the kind that the Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter called ‘creative destruction’. Schumpeter described it as the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one”.

Demonetisation, GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code – IBC etc are such measures that set India’s economic basics right while bringing economic discipline and rule of law in the governance.

As a result, after a brief slowdown, the Indian economy is rising fast. We are the fastest growing major economy in the world today with 7.5% GDP growth rate as projected by the IMF. With 6.6% growth rate China is well behind us.IMF has also projected a further improvement in India’s growth as a result of implementation of several structural reform measures to be more than 8% growth in the medium term.

India is emerging as an important player in the world. India’s share in the world economy is consistently increasing. The contribution of India to world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), measured as share of GDP of India in world’s GDP (at current prices in US$ terms) is consistently increasing since 2014. It was 2.6 per cent in 2014 and increased to 3.3 per cent in 2017. We are likely to emerge as world’s 5th largest economy in USD terms in 2018 overtaking UK according to the World Bank.

The confidence in the Indian economy has increased on account of policy measures taken up by the government, as can be seen from many indicators:

  • Moody’s rating agency upgraded India’s local and foreign currency issuer rating to Baa2 with a stable outlook from Baa3 due to continued progress in India’s economic reforms. This upgrade has come after 13 years. The last upgrade was also under the NDA (January 2004).
  • According to World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2018 Report, India’s ranking improved by 30 positions to 100th rank in 2017.
  • As per the World Economic Forum, India’s rank in Global Competitiveness Index is 40 out of 137 countries in 2017-18, which is an improvement over 71  in 2014-15.

As a result we have record Forex reserves of US $ 415 billion. In Ease of Doing Business, India climbed up 30 rankings to reach 100thposition. Gross FDI inflow has gone up to $61 billion this year. There is a 20% growth in exports and 15% growth in imports

Corruption, once endemic to Indian system has largely disappeared from public domain. The corrupt today have to run, to use the metaphor, from pillar to post, ‘from Hong Kong to London’. They may remain fugitives for sometime, but they must have to return, to join their comrades in the Ranchi jail.

New fiscal policies of our government have made both India and the Indians richer. There used to be a time when India is called a poor country; that was when both the government and people of India were poor. Slowly people started becoming rich, but the government remained poor. Today after 4 years of prudent fiscal management, Indians have become richer, so is the Indian government.

GST has helped mop up revenues for the government to the tune of close to Rs 1 trillion – $ 150 billion. With total tax payer base increasing to more than 10 million, the government is confident of bring fiscal deficit to around 3.3% this year.

Fiscal deficit of the Government of India was 3.9 per cent of GDP in 2015-16 and remained 3.5 per cent for 2016-17 and 2017-18 [Provisional Actuals] and is budgeted to be 3.3 per cent in 2018-19. Contrast this with the fiscal deficits run in UPA years: 6.5% in 2009/10, then 4.8% in 2010/11, 5.9% in 2011/12 and 4.9% in 2012/13. The primary deficit of the central government has never exceeded 1% of GDP during this government despite states’ share of gross tax revenues rising from 46.5% under UPA2 to 56% under NDA2.

In the agriculture sector, as per Third Advance estimates for 2017-18 released by Department of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, there is an estimated record production of 279.6 million tonnes of food grains in 2017-18 as against 275.1 million tonnes in 2016-17. There is a record production of rice, wheat, coarse cereals and pulses etc during the year. Horticulture production touched a new peak of 305.4 million tonnes in 2017-18, up by 1.6 per cent from last year.

For the Kharif 2018-19 season, MSP for 14 crops have been raised to atleast 50 per cent over the cost of production (A2+FL). This is a revolutionary step to improve the condition of farmers by increasing their incomes.

In just four years’ time, India has emerged as a united and strong nation. The government is respected within India as well as outside. We have had a record four years of riot-free India. Maoism, once a threat in about 160 districts in the country, is today contained to just 20 districts. Soon we are going to have a Maoist insurgency-free India. Urban Maoism too is being curbed with an iron hand.

Internal security situation has drastically improved. The North East remained largely peaceful, with six out of eight states electing BJP/NEDA governments. Accord with underground Naga groups is on the cards paving way for lasting peace in the region.

Publication of the National Register of Citizens, completed after a Herculean effort by over 50,000 employees of the Assam state government, is a monumental work is securing the cultural, economic and demographic interests of the state as well as the national security interests of India. The National Executive reassures every genuine Indian citizen that none of them shall be left out when the final NRC is published. We shall also take steps to protect the interests of the minorities in our neighbourhood who come to India seeking refuge. The National Executive compliments Modi government for its determination in weeding out the infiltrators, whether they are Bangladeshis or Rohingya.

Stern steps taken by our government in the last three years have led to elimination of more than six hundred terrorists in J&K. The National Executive is proud that our leadership has held national interest above party interest and boldly walked out of the government in that state in order to facilitate more concrete action for peace and development there.

In last four years, India credibility and respect has increased manifold in across the World. Our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi is counted among the top leaders of the world now. Our balanced and sensitive foreign policy is praised from across all corners. This balance is reflected in the fact that we have equidistance relations with Israel and Palestine, with Iran and Saudi Arabia, with USA, China and with Russia. Our sensitive approach has led us to successfully rescue  and bring home, more than one lakh Indians who got stuck in different places across the world in recent times.

In the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India has now become a country which now decides the global agenda. This is reflected in the fact that within a period of 75 days, we were able to mobilise 177 countries to declare 21 June as World Yoga Day. This is also proved by the formation of ‘Global Solar Alliance’ with the help of France to counter global climate change challenges.

Politically, after 4 years, the Prime Minister defies conventional political wisdom about incumbency by recording 70%+ popularity ratings. No other Indian leader comes anywhere close to him. Since 2014, we have won elections in 15 states and lost in 6. We are in power in 20 Indian states today while the Opposition controls 10; Congress has its governments in 3 out of them. 60% of India ruled by BJP governments besides the central government.

The Opposition parties are terribly shaken by the immense goodwill and popularity of our government based on its sheer good work and people-friendly policies. In their desperation for power the Opposition parties are resorting to various tactics. They neither have a leader who can match PM Modi in stature nor a program. Their singular objective is ‘Stop Modi’. They want his vision for New India to be destroyed by any means.

The Prime Minister has given a call to the entire nation for building a New India by 2022, when India completes 75 years of its Independence – a New India free of homelessness, joblessness, poverty and disease; A New India that is united, prosperous, confident and happy.

