Modi announces Rs 100 lakh crore master plan to create holistic infrastructure, more jobs for youth
New Delhi, August 15, 2021
Declaring that, in the 21st century, no obstacle could stop India from fulfilling its dreams and aspirations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a Rs 100 lakh crore programme to build a modern infrastructure in the country.
"Along with modern infrastructure, there is a great need for adopting a holistic and integrated approach in infrastructure construction. In the near future, we are going to launch the National Master Plan of Prime Minister ‘Gati Shakti’ which will be a huge scheme and fulfil the dreams of crores of countrymen," he said in his address to the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort here on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of India's independence.
"This scheme of more than 100 lakh crores rupees will result in new employment opportunities for lakhs of youth," he said.
"In the 21st century, no obstacle can stop us from fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of India. Our strength is our vitality, our strength is our solidarity, our vitality is the spirit of nation first - always first. This is the time for shared dreams, this is the time for shared resolve, this is the time for shared efforts... and this is the time to move towards victory," he said.
Modi began his address, his eighth from the Red Fort, by bowing to all the freedom fighters as well as to the "brave heroes" who continue to sacrifice themselves day and night in the defence of the nation.
"The country is remembering every personality, including the revered Bapu, who made freedom a mass movement, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who sacrificed everything for the freedom, or great revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan; Rani of Jhansi Lakshmibai, Queen Chennamma of Kittur or Rani Gaidinliu or the valour of MatanginiHazra; the country's first Prime Minister Pandit Nehru ji, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who integrated the country into a united nation, and Baba Saheb Ambedkar, who determined and paved the way for the future direction of India. The country is indebted to all these great personalities," he said.
"While we celebrate our freedom today, we cannot forget the pain of partition that still pierces through the heart of all Indians. This has been one of the biggest tragedies of the last century. After attaining freedom, these people were forgotten too soon. Just yesterday India has taken an emotional decision, we will henceforth commemorate August 14 as 'Partition Horrors Remembrance Day' in the memory of the victims of partition. Those who were subjected to inhuman circumstances, suffered torturous treatment, they could not even receive a dignified cremation. They must all remain alive and never get erased from our memories.
"The decision of celebrating 'Partition Horrors Remembrance Day' on the 75th Independence Day is a befitting tribute from every Indian to them," he said.
Modi said that it was a moment of pride for the nation that it was able to develop two Make in India COVID-19 vaccines and carry out the world's largest vaccine drive.
"More than 54 crore people have received the vaccine dose. Online systems like Cowin and digital certificates are attracting the world today.
"Our doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, sanitation staff, scientists engaged in developing vaccines, millions of countrymen engaged with the spirit of service during this Corona global pandemic also deserve praise from all of us," he said.
The Prime Minnister also had special praise for the sportsmen who brought laurels for the country at the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics, who were also present at the ceremony. "They have not only won our hearts but also inspired our young generation," he said.
Modi dwelt at length on the steps taken by the Government to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviate the sufferings of the people during this stressful period.
"The way India has kept the stoves burning for the poor's house by providing free food grains to 80 crore countrymen continuously for months during the pandemic is not only astonishing to the world but also a matter of discussion.
"It is true that fewer people have been infected in India as compared to other countries; it is also true that in comparison to the population of other countries of the world, we managed to save more citizens in India but it is not something to be proud of! We cannot rest on these laurels. To say that there was no challenge, will become a restrictive thought in the path of our own development," he said.
Modi said the government's goal was to develop a nation with world-class infrastructure but to also move ahead with the mantra of "minimum government, maximum governance".
"We should not limit the occasion of 75 years of Indian independence to just one ceremony. We must lay the groundwork for new resolutions and move forward with new resolutions. Starting from here, the entire journey of the next 25 years, when we celebrate the centenary of Indian independence, marks the Amrit period of creation of a new India. The fulfilment of our resolutions in this Amrit period will take us to the hundredth anniversary of Indian independence with pride.
"The goal of 'Amrit Kaal' is to ascend to new heights of prosperity for India and the citizens of India. The goal of 'Amrit Kaal' is to create an India where the level of facilities is not dividing the village and the city. The goal of 'Amrit Kaal' is to build an India where the government does not interfere unnecessarily in the lives of citizens. The goal of 'Amrit Kaal' is to build an India where there is world’s every modern infrastructure.
"Amrit Kaal is of 25 years. But we don't have to wait for that long to achieve our goals. We have to start now. We don't have a moment to lose. This is the right time. Our country also has to change and we as citizens have to change ourselves too. We also have to adapt ourselves to the changing era. We have started with the spirit of ‘SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’. Today I am requesting from the ramparts of the Red Fort that ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ and now 'Sabka Prayas' are very important for the achievement of our goals," he said.
The Prime Minister said that, in India's development journey, it must be ensured that the goal of building a self-reliant india is achieved when the nation celebrates its 100 years of independence.
"Just as we have made electricity accessible to 100% households, and have made authentic efforts to construct toilets in 100% households, similarly, we now have to move ahead with the goal of achieving saturation of schemes, and, for this, we do not have to keep a distant deadline. We have to make our resolutions come true within a few years.
