Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made a presentation on May 27 comparing the performance of Central governments before 2014 with that of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to highlight its achievements in various sectors during the last nine years.
After inaugurating a day-long conclave ‘9 Saal — Seva, Sushasan, Gareeb Kalyan’, which marked the completion of nine years of government under Mr. Modi, Mr. Vaishnaw said the previous governance efforts had become synonymous with scams, while the current government worked with the ethos of “pai pai se gareeb ki bhalai” (every penny for the benefit of the poor).
Listing the government’s accomplishments, the Union Minister said 3.50 crore houses had been constructed under the PM Awas Yojana, 12 crore people given water connections, 9.60 crore provided with gas cylinders and 11.72 crore toilets had been constructed. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, free ration was being given to about 80 crore people.
Health insurance for the needy
India was today running the world’s largest healthcare insurance programme under Ayushman Bharat, making provisions for free medicare up to ₹5 lakh for the needy, which covered a population more than that of the United States and Russia combined. A total of 74 airports were built in nine years, a figure matching the number till 2014. Almost 54,000 km of roads had been laid since 2014.
He said India had gone from no waterways till 2014 to having 111 waterways; the country was on its say to becoming the fourth largest economy in another two years and the third largest in another six years. On the national security front, it now had the means and willingness to respond to attacks in kind.
Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the past nine years had seen a dramatic change in the life of the common people. The benefits of government schemes were reaching the needy. “Herein lies the secret of our efforts that have lifted 27% of people out of poverty,” he said. A combination of a sense of service, big ideas, good governance, infusion of technology, and building transparency and accountability into the delivery mechanism ensured last-mile delivery of public services.
The Minister said the government had been steadfast in shedding legacies of the colonial past and adopting modern and domestic symbols. He credited the youth for achieving a milestone where India could today boast of almost one lakh start-ups and over hundred unicorns.
At the valedictory session, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “As we recall the nine years where we have done so many things at so many different levels with seva bhaav (service motive) and at the same time looking at the good governance, this country needs good institutions and transparent processes through which we get ourselves governed.”
She said the Modi government took every Indian seriously, whether he/she was in India or abroad. Every citizen was heard and responded to. “There is a mindset change in India that it is possible to have a government which will be responsive and will relate to the people. A government which will do things for the good of the people. This has changed due to the leadership of the honourable Prime Minister,” said Ms. Sitharaman.
Earlier, during the day, three panel discussions were held. Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Sangita Reddy, joint managing director of Apollo Hospitals; Debjani Ghosh, president of NASSCOM; Surjit Bhalla, former executive director for IMF India; Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic adviser, State Bank of India; and Deepa Sayal, president and patron-in-chief, IWIL India, were the panellists in the first session themed ‘India: Surging Ahead’.
At the post-lunch session, the panellists included actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui; Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF representative to India; Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, executive chairperson, Biocon Limited (video message); Padma Shri awardee Shanti Teresa Lakra, a nurse; boxer Nikhat Zareen; environmentalist Anil Prakash Joshi; and Seekho co-founder Divya Jain.
Ritesh Agarwal, chief executive officer, OYO Rooms; actor Rishab Shetty; musician Amaan Ali Bangash; former Indian hockey captain Viren Rasquinha; Yashodhara Bajoria, director, Espresso Technologies; and boxer Akhil Kumar were the speakers in the last session on “Yuva Shakti: Galvanising India”.