The National Executive resolves to achieve it, under his leadership, by actively mobilising the support of 130 crore Indians. We invite each and every Indian to come and join in this greatest ever mega transformation happening across India. It is the transformation of a lifetime. Together we shall be part of it. This National Executive expresses its confidence and gratitude towards our leader, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for leading the country to the path of making of a New India.

-September 09, 2018, New Delhi

PM Narendra Modi’s address on 72 Independence Day

PM Narendra Modi’s address to the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 72nd Independence Day- August, 15, 2018

My dear countrymen, I convey my best wishes to all of you on this auspicious occasion of Independence Day. Today, the country is brimming with self-confidence. The country is scaling new heights by working extremely hard, with a resolve to realize its dreams. Today’s dawn has brought a new spirit, a new enthusiasm, a new zeal and a new energy with it.

My dear countrymen, in our country, there is a Neelakurinji flower which blooms once every 12 years. This year, Neelakurinji is in full bloom on the hills of Southern Nilgiri like the Ashok Chakra (the wheel of Ashoka) in the Tricolour on our Independence Day.

My dear countrymen, we are celebrating this festival of independence at a time when our daughters from the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, have come back after circumnavigating the seven seas. They have returned after unfurling the Tricolour in the seven seas, colouring their waters with the hues of our Tricolor.

My dear countrymen, we are celebrating this festival of independence at a time when the Mount Everest has been conquered many times; several brave-hearts and many of our daughters have unfurled the Tricolour atop the Mount Everest. However, during this festival of independence, I will remember our young tribal children from remote forest areas, who have unfurled the Tricolour on the Mount Everest, further enhancing its glory.

My dear countrymen, the sessions of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have concluded recently, and you would have seen that the proceedings were conducted in a very orderly manner, and in a way, they were entirely dedicated to the cause of social justice.

Displaying utmost sensitivity and alertness, our Parliament has made the social justice framework stronger to protect the interests of the weaker sections of society – be it a Dalit, a deprived or exploited person or women.

The demand to confer constitutional status on the OBC Commission had existed for years. This time, our Parliament has accorded Constitutional status to this Commission, and in doing so, has made an efforts to   protect the interests of the Backward and the Most Backward classes.

Today, we are celebrating the festival of independence at a time when news reports have brought  in a new consciousness in the country. Today, every Indian, living in any nook and corner of the world, takes pride in the fact that India has become the sixth largest economy of the world. We are celebrating this Independence Day in a positive atmosphere amidst such positive chain of events.

Under the leadership of respected Bapu, lakhs of people sacrificed their lives and spent their youth in prisons to win freedom for our country. Many great revolutionaries embraced the gallows bravely. Today on behalf of my countrymen, I pay homage to those brave freedom fighters and salute them from the bottom of my heart. Our soldiers and Paramilitary forces lay down their lives to uphold the dignity of the tricolour that inspires us to hold our heads high through life and death. Our Police forces serve the country day and night to provide safety and security to the people.

From the ramparts of the Red Fort with the Tricolour as witness, I salute all the soldiers of the army, the para-military forces and the police for their dedicated service, valour and hard work. My best wishes are always with them.

These days, we are receiving the news of good rainfall as well as floods from different parts of the country. I want to reassure the people who have lost their loved ones and are in distress, that the country is with them in their hour of crisis to help them overcome this difficult situation. I share the grief of those who have lost their near and dear ones in this natural calamity.

My dear countrymen,

The next year will mark 100 years of the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre. Our masses had sacrificed their lives for the country’s freedom at a time when atrocities had crossed all limits. The Jallianwallah Bagh incident reminds us of the sacrifices made by the brave hearts and is an inspiration to us. I salute all the brave people from the depths of my heart.

My dear countrymen,

Our freedom has come at a price. Under the leadership of Bapu and the revolutionaries, many heroes, many satyagrahis, brave men and women and youth participated in the freedom struggle of the country. While striving for the country’s freedom, they suffered imprisonment and spent the prime of their youth in jails, yet they nurtured the dreams of a glorious India even through all the suffering.

Many years ago, the national poet from Tamil Nadu, Subramaniam Bharti  translated his vision of the country into words

“एल्‍लारुम् अमरनिलई आईडुमनान

मुरईअई इंदिया उलागिरिक्‍कु अलिक्‍कुम”.

– ( “Ellarum amarnillai aaedumnaan

      muraiai India ulagirakku allikkum”).

What was the dream that he envisioned after Independence?  Subramania Bharti said that India will show the way for the entire world to break free from every form of bondage.

My dear countrymen,

After Independence, in order to realize the dreams of such great personalities, to meet the aspirations of freedom fighters and to fulfill the hopes and expectations of the citizens of the country, India drafted an inclusive Constitution under the leadership of respected Baba Saheb Ambedkar ji.  This inclusive Constitution is the harbinger of a resolve to build a New India.  It has brought with it some responsibilities for us and has also set a few boundaries on us. Our Constitution has been guiding us in realizing our dreams by stating that every section of the society and every geographical part of India must get an equal opportunity in the quest to forge ahead.

Dear brothers and sisters,

The Constitution also guides us to draw inspiration from our Tricolor. It indicates that we should ensure justice for the poor, equal opportunity for all to move ahead, our lower middle class, middle class and higher middle class should not face any obstacle in their growth, the Government should not come in the way, social systems should not curb their dreams. We should create an enabling environment that provides them maximum opportunities to grow and blossom, and they should be allowed to flourish without limitation.

Be it our elderly, differently-abled, our women, marginalized or deprived people, or our Adivasi brethren living in the forests, everyone must get an opportunity to grow, as per their hopes and aspirations. We aspire for an India that is strong and self-reliant, a nation that maintains a steady pace of progress, an India that keeps scaling new heights; an India that enjoys goodwill in the world.  Not only this, we want that India should also shine in the world – we want to build such an India.

My dear countrymen, I have shared my vision for TEAM INDIA earlier too.   When 125 crore countrymen become partners, then each and every citizen joins us in the progress of the country. When 125 crore dreams, 125 crore resolves, 125 crore efforts, move in the right direction to attain desired goals then nothing is unattainable.