"Now, we have to move even further. 100% villages should have roads, 100% households should have a bank account, 100% beneficiaries should have Ayushman Bharat card, 100% eligible persons should have gas connection under Ujjwala scheme and 100% beneficiaries should have Aawas (housing).
"We have to move ahead with a mindset of cent per cent achievement. Till now, no thought was given for our street vendors, who sell their goods on tracks, footpaths and carts. All these colleagues are now being linked to the banking system through the SVANidhi scheme.
"We have to move forward with the goal of ensuring that every citizen is connected with government's transformative schemes. In the last few years, our government has provided roads and electricity to the villages. Now these villages have been strengthened with optical fibre network data and the Internet.
"I am happy that just within 2 years of Jal Jeevan Mission, over 4.5 crore families have started receiving Nal Se Jal (piped water supply); this is our main achievement when the benefit reaches the last mile citizen.
"Poshan (nutrition) is one of the key focus of our government. The government has also been working on preventive healthcare, and building health and wellness infrastructure.
"We need to provide hand-holding to the backward categories and sectors. With the concern of fulfilling the basic needs, reservation is being ensured for the Dalits, Backward classes, Adivasis and the poor people from general category. More recently, in the field of medical education, reservation has also been ensured for the OBC category in the All India Quota. By formulating a law in Parliament, the right to make their own list of OBC has been given to the states.
"Be it rice available at ration shop, rice available in mid-day meal, rice available through every scheme will be fortified by the year 2024," he said.
On Jammu & Kashmir, Modi said the Delimitation Commission had been constituted in the Union Territory and preparations were going on for holding assembly elections.
"Ladakh is witnessing a new transformative phase where the government is focusing on building world-class infrastructure. On the one hand, Ladakh is witnessing the creation of modern infrastructure, while on the other, ‘Sindhu Central University’ is going to make Ladakh a centre of higher education.
"There is a huge potential in the fields of tourism, adventure sports, organic farming, herbal medicine, and oil pump in the North East. We have to fully harness this potential and make it a part of the development journey of the country. And we have to complete this work within a few decades of the ‘Amrit Kaal’. Giving a fair opportunity to the capabilities of all is the true spirit of democracy. Be it Jammu or Kashmir, the balance of development is now visible on the ground.
"Whether East, North East, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, the entire Himalayan region, our coastal belt or tribal region, these will become a big base for India's development in the future.
"Today a new history of connectivity is being written in the North-East. This is a connectivity of both the hearts and the infrastructure. Very soon the work of connecting all the state capitals of the North-East with rail service is going to be completed.
"Under the Act-East Policy, today North-East, Bangladesh, Myanmar and South-East Asia are also being connected. Due to the efforts made in the past years, now the enthusiasm for the creation of Shreshtha Bharat and long-lasting peace in the North-East has increased manifold," he said.
Modi said the country was witnessing a new phase in the development journey of its villages. "It not only has electricity and water but also nurturing Digital Entrepreneurs. Priority is being given to schemes related to education, health, nutrition, roads, employment, in over 110 aspirational districts of the country. Many of these districts are in tribal areas.
"We have to focus on helping our small farmers. We have to give maximum benefits of the government's schemes to them; be it through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) or Krishi Rail. Kisan Rail can help small farmers with this modern facility to reach far flung areas on a low cost of produce and transportation.
"The government is now focusing on welfare of small farmers. Ten crore farmer families have directly received over Rs 1.5 lakh crore in their bank accounts.
"SVAMITVA Yojna is transforming the lives in rural India. Drone is helping our rural citizens to map their land and apply for various schemes/loans online," he said.
"Co-operatives are not just a system with a network of laws and rules, but co-operative is a spirit, culture, and a mindset of collective growth. We have taken steps to empower them by forming a separate ministry. We have taken this step to empower the cooperative sector in the states.
"In the coming years, we will have to increase the collective power of the small farmers of the country. They have to be given new facilities. We are trying to empower these farmers through SVAMITVA Yojana," he said.
Modi said the Amrit Mahotsav of independence will be celebrated for 75 weeks. It started from 12th March and will continue till 15th August, 2023.
"We have to move forward with new enthusiasm and, therefore, the country has made a very important decision. During these 75 weeks of the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, 75 Vande Bharat trains will connect every corner of the country. The pace at which new airports are being built in the country and the UDAN scheme connecting remote areas is unprecedented.
"We will have to work together for manufacturing world class products, using cutting-edge innovation and new age technology.
"Under the Jan Aushadhi Yojana, the poor and needy are now getting affordable medicines. Over 75,000 Health & Wellness Centres have been built and we are working on a network of hospitals at the block level.
"To further increase our developmental progress, we have to focus on our manufacturing and export. The country has also announced Production Linked Incentive to consolidate our Make in India campaign in the wake of the new economic conditions that have emerged due to Corona.
"The electronic manufacturing sector stands as an example of the change that is enforced through this scheme. Seven years ago, we used to import mobile phones worth about eight billion dollars. However, now the import has reduced considerably, and today we are also exporting mobile phones worth three billion dollars.
