Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a slew of development programmes, including a landmark Rs 100 lakh crore “Gatishakti” initiative to boost infrastructure and employment opportunities.
This was Prime Minister Modi’s eighth consecutive address from the ramparts of Red Fort on the 75th Independence Day, he called for making the next 25 years glorious for India with “new thresholds, aspirations and dreams” in the run-up to the centenary of its independence from British colonial rule. This will lead to an India which will have every modern infrastructure of the world, he said.
His nearly 90-minute speech, the prime minister, who wore a traditional kurta and a churidar complemented by a blue jacket and a red-patterned saffron headgear, also called for a review of rules and procedures across the country so that every process that creates a hindrance for people and the country is removed
Modi also said India is fighting the challenges of terrorism and expansionism with great courage and astuteness. He asserted that India does not hesitate in taking tough decisions and has political will to do so.
“India has given a stern signal to its enemies by conducting surgical and air strikes. This tells us that India is changing and can take the most difficult decisions and isn’t reluctant to implement them,” he added and assured that his government would leave no stone unturned in strengthening the armed forces tasked with the security of the country.
“Yahi samay hai, sahi samay hai, Bharat ka anmol samay hai (This is the moment, it is the right moment, It is precious time for India),” he said, reciting a poem at the end of his speech.
Modi also added weight to his oft-quoted slogan ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, by adding a new call — Sabka Prayas (everyone’s effort), saying this would be very important for the achievement of all the country’s goals.
Describing the next 25 years as “amrit kaal”, a reference to deriving the best in every field, he said the nation cannot wait so long to attain these goals, making it imperative for everyone to make ‘prayas’ for this.
While India has made rapid strides but there should be a “saturation” of development and 100 per cent accomplishments with every village having roads, every family having bank account, every eligible person having health insurance, card and gas connection, he said.
Stating that the world acknowledges India’s political will for big reforms, he noted that the country has received record foreign investment with its forex reserves at an all-time high.
Drawing a roadmap for the all-round development of India and its people, he said India has to march ahead with new pledges for the next 25 years.
“We have to ensure we meet our goal of building Aatmanirbhar Bharat when we celebrate 100 years of India’s Independence.”
Modi said the ‘Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti National Master Plan’ will develop the possibilities of new future economic zones.
The Rs 100 lakh crore programme will lay the foundation of the overall infrastructure in the country including in transport, reducing travel time and productivity, he said. The initiative will lead to the development of future economic zones.
He also announced the setting up of a National Hydrogen Mission to make India the new global hub of green carbon-free hydrogen fuel and its largest exporter, as he set a target of 2047 for India to achieve self-reliance in energy.
Giving the slogan of ‘Chhota kisan bane desh ki shaan (small farmers should become India’s pride)’, Modi cited various schemes including transfer of money to assert that his government has prioritised the interest of small farmers who account for more than 80 per cent of the farming community.
Keeping small expenses in mind, the government is implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) under which more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore has been transferred into the bank accounts of over 10 crore farmers, he added.
He also talked about boosting rail connectivity in the northeast region, saying very soon the job of connecting the capital cities of the northeastern states by rail will be completed.
Asserting that the Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide tap water connections to all rural households by 2024, Modi said over 4.5 crore new households received piped water connections under it in the last two years.
On other issues, he said the development of Jammu and Kashmir is visible on the ground, adding that the delimitation exercise is on and preparations are underway for assembly polls there.