Dear brothers and sisters, with utmost humility and respect, I would like to share that in 2014, 125 crore citizens did not rest after voting for the Government.   The citizens did not stop at government formation, but worked to build the nation. They have come together, were together and will continue to be together.  I feel that this synergy of 125 crore active citizens from more than 6 lakhs villages is the real strength of our nation. Today, we celebrate the birth anniversary of Shri Aurobindo. He said something very pertinent – What is Nation? What is our Motherland?  It is not a mere piece of land, not just an identity, nor is it a figment of imagination. The Nation is a repository of a great force manifested through many organized units to give it a concrete shape. It is this thought of Sri Aurobindo which is uniting the country and taking it ahead. That we are actually moving ahead is difficult to comprehend unless we know from where we started. If we don’t look at from where we began our journey, it will not be possible to assess how far we have come. Precisely for this reason, if we consider 2013 as the base year and take into consideration the work that has been done in the last four years, you will be surprised to see the speed at which the country is moving and the pace at which the progress is being made. Take the case of toilets. If we had continued with the same speed of constructing toilets as in 2013, then to achieve 100% target would have taken decades.

If we talk about providing electricity to villages on the basis of work done in 2013, it would have taken a couple of more decades to accomplish this work. If we talk about providing smoke free LPG gas connection to the poor and to the poor mothers, at the rate in which it was done in 2013, it could not have been completed even in a 100 years. If we had maintained the speed of 2013 in laying optical fibre network in villages, then we would not have been able to accomplish the task for generations together. We will strive to maintain the same pace of development.

Brothers and sisters, the country has huge expectations, the country has a lot of requirements and to fulfill those, it is imperative for the central government and the state governments to work together steadily and continuously. Today, we can see a sea change in the country although the country is same, the soil is same, the wind is same, the sky is same, the sea is same, the government offices are same, the files are same and the decision making process remains the same. However, the country has been experiencing change for the last four years.  A new spirit, new energy, new resolve, new determination and new inspiration is taking the country forward. This is why the country has doubled the pace of construction of the highways. The construction of new houses has gone up four times in the villages.  The food production in the country today has reached an all-time high; there has been a record production of mobile phones; the sale of tractors has touched a new high.  On the one hand, a record number of tractors are being bought by our farmers today, at the same time, the country has witnessed a record number of aeroplane purchases since independence.  Toilets are being built in schools; new IIMs, new IITs and new AIIMS are being established.  Giving momentum to Skill Development Missions, the country is setting up new centers in small towns.  At the same time, our tier-2 and tier-3 cities are being flooded with start-up enterprises, bringing regeneration.

Brothers and Sisters, Digital India is now making inroads into our villages.  As a government sensitive to the needs of people, efforts are being made to turn Digital India into a reality. At the same time, work is also progressing with the same dedication to compile dictionary and common signs for my differently-abled brothers and sisters. While on the one hand, our farmers are working on modern agricultural techniques like micro irrigation, drip irrigation and sprinklers, on the other hand, 99 big closed irrigation projects have also been revived. Our soldiers reach out to provide relief and rescue operations during natural calamities.  While our soldiers display exemplary courage in reaching out to rescue the people in difficulties, they have also shown a steely resolve to carry out surgical strikes and vanquish our enemies.

Take a glance at the vast canvass of the development in our country- from one end to the other, one can witness the progress of the country that is moving ahead with new energy and enthusiasm. I hail from Gujarat.  There is a saying in Gujarati ‘Nishan Chuk Maaf Lekin Nahi Maaf Nichu Nishan’ which means one should have big aims and dreams. However, for that, one has to strive hard and be answerable. But if the aims are not big, targets are not far-sighted, decisions are also not taken. Development comes to a halt. That is why my dear brothers and sisters, it is necessary for us to move ahead with big aims and resolve.  When targets are vague, when the spirit is not strong, then important decisions in our social life also get held up for years.  Take for instance the case of MSP – economists, farmer organizations, farmers as well as political parties had been demanding, that farmers should get an MSP which is one and a half times of their investment.  The matter was debated for years, files moved to and fro, and but was stuck. Finally, we took the decision.  We took a bold decision of giving the farmers the MSP which is one and half times their investment.

There was unanimity on GST. Everyone wanted GST but they could not arrive at a decision because while on the subject, they were thinking in terms of their vested interests and whether this will translate into electoral gains.  Today, with the help of small traders, their open mindedness and their attitude of accepting the new, the country has implemented GST. A new found confidence has been generated in the business community.  The small entrepreneurs, small businessmen who faced teething difficulties in adopting GST, accepted the challenge and the country is now moving ahead.

Today, we have enacted laws on Insolvency and Bankruptcy to strengthen the banking sector. Who opposed them earlier?  Taking decisions requires conviction, force, confidence and complete dedication to the good of the common man. Why was the Benami property law not enforced earlier? The Benami property laws are implemented only when there is courage and a determination to do something for the country. The Jawans of our defence forces were demanding one-rank one-pension for several decades. They were not resorting to agitation because they are disciplined, but nobody was paying heed to their voices. Somebody needed to take a decision in this regard. You gave us the responsibility of taking this decision and we fulfilled it positively.

My dear brothers and sisters,

We are not the kind of people who work in the interest of the party. We are capable of taking tough decisions because national interest is topmost in our priority.

My dear brothers and sisters,

In this era of global economy, the entire world is looking at every development in India – big or small, with deep interest and hope and expectations. You may recall the comments made about India prior to 2014, by eminent international institutions, top economists of the world, and by those considered authorities on the subject.  There was a time when the Indian economy was considered risky by experts. But now the same experts and the institutions have expressed confidence that our reform momentum has strengthened our economic fundamentals. How have things changed? There was a time when the world used to comment about red tape in India but now they talk about Red Carpet.  We have reached the 100th spot in Ease of Doing Business ranking. Today, the entire world is looking at this achievement with pride. There was a time when the world perceived India as a country with ‘policy paralysis’ and ‘delayed reforms’. Old newspaper clippings confirm this view. However, today the world opinion about India has changed and they talk about our focus on reform, perform and transform. This follows from a series of time bound policy decisions.  There was a time when the world counted India among the ‘fragile five’. They were concerned that India was pulling down the world economy but now their tone has changed as India has become a multi-trillion dollar investment destination.

My dear brothers and sisters,

While engaging with India, the investors used to bemoan the lack of infrastructure, the blackouts due to power shortage and the bottlenecks. The same set of experts who had earlier dubbed India as a ‘sleeping elephant’ are now saying that ‘sleeping elephant’ has woken up and started running. Economists and international institutions are saying that India will provide momentum to the world economy for the next three decades and will spur the growth of the world.