"Treading ahead on the path of development, India will have to augment both its manufacturing and exports. You have witnessed, just a few days ago, India launched its first indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant for trial in the sea. Today India is making its own indigenous fighter aircraft, its own submarine. Gaganyaan is also slated to hoist India's flag in space. This itself is evidential of our immense capabilities in indigenous manufacturing.
"I want to tell the manufacturers - every product you make is a brand ambassador for India. As long as that product is in use, the buyer will say - yes this is Made in India," he said.
Stating that there was a need to stop the over-involvement of government in the form of complex policies, Modi said more than 15,000 unnecessary compliances had been abolished.
"We have introduced tax reforms that will give impetus to Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business. Good and smart governance is required to implement the reforms. Today, the world is also witnessing how India is writing a new chapter of governance.
"To introduce people centric approach in Bureaucracy, we have started Mission Karmayogi and Capacity Building programme.
"Today the country also has a new National Education Policy to meet the needs of the 21st century. Now our children will neither stop due to lack of skills nor will they be bound by language barriers. This new National Education Policy is also going to be a great tool to fight against poverty in a way. The basis of winning the war against poverty is also the education, prestige and importance of the vernacular language," he said.
The Prime Minister said that, in a move towards strengthening the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao initiative, girls will now be able to study in Sainik schools too.
"Today, be it education or Olympics, our daughters are performing tremendously. We have to ensure that they get equal opportunities and they feel safe and respected.
"More than eight crore sisters in the villages are associated with Self-Help Groups and they design top-end products. Now the government will also prepare an e-commerce platform to ensure a huge market in the country and abroad for their products. When the country is moving forward with the mantra of being vocal for local, this digital platform will connect the products of women self-help groups with people in far flung areas of the country as well as abroad and it will have far-reaching consequences," he said.
Modi pointed out India continued to import energy and spends about Rs 12 lakh crore on thisin a year. "As we celebrate 75 years of Independence, we have to ensure that India becomes Aatma Nirbhar in energy production, too.
"We are giving equal emphasis to Environmental Security as to National Security. Be it biodiversity or land neutrality, climate change or waste recycling, organic farming, India is progressing in all these sectors.
"In this decade of the 21st century, India will further accelerate its efforts towards the Blue Economy. The Deep Ocean Mission is the result of our ambition to explore the unlimited possibilities of the ocean. The mineral wealth which is hidden in the sea, the thermal energy which is in the sea water, can give new heights to the development of the country.
"Green Hydrogen is the future of the world. Today, I announce the setting up of the National Hydrogen Mission. We have to make India a Global Hub for Green Hydrogen Production and Export in the 'Amrit Kaal'. This will not only help India to make a new progress in the field of energy self-reliance but will also become a new inspiration for Clean Energy Transition all over the world. New opportunities from Green Growth to Green Job are opening up today for our start-ups & youth.
"India has also made a move towards Electric Mobility and the work on 100% electrification of Railways is also progressing at a fast pace. Indian Railways has set a target of becoming Net Zero Carbon Emitter by 2030.
"The country is also emphasizing on Mission Circular Economy. Our Vehicle Scrap Policy is a great example of the same. Today, India is the only country in the group of G-20 countries, which is moving fast towards achieving its climate goals.
"India has set a target of 450 GW of renewable energy by the end of this decade - 450 GW by 2030. Of this, the target of 100 GW has been achieved by India ahead of schedule.
"Today India is also solving those subject areas, which were hanging fires for decades and centuries. Be it a historic decision to abrogate Article 370, introduction of GST, a system that frees the country from the web of taxes, a decision regarding 'One Rank-One Pension' for our military friends, a peaceful solution to the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, we have seen it come true in a few years.
"India’s willpower is realizing all the resolutions whether it is the Bru-Reang agreement in Tripura after decades, constitutional status to the OBC commission or the BDC and DDC elections in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time since independence.
"The nature of global relations has changed after the Second World War. There is a possibility of a new world order post Corona. The world has seen and appreciated India's efforts during Corona. Today the world is looking at India from a new perspective. There are two important aspects of this perception -- one is terrorism and the other is expansionism. India is fighting both these challenges and is also responding strongly in a restrained manner. Our defense preparedness has to be equally strong if India has to fulfill its obligations properly.
"Our youth is the 'Can Do' Generation, and they can achieve everything they set their mind to. Our actions today will determine our future. Our today will set the theme of our 100 years of India's Independence.
"I am not a fortune teller, I believe in the fruits of action. I have faith in the youth of my country, I trust the sisters of the country, the daughters of the country, the farmers of the country, or the professionals of the country. This ‘Can Do’ generation can achieve every unimaginable goal.
"In the 21st century, no obstacle can stop us from fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of India. Our strength is our vitality, our strength is our solidarity, our vitality is the spirit of nation first - always first. This is the time for shared dreams, this is the time for shared resolve, this is the time for shared efforts... and this is the time to move towards victory," he added.