Highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech

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In this article, we will take a look at the highlights of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on the 69th Independence Day wherein he elaborated on the various government schemes implemented in the last 15 months and also proposed new ones. 

Highlights of the speech:

1. Steps against corruption: PM Modi emphasised on initiatives taken to curb corruption by reducing the role of middlemen in various aspects of governance. He highlighted the auctions held for coal, spectrum and FM radio licenses. He mentioned the Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh or the Pahal scheme that has been implemented for direct transfer of LPG subsidy and pointed out that it has resulted in savings to the tune of  Rs.15,000 crore. 

In addition, the introduction of neem-coated urea has resulted in reducing the diversion of subsidised urea to non-agricultural purposes. He also outlined efforts taken against black money and the outflow of unaccounted income to foreign countries. He pointed out that CBI registered 1800 cases against corruption last year as opposed to 800 cases the year before.

2. Start-up India, Stand up India: PM Modi announced the new campaign ‘Start-up India, Stand up India’ with the aim of encouraging entrepreneurship among India’s youth. He stated that each of the 1.25 lakh bank branches across the nation should help atleast one Dalit, Adivasi or woman entrepreneur realise his/her entrepreneurial dreams. 

3. One Rank, One Pension (OROP): In response to demands of ex-servicemen who have staged several protests for the implementation of OROP, PM Modi asserted that the government had in-principle accepted the scheme and is in talks with the stakeholders to work out its provisions.

4. Financial inclusion through PMJDY: He said that efforts to bring about financial inclusion have been quite successful as 17 crore bank accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. He stated that the Rs. 20,000 crore deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts reflects the “richness of India’s poor” (गरीबों की अमीरी).

5. Social security and welfare schemes: He spoke about several schemes including the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana and Prime Minister’s Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, among others that have been launched to benefit the poor. 

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana gives social security cover to the poorest. As per the scheme, an individual has to pay one rupee per month (Rs. 12 per annum) and be entitled to avail Rs.2 lakh in case of any accident/calamity in the future.

6.  New name for the Ministry of Agriculture: To promote farmers’ welfare, PM announced an outlay of Rs. 50,000 crores for the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. He further said that the Ministry of Agriculture would be renamed as Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare (Kisaan Kalyaan Mantralay). 

7. Sanitation in schools: Referring to Swachh Bharat, PM Modi called attention to the fact that 4.25 lakh toilets were constructed in 2.62 lakh schools across India.

8. India to be a developed nation by 2022: He spoke with resolve of the government’s aim to make India a developed nation by 2022, with every Indian household having access to basic amenities like electricity, water supply, sanitation, etc. Moreover, he said that in the next 1000 days the government is determined to supply electricity to all 18,500 villages that still stumble in the dark.

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