Today, India’s stature at International fora has risen greatly. India’s voice is being heard in every organization of which she is a member. India is playing a crucial role in shaping up the discourse and providing leadership to these organizations. We are raising our voice at international fora.

My dear countrymen, for years, we waited seeking membership to some international organizations, but today, our country has become a member of innumerable organizations. Today, India offers a ray of hope for those who are concerned with environmental issues and global warming. Today India has become the flag bearer of International Solar Alliance in the world. Today, every country of the world is keen to welcome any Indian stepping on its soil. A new consciousness is visible in their eyes, when they look at an Indian. The strength of the Indian passport has multiplied manifold. This has instilled a new self-confidence, fresh energy and a resolve in every Indian to move ahead with new hope.

My dear countrymen, if an Indian is in trouble or distress in any part of the world, he can rest assured that his country is with him at every step. Several recent incidents bear testimony to this fact.

My dear countrymen, just as the perspective of the world towards India has transformed, similarly, there was a time when the news from India’s North-Eastern part used to be dominated with content that one wished were not there. However, today my dear brothers and sisters, North-East is coming up with positive and inspiring stories. North-East today is shining in the field of sports.

My dear brothers and sisters, today we are receiving news from North-East that the last village has been electrified and the entire village danced the whole night. We are hearing more such news from the North East about highways, railways, airways, waterways and information ways (i-ways) coming to the region. The work of installing electric transmission lines across the North-East is progressing at a rapid pace. Today youth from the North-East are establishing BPOs in the region.   Today, new educational institutions are being set up and the North-East India is becoming the new hub for organic farming. North-East is going to host the Sports University.

Brothers and sisters, there was a time when the North-East used to feel that Delhi is very distant. Within four years, we have brought Delhi to the doorsteps of North-East.

Brothers and sisters, today, about 65% of the population in the country is below 35 years of age. We are proud of our country’s youth. Our country’s youngsters have completely transformed the meaning of all standards of the economy. They have infused new colours to the country’s standard of progress. There was a time when only big cities used to hog all the limelight. Today, our country is talking about Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and paying attention to the youngsters engaged in modern agriculture in the rural areas. The youth of our country has completely transformed the nature of jobs. Today the youngsters of the country are taking the nation to greater heights by exploring and engaging in new fields such as Start-ups, BPOs, E-commerce, mobility etc.

My dear countrymen, 13 crore Mudra Loans has been a major achievement. More so, if it includes 4 crore youth who have taken the loan for the first time with the aspiration to become self-reliant and are promoting self-employment. This in itself is a great example of the changing ecosystem. In an endeavor to realize the dream of Digital India, several Common Service Centres are being managed by young girls and boys in more than 3 lakhs villages today. These centres are rendering “on-the-click global connect”/”anytime-anywhere connectivity” services to every citizen in the villages with the optimal utilization of Information Technology.

Talking about infrastructure, whether it be speed of rails, roads, I-ways, highways or a new airport, our nation is witnessing fast paced development.

Brothers and Sisters, scientists of our nation have also left no stone unturned in bringing immense glory to our country.  In the global context, as well as fulfilling the requirements of the country, it is a matter of great pride that our scientists launched more than 100 satellites in one go leaving the world astonished. That’s the capability of Indian scientists which has made the world stand up and applaud. Successful launch of Mangalyaan in the very first attempt itself stands as testimony to the expertise and endeavors of our scientists. This feat of successful in orbit launch of Mangalyaan speaks volumes about the capabilities of our scientists. In days to come, thanks to the futuristic vision, innovativeness and creativity of our scientists we are confident of launching NavIC, the first indigenous Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). This navigation system will guide fishermen and other citizens through Satellite signals.

My dear countrymen, today from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I am delighted to share a good news. Our country is undoubtedly progressing fast in its space missions. However, we have a dream; our scientists have a dream. We have resolved that by 2022, when India celebrates 75 years of Independence or maybe even before that, certainly some of our young boys and girls will unfurl the Tricolour in space. With Mangalyaan our scientists have proved their capabilities. I feel proud to announce that very soon as a part of our Manned-Space mission, we shall be sending an Indian into space. This will be done through the pursuit of our esteemed scientists, and we will proudly find ourselves as the fourth such nation to have launched a successful Man Space Mission.

Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to congratulate our scientists and technicians for such a great accomplishment. Today our warehouses are filled with food grains. I sincerely acknowledge the role of our agricultural scientists, cultivators and farmers in successfully steering the green revolution across decades.

But my brothers and sisters, times have changed now. Our farmers and the agricultural markets have to face global challenges and competition. As the population increases, land falls short. Hence, the changing times demand that our agricultural methods should also be modern and more scientific; we have to take the process forward with technology. Precisely for this reason we are focusing on change and bringing in modern methods in the agricultural sector.

We have a vision to double the farmers’ income by the 75th year of Independence. Some people have doubts, which is quite natural, but we are determined. Hum makkhan par lakeer nahi, patthar par lakeer kheenchne waale hain (We don’t promise things lightly, we mean to keep our word). To keep our promises, we have to work hard, we have to plan and we have to put our heart and soul into fulfilling it. So in order to realize this promise by 75th year of Independence, we want to move along with the farmers in that direction by bringing modernity and diversity in agricultural sector. We want to bring value addition right from seeds to marketing. We want to modernize. Some new crops are giving record yields. For the first time we are moving towards agriculture export policy so that our farmers can also face global competition with confidence. Today we can see a new agricultural revolution. Organic farming, Blue revolution, sweet revolution and solar farming have opened up new vistas.

It is a matter of great satisfaction that today our country is the second highest fish producer in the world and is on the verge of reaching the top position soon. The export of honey has doubled. The sugarcane farmers are happy that ethanol production has tripled. It means, in rural economy other businesses allied to agriculture are also as important as agriculture. We are developing village resources by spending crores of rupees through women self help groups.

Khadi is associated with the name of respected Bapu. I want to humbly submit that the sale of khadi products since independence has doubled. This has generated employment for the poor.

My brothers and sisters, the farmers of my country are emphasizing on solar farming now. Apart from farming, they can earn money by selling power generated through solar farming. The people who spin charkha, the people who are associated with handloom are also earning their livelihood.

