Growth cannot be achieved without inclusion and only growth can ensure true inclusion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, highlighting his government’s record of providing effective social assistance to help disadvantaged communities, and thus boost economic growth. ‘economy.
Modi was speaking at the first annual Arun Jaitley Memorial Lecture, organized by the Economic Affairs Department of the Finance Ministry in recognition of the former Union minister’s invaluable contribution to the nation. The lecture was delivered by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Chief Minister of the Government of Singapore.
“Growth with inclusiveness, inclusiveness with growth is the fundamental policy of our government – sabka saath, sabka vikas. Over the past eight years, the speed and scale at which India has worked on inclusion is unmatched in the world he told Vigyan Bhavan.
Modi remembered Jaitley, a top Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Union finance minister, as a close friend who was a masterful speaker and a personality to remember.
“His one-liners were reverberating through the air. His friendly nature was legendary. People might be from different worlds but all were still his friends. Today everyone feels their loss,” Modi said, paying tribute to the late leader.
During his lecture, Modi spoke about the social service delivery mechanisms created by his government, especially cooking gas, housing, toilets and water. He spoke about his administration’s push toward better health care facilities, financial inclusion of the poor, medical and technical education, the space ecosystem, and an end to redundant laws.
“When I was elected, I decided that even if I didn’t create new laws, I would put an end to redundant laws. My government managed to remove 1,500 redundant laws,” he said.
“We have given free cooking gas cylinders to 90 million women. This is more than the population of South Africa, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. We have built 100 million toilets, more than twice the population of South Korea. We have opened 450 million jan dhan accounts and built 30 million pucca houses,” he said.
Shanmugaratnam spoke about India’s growing importance in the global economy and appreciated the Modi government’s focus on providing toilets, electricity connection and clean water supply to millions of people in what he described as “correcting the legacy of neglect”.
“But India cannot achieve its economic or social ambitions over the next 25 years without a significantly higher growth ambition. India needs to grow at least 8-10% over the next 25 years, 8-10% per year,” he said.
The initial remarks were made by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who spoke about the impact Jaitley left, noting that it was during his tenure that the date of the presentation of the budget of the Union was brought forward to February 1, the separate railway budget was abolished and two key reforms – the goods and services tax and the bankruptcy code – were introduced.
The event ended with a round table between NK Singh, chairman of the 15th Finance Committee, economist Arvind Panagariya and Mathias Cormann, secretary general of the OECD.
Moderating the discussion under the theme “Growth through Inclusiveness, Inclusiveness through Growth”, Singh said India has turned “the grand challenge of the pandemic into a historic opportunity” to push forward its entire strategy of reform.
In his address, Modi also paid tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated during a campaign speech on Friday.
The Prime Minister recounted several of the government’s initiatives to talk about access to the poor that the government has been working on. Among these was the Ayushman Bharat program, which he says has not only given more than 35 million people access to free treatment in four years, but with such a focus on inclusion, demand has also increased and better growth of the sector.
Modi highlighted the importance of the districts’ ambitious agenda to raise the standard of living for people in remote areas and said that alongside efforts such as mother tongue learning (promoted by the new education policy) and the Udaan program for regions connectivity were helping the cause of inclusion. The Har Ghar Jal project, he added, is also moving in this direction by providing 60 million new piped water connections.
He referred to the boost received by the aviation sector thanks to the government’s efforts to expand access to flying and construction infrastructure in small towns and outside metropolises. “Even those with Hawaiian chappals can sit in a flight now,” he said.
He criticized the approach of the previous government which only initiated major reforms when they became mandatory. “We don’t see reform as a necessary evil, but a win-win choice, where the national interest, the public interest lies,” he said.
“Our policy-making is based on people’s pulse. We listen to people, understand their needs and aspirations. Therefore, we did not allow policies to be influenced by populist impulses,” he said.
He also mentioned that India’s pandemic efforts were unique. “The private actors in our country have done a very good job. But behind them stood the full force of government in the form of a partner in progress,” he said, citing him as an example of how the ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ approach yielded good results. results.