My dear brothers and sisters, economic development in our country is important, but more than anything else, human dignity is supreme. Without human dignity, no country can move forward in a balanced way. So to protect human dignity, we have to move ahead with those schemes which will ensure respectable lives for people. The policies, traditions and intentions should be such that ordinary people, including the poorest of the poor can get a chance to live with equal dignity.

So we have provided gas connection to the poor through Ujjawala Yojana. We have provided electricity to the poor through Saubhagya Yojana. We are emphasizing on moving ahead with the concept of ‘Shrameva Jayate’.

Only yesterday, we heard the President’s address to the nation. He described in great detail the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan. Whenever, there is talk about Government, it is said that policies are framed but there is no last mile delivery.  The President described well how this campaign that was launched in Delhi has now spread to 65000 villages in aspirational districts, to the huts of the poor; how it is working in the backward villages.

My dear countrymen, when I talked about cleanliness from the Ramparts of Red Fort in 2014, some people made fun.  Some of them even said the Government had many things to do, why is it wasting its energy on an issue like cleanliness. But my dear brothers and sisters, in a recent report the WHO has said that because of the cleanliness campaign three lakh children were saved.  The credit for saving lives of three lakh children goes to every Indian who was a part of this campaign.  Saving the lives of three lakh children of the poor is surely a great humanitarian act and the world bodies are recognizing it.

Brothers and Sisters, Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary falls next year.  Bapu during his lifetime attached greater importance to cleanliness than even to freedom.  He used to say we got our freedom because of Satyagrahisand Swachchata (cleanliness) will come from Swachchagrahis. Gandhiji trained Satyagrahis and this inspired us to prepare Swachchagrahis.  In the coming days, when we will be celebrating his 150th Birth Anniversary, crores of Swachchagrahis will offer Karyanjali (offerings of work) in the memory of Bapu. In a way, they will fulfil his dreams which we are realizing now.

My Brothers and Sisters, it is true that because of cleanliness, lives of three lakh children have been saved.  But no matter how happy a middle class family is and how well-to-do it is or how poor it is, once a family member falls sick, the whole family suffers. On occasions generations are afflicted with illnesses.

The Government of India has decided to launch Pradhanmantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan so that the poor man, the common man gets free treatment for serious diseases and he can be admitted to big hospitals free of cost.  The Pradhanmantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan and Ayushman Bharat Yojana will cover 10 crore families of the country. In the coming days, the people from lower middle class, middle class and upper middle class income groups can also access health care services from these two programs.  There is a provision of giving five lakh rupees per annum health assurance for each family. It means about fifty crore citizens belonging to ten crore families will benefit.  We are going to give this benefit to our countrymen.  This is a technology driven system which is transparent. As such, an ordinary citizen will not face any difficulty as technology technological tools have been built for this purpose.

Over the next four, five, six weeks from today, this technology will be tested across the country to make it fool proof. On the 25th of September, the birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the Pradhanmantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan will be launched throughout the country. No poor person of the country will have to face difficulty in dealing with diseases. Nor he would have to borrow money from a moneylender paying interest. His family will not be destroyed. And it will also open new avenues of employment for the youth, for the middle class families in the health sector. New hospitals will be built in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities. They will require medical staff in large numbers. A lot of employment opportunities will also be generated.

Brothers and sisters, no poor person wants to lead a life of penury. No poor person wants to die poor. No poor person wants to pass on his poverty as a legacy to his children. Throughout his life, he   struggles to come out of poverty. There is only one way to end this problem- through the empowerment of poor people.

In the last four years, we have laid emphasis on empowerment of poor people. It has been our endeavour to empower the poor people. An international organization has released a very good report in the recent past. According to the report, five crore poor people in India have crossed the Poverty Line in the last two years.

Brothers and sisters, when we carry out the work for the empowerment of poor people; and when I talked about Ayushman Bharat Program, then very few people realized the massive size of the scheme, – 10 crore families or a population of 50 crore people, very few people were able to grasp what it means. If I combine the population of America (USA), Canada and Mexico, then the number of beneficiaries of Ayushman Bharat Program will be nearly the same.  If I take into account the population of entire Europe, then nearly the same number of people are going to get the benefits of this Ayushman Bharat scheme in India.

Brothers and sisters, we have formulated several schemes for empowerment of the poor. Although many schemes have been formulated in the past, middlemen, the people who take cuts, used to take away the cream of the scheme. The poor people didn’t get what rightfully belonged to them. Money was being paid from the exchequer, the schemes existed on paper, and the country continued to be robbed. The Government cannot keep its eyes shut. And, at least I can never keep my eyes shut to this kind of thing.

Brothers and sisters, therefore it is extremely essential to create confidence in the minds of the common man by eliminating the deformities in our system. And whether it is the state governments or the centre or whether these are the local bodies of self-rule, we all have to work together. And we will have to take it forward. You will be surprised to know that since the time we have been engaged in this campaign for cleansing the system, and  plugging leakages; there were six crore bogus beneficiaries who had never been born, who never existed on the earth but the money was being sent in their names – somebody was the beneficiary of Ujjwala Scheme, some  beneficiary of the gas connection scheme with a duplicate gas connection; somebody was taking benefits through bogus ration cards; somebody was the beneficiary of scholarship scheme; someone else was the beneficiary of pension scheme. How difficult it would have been to remove these six crore names! How many people would have faced problems because of this ! The person who was never born, the person who doesn’t exist anywhere on the earth, but the money was pilfered on his name by using bogus names.

This government has put an end to it. We have taken steps in the direction of curbing corruption and putting an end to the entire system of black money.

Brothers and sisters, what are the consequences of it? Rs.90,000 crores is not a small amount. Almost Rs.90,000 crores, which used to go into the hands of wrong people for wrong activities, is now in the nation’s treasury, now being used for the welfare of common man.

Brothers and sisters, why does it happen? Our country works for the pride and honour of the poor people, but what do these middlemen do? You must be aware of the fact that wheat is sold at Rs. 24-25 (per kilo) in the market, but the government provides it to the poor at only Rs.2 on ration card after buying it at Rs.24-25. Similarly, rice which is sold at Rs.30-32 in the market is purchased by the Government at this rate and provided to the poor at Rs.3 on ration cards. This means if anyone steals 1 kg of wheat on a bogus ration card, he automatically gains Rs.20-25. If gets rice in this manner, he will get Rs 30-35. That’s why this entire business of bogus names and IDs had been going on. When a poor person used to approach the shop with his ration card and request grain, the shopkeeper would say that the stock was over. That grain then used to be diverted to another shop and the poor had to purchase the grain of Rs.2 from the other shop at Rs.20-25. The right of the poor used to be snatched away. Therefore, this bogus system has now been uprooted.

Brothers and sisters, crores of poor people in our country get food at Rs.2 and Rs.3. The government is spending generously for the same but the credit does not go to the government. Today I want to specifically tell the honest taxpayers that when you have your food with your family, for a moment kindly ponder over what I am about to say. I want to touch the hearts of the honest taxpayers. I want to salute them. I want to reassure the honest taxpayers that all the schemes that are in operation are run by your money. The honest tax payers gain good fortune because the poor get to eat from the taxpayers’ money. Therefore, it is the result of your honest paying of taxes when you have your meal with your family, 3 poor families are also able to have their meals at the same time.

Friends, an atmosphere of non-payment of taxes was being created. However, when a person, even if he is in an AC room, comes to know that 3 poor families are being served with his tax money, it is highly satisfying for his soul. This is the most virtuous task for a person.  Brothers and sisters, today, the country is moving ahead celebrating the festival of honesty. Till 2013, i.e. for the last 70 years, there were 4 crore people who were paying direct taxes. However brothers and sisters, today this figure has increased to almost 6.75 crore. Look how far we have come from 3, 3.5 or 3.75 crore to 6.75 crore.  Are not these glaring figures a true reflection of honesty? This is an example that nation is treading the path of honesty. In the past 70 years, 70 lakh enterprises were included in the Indirect tax net. However, in the last one year alone, after the introduction of GST, the figure has catapulted to one crore and 16 lakh. Brothers and sisters, today everyone in the country is participating in celebrating the festival of honesty. I salute all those who are embracing transparency and honesty. I wish to reassure those who want to step forward. You are making a contribution in the nation’s progress. Your problems are our concerns. We stand with you, for we have to take the nation forward through everyone’s contribution. Therefore, we will not tolerate black money and corruption. Come what may, we shall not retract from the path of honesty, as we all have seen how they have corroded and ruined the nation. Thus, you would have seen that power-brokers are not to be seen in the power corridors of Delhi.

Dear countrymen, times have changed. Some people sitting in their drawing rooms used to claim that they will change the policies of the government, or influence in them in a negative way have been silenced. Our doors are closed to them.

Dear countrymen, we have rooted out nepotism and affiliations. We have strongly condemned favoritism and bias. Strong action is being taken against corrupt officers. More than three lakh dubious companies have been closed down, and restrictions have been imposed on their directors. Today, we have introduced IT interventions for online transactions to ensure transparency. There was a time when seeking an environmental clearance meant facing rampant corruption.  We have made the process transparent and online.  Any person can access it. We can work in a way that the nation’s resources are utilized judiciously.  It is also a matter of immense pride for women of the country that today we have three women judges in the Supreme Court providing justice to the nation. This is the first time after independence that the Union Cabinet has the maximum representation of women ministers.

Dear Countrymen, today I wish to share some wonderful news with my brave daughters. On this occasion, I declare with pride the grant of Permanent Commission for the appointment of women officers in Short Service Commission of Indian Armed Forces. The process will be transparent and similar to the selection process of male officers. This is a gift from my side from the ramparts of the Red Fort, to the daughters who are in uniformed services and have dedicated their lives to the nation.  The nation salutes the patriotic fervor and national commitment displayed by young girls who are our national pride.   Women are equally contributing in building a strong India.  The nation is experiencing the pride, contribution and potential of our mothers and sisters.

From agricultural fields to the sports arena, our women are holding the Indian Tricolor high. From Sarpanch to the Parliament, our women are contributing to the development of the country. From schools to armed forces everywhere the women of our country are marching ahead. But while our women are valiantly moving ahead in such large numbers, we also come across gruesome ugliness. We sometimes see demonic forces posing challenges to women’s power. Rape is painful, and we, the countrymen, the people should feel many times more pain than the pain borne by the victim. Brothers and sisters, we have to free this society from this demonic mentality. The law is taking its own course. Recently, rapists in a case from Katni in Madhya Pradesh were sentenced to death after just five days of trial. Similarly, in Rajasthan, rapists were sentenced to death after a few days of trial. More such news gets published, the more such people with demonic mentality will get scared. We have to publicize such news. People should know that rapists are being sent to the gallows. There is a need to beat this mentality; there is a need to curb this thinking, and there is a need to stop this aberration. Brothers and sisters, this mentality breeds unpardonable crimes. Rule of law is supreme for us and there cannot be any compromise on that. Nobody can be allowed to take law into their own hands. In the family, in schools, colleges, our children of the new generation, our small innocent children should be nurtured in such an environment that they learn appropriate values. They should learn to respect women. They should know that this is the right way to live. We have to instill this feeling and values in our families.

Brothers and sisters, I want to reassure my Muslim sisters. Triple Talaq has spoiled the lives of Muslim daughters of our country. Those who have not faced the Talaq are spending their lives under pressure. We wanted to bring a legislation in this session of Parliament itself to free Muslim women from this evil system. But there are some people who are obstructing the passage of this Bill. But I want to assure my Muslim mothers, sisters and daughters that I will not stop till they get justice. I will fulfill your aspirations.

My beloved countrymen, our army, paramilitary forces, police, intelligence agencies are the source of strength for our country’s internal security. They have created a sense of security in us. They have ensured a peaceful environment. A new confidence has been generated because of their sacrifices, dedication and hard work.

Brothers and Sisters, we used to hear about incidents of violence every now and then from the North East, there were reports of insurgency. We used to hear about the incidents of bomb blasts and firing.   But today the two states of Meghalaya and Tripura have seen withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) which was in force for three or four decades. This was possible because of efforts of our security forces, because of actions taken by the state Governments, because of development projects executed by the Centre and the state Governments and the efforts to connect people there with the national mainstream. Tripura and Meghalaya are now out of the purview of the Armed Forces Special Power Act. Several districts of Arunachal Pradesh have also been brought out of the purview of the Armed Forces Special Power Act. Now, it is in force only in a few districts.

Left Wing Extremism, Maoism have been bleeding the country. Violent incidents, people fleeing from homes and hiding in forests were a matter of daily occurrence. However, today because of continuous efforts by our security forces, launching of development projects and efforts to connect the people with national mainstream, left-wing extremism which affected 126 districts has now been reduced to 90 districts.  The work on finding a solution to put an end to left wing extremism from those districts is progressing rapidly.

Brothers and Sisters, regarding Jammu & Kashmir, the path shown by Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji is the right one.  We want to move ahead on that road.  Vajpayeeji said Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat (humanism, democracy, Kasmiriyat)–with these three basic elements we want to develop Jammu & Kashmir. Whether it is Ladakh or Jammu or Srinagar valley. We want balanced development where an ordinary person’s aspirations are fulfilled, infrastructure is strengthened; we want to move ahead with brotherhood in our hearts.  We do not want to move on the road of bullets and abuses, we want to move ahead with love and affection with the Kashmiri people who have stood with us in patriotic fervor.

Brothers and Sisters, irrigation schemes are progressing.  The work of building IIT, IIM and AIIMS is speedily going on.   The work of reclamation of Dal Lake is also going on. The biggest thing is that during the past one year village headmen from Jammu and Kashmir in large numbers have been meeting me with the request to hold Panchayat elections there.  The elections could not be held for some reason or the other.  I am happy that the villagers of Jammu and Kashmir will have this opportunity in the coming months.  A system in which villagers will be able to look after their villages will be in place soon. Now, the Government of India gives huge funds which go directly to the villages and this will help the village headmen to take their villages on the path of development.  That is why we are moving forward in the direction of holding Panchayat elections and election to City Councils.

Brothers and Sisters, we have to take the country to new heights.  Our motto is “Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikaas’.  There is no discrimination based on yours or mine and no nepotism.  And that is why we are going ahead with this aim and today standing under this tricolour, once again I want to reiterate the resolve for which we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.

Let every Indian have a house of his own – Housing for All.  Every house should have electricity connection, power for all. Every Indian should be free from smoke in kitchen and that is why there is the scheme for Cooking Gas for All.  Every Indian should have enough water to meet his needs and that is why there is the scheme for Water for All.  Every Indian should have toilets and therefore Sanitation for All. Every Indian should be skilled, so Skill for All. Every Indian should get good and affordable health services, so Health for All.  Every Indian should feel safe, every Indian should be insured, hence ‘Insurance for All’. Every Indian should get internet services so, Connectivity for All; we want to take the country forward by following this mantra.

My dear brothers and sisters, people tell many things about me too and whatever may be said, I would like to publicly admit certain things today. I am impatient as several countries have gone ahead of us, I am restless and impatient to take my country ahead of all these countries.

My dear countrymen, I am worked up and I am restless because malnutrition has been a major hurdle in the development of the children of our country. It remains a huge bottleneck. I am restless to rid my country of malnutrition.

My countrymen, I am agitated so that a poor person can get an appropriate health cover. I am restless so that an ordinary citizen of my country can combat diseases and remain healthy.

Brothers and sisters, I am restless, I am restless to ensure that our citizens can have a quality life, so that they can have the opportunity to live with ease and so that there may be an all-round improvement.

My dear countrymen, I am restless, I am agitated and I am also impatient for my country to lead the fourth industrial revolution, the revolution that is based on knowledge, the revolution which will be led by those who have IT skills. I am impatient for my country to lead it.

My dear countrymen, I am restless because I want that my country should take maximum advantage of its capabilities and resources and we can move forward in the world with a sense of pride.

My dear countrymen, we want to move ahead. We cannot accept stagnation, we cannot be standstill and it is not in our nature to bend before anybody. This country will neither come to a standstill, neither will it bend and nor will it get tired. We have to achieve greater heights, we have to keep moving ahead.

Brothers and sisters, we are the inheritors of the rich heritage of our ancient legacy of Vedas. And that legacy is due to our self-confidence, and we want to carry forward the legacy.

My dear countrymen, we don’t want to only dream about the future, but aspire to scale new heights in the future. We want to move forward with the dream of being at the top. And that is why my dear countrymen, I want to instill a new hope, a new zeal and a new belief (in you) because the country can achieve its dreams with it. And that is why my dear countrymen…

अपने मन में एक लक्ष्‍य लिए,

अपने मन में एक लक्ष्‍य लिए,

मंजिल अपनी प्रत्‍यक्ष लिए,

अपने मन में एक लक्ष्‍य लिए,

मंजिल अपनी प्रत्‍यक्ष लिए हम तोड़ रहे है जंजीरें,

हम तोड़ रहे हैं जंजीरें,

हम बदल रहे हैंतस्वीरें,

ये नवयुग है, ये नवयुग है,

ये नवभारत है, ये नवयुग है,

ये नवभारत है।

“खुद लिखेंगे अपनी तकदीर, हम बदल रहे हैं तस्वीर,

खुद लिखेंगे अपनी तकदीर, ये नवयुग है, नवभारत है,

हम निकल पड़े हैं, हम निकल पड़े हैं प्रण करके,

हम निकल पड़े हैं प्रण करके, अपना तनमन अर्पण करके,

अपना तनमन अर्पण करके, ज़िद है, ज़िद है, ज़िद है,

एक सूर्य उगाना है, ज़िद है एक सूर्य उगाना है,

अम्बर से ऊंचा जाना है, अम्बर से ऊंचा जाना है,

एक भारत नया बनाना है, एक भारत नया बनाना है।।”

My dear brothers and sisters,

Once again on the sacred occasion of independence, I offer my best wishes. Come, let’s say aloud the Mantra of ‘Jai Hind’!

Jai Hind! Jai Hind! Jai Hind!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Vande Mataram! Vande Mataram! Vande Mataram!

Posted On: 15 AUGUST 2018 by PIB Delhi

Economic Survey Draws Attention to 10 New Economic Facts

Economic Survey Draws Attention to 10 New Economic Facts on Indian Economy 

The Economic Survey presented by the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley in Parliament today has relied upon analysis of the new data to highlight ten new economic facts:

 

1.      Goods and Services Tax (GST) has given a new perceptive of the Indian economy and new data has emerged.  There has been a fifty percent increase in the number of indirect taxpayers. There has also been a large increase in voluntary registrations, especially by small enterprises that buy from large enterprises wanting to avail themselves of input tax credits.

 The Survey also stated that fears of major producing states that the shift to the new system would undermine their tax collections have been allayed as the distribution of the GST base among the states got closely linked to the size of their economies.

Similarly, there has been an addition of about 18 lakh in individual income tax filers since November 2016.

2.      India’s formal sector, especially formal non-farm payroll, is substantially greater than what it currently is believed to be. It became evident that when “formality” was defined in terms of social security provisions like EPFO/ESIC the formal sector payroll was found to be about 31 percent of the non-agricultural work force. When “formality” was defined in terms of being part of the GST net, such formal sector payroll share was found to be 53 percent.

3.      For the first time in India’s history, data on the international exports of states has been  dwelt in the Economic Survey.  Such data indicates a strong correlation between export performance and states’ standard of living.  States that export internationally and trade with other states were found to be richer.  Such correlation is stronger between prosperity and international trade.

4.      India’s exports are unusual in that the largest firms account for a much smaller share of exports than in other comparable countries. Top one percent of Indian firms account only for 38% of exports unlike in other countries where they account for substantially greater share – (72, 68, 67 and 55 percent in Brazil, Germany, Mexico and USA respectively).  Such tendencies were also found to be true for the top five or ten per cent of the Indian companies.

5.      It was pointed out that the Rebate of State Levies (ROSL) has increased exports of ready-made garments (man-made fibers) by about 16 per cent but not of others.

6.      The data highlighted another seemingly known fact that Indian society exhibits a strong desire for a male child.  It pointed out that most parents continued to have children until they get number of sons.  The survey gave details of various scenarios leading to skewed sex ratios and also gave a comparison on sex ratio by birth between India and Indonesia.

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7.      The survey pointed out that tax departments in India have gone in for contesting against in several tax disputes but also with a low success rate which is below 30 per cent. About 66 per cent of pending cases accounted for only 1.8 per cent of value at stake.   It further stated that 0.2 per cent of cases accounted for 56 per cent of the value at stake.

8.       Extrapolating the data the survey indicated that growth in savings did not bring economic growth but the growth in investment did.

9.      The survey mentions that collections of direct taxes by Indian states and other local governments, where they have powers to collect them is significantly lower than their counterparts in other federal countries. A comparison has been given between ratios of direct tax to total revenues of local governments in India, Brazil and Germany.

10.  The survey captures the footprints of climate change on the Indian territory and consequent adverse impact on agricultural yields.  Extreme temperature increases and deficiency in rainfall have been captured on the Indian map and the graphical changes in agricultural yields are brought out from such data.  The impact was found to be twice as large in un-irrigated areas as in irrigated ones.

– PIB Delhi, 29 JAN 2018

Economic Survey 2017-18 Presented by Finance Minister

Finance Minister Present Economic Survey 2017-18 in Parliament

Real GDP Growth to Clock 6.75 Percent this Fiscal
Economic Survey Predicts 7-7.5 Percent Growth in 2018-19
Employment, Education & Agriculture To Be The Focus Areas In Medium Term, Says Survey

A series of major reforms undertaken over the past year will allow real GDP growth to reach 6.75 percent this fiscal and will rise to 7.0 to 7.5 percent in 2018-19, thereby re-instating India as the world’s fastest growing major economy. This was stated in the Economic Survey 2017-18 tabled in Parliament today by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley.

Economic SurveyIt said that the reform measures undertaken in 2017-18 can be strengthened further in 2018-19.

The survey underlines that due to the launch of transformational Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform on July 1, 2017, resolution of the long-festering Twin Balance Sheet (TBS) problem by sending the major stressed companies for resolution under the new Indian Bankruptcy Code, implementing a major recapitalization package to strengthen the public sector banks, further liberalization of FDI and the export uplift from the global recovery, the economy began to accelerate in the second half of the year and can clock 6.75 percent growth this year. The survey points out that as per the quarterly estimates; there was a reversal of the declining trend of GDP growth in the second quarter of 2017-18, led by the industry sector. The Gross Value Added (GVA) at constant basic prices is expected to grow at the rate of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18 as compared to 6.6 per cent in 2016-17. Similarly, Agriculture, industry and services sectors are expected to grow at the rate of 2.1 per cent, 4.4 per cent, and 8.3 per cent respectively in 2017-18. The survey adds that after remaining in negative territory for a couple of years, growth of exports rebounded into positive one during 2016-17 and expected to grow faster in 2017-18. However, due to higher expected increase in imports, net exports of goods and services are slated to decline in 2017-18. Similarly, despite the robust economic growth, the savings and investment as a ratio of GDP generally declined. The major reduction in investment rate occurred in 2013-14, although it declined in 2015-16 too. Within this the share of household sector declined, while that of private corporate sector increased.

  

  

The survey points out that India can be rated as among the best performing economies in the world as the average growth during last three years is around 4 percentage points higher than global growth and nearly 3 percentage points higher than that of Emerging Market and Developing Economies. It points out that the GDP growth has averaged 7.3 per cent for the period from 2014-15 to 2017-18, which is the highest among the major economies of the world. That this growth has been achieved in a milieu of lower inflation, improved current account balance and notable reduction in the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio makes it all the more creditable.

Though concerns have been expressed about growing protectionist tendencies in some countries but it remains to be seen as to how the situation unfolds. Some of the factors could have dampening effect on GDP growth in the coming year viz. the possibility of an increase in crude oil prices in the international market. However, with world growth likely to witness moderate improvement in 2018, expectation of greater stability in GST, likely recovery in investment levels, and ongoing structural reforms, among others, should be supporting higher growth. On balance, country’s economic performance should witness an improvement in 2018-19.

   

The survey highlights that against the emerging macroeconomic concerns, policy vigilance will be necessary in the coming year, especially if high international oil prices persist or elevated stock prices correct sharply, provoking a “sudden stall” in capital flows. The agenda for the next year consequently remains full: stabilizing the GST, completing the TBS actions, privatizing Air India, and staving off threats to macro-economic stability. The TBS actions, noteworthy for cracking the long-standing “exit” problem, need complementary reforms to shrink unviable banks and allow greater private sector participation. The GST Council offers a model “technology” of cooperative federalism to apply to many other policy reforms. Over the medium term, three areas of policy focus stand out: Employment: finding good jobs for the young and burgeoning workforce, especially for women. Education: creating an educated and healthy labor force. Agriculture: raising farm productivity while strengthening agricultural resilience. Above all, India must continue improving the climate for rapid economic growth on the strength of the only two truly sustainable engines—private investment and exports.

  -PIB Delhi, 29 JAN 2018

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