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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

At Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, PM Narendra Modi presents his anti-corruption report card

Inaugurating the biennial event, PM Modi told the participating non-resident Indians (NRIs), who gathered in his parliamentary constituency on the occasion from across the globe, that the NDA government “has changed the way the country was being governed in the last four-and-a-half years.”

india Updated: Jan 22, 2019 13:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (PTI)
         

Facing Opposition charge of corruption in Rafale deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday turned the occasion of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi to present his government’s report card on the fight against corruption.

Inaugurating the biennial event, PM Modi told the participating non-resident Indians (NRIs), who gathered in his parliamentary constituency on the occasion from across the globe, that the NDA government “has changed the way the country was being governed in the last four-and-a-half years.”

Referring to an oft-quoted statement of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi although without taking his name, PM Modi said, “A former prime minister once said that only 15 per cent of the money sent from the Centre reached the beneficiary people in villages.” PM Modi interpreted this statement by the former prime minister as an “admission the fallacy of the system created by then ruling party”.

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He said, “The party that ruled for so long and the system that it built for the governance of the country, the then prime minister admitted the problem. They diagonsed the ailment but did not treat the illness. Even in the 10 -15 years of rule thereafter, they did not try to plug the pilferage of 85 per cent of resources.”

PM Modi said the NDA government stopped leakage of the resources from the system since coming to power in 2014. He said, “We have plugged the leakage completely. In the last four-and-a-half years, we have transferred Rs 5.80 lakh crore or about 80 billion dollar to people’s bank accounts directly for various purposes.”

“Had the country been run by the old system, Rs 4.50 lakh crore of Rs 5.80 lakh crore would have leaked out of the system. Had we not changed the system, the resources would have been looted in the same manner as admitted by the former prime minister,” Modi said.

“Earlier, there was no political will or policy to stop the leakage, now, we have a policy to transfer the amount directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries,” he said.

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PM Modi also said the NDA governemnt “identified 7 crore people who were not born but were taking benefits from the government...They were all living only on paper...This is a glimpse of the change that we have brought in the last four and a half years.”

Praising the role of the NRIs in their respective countries, PM Modi said, “ People of Indian origin are in leadership roles in countries such as Mauritius, Portugal and Ireland...I consider NRIs India’s brand ambassadors. They are the symbols of our capacities and capabilities.”

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is being organised from January 21 to 23 for the first time instead of January 9-11. The changes were made to allow NRI participants to visit the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and attend the Republic Day parade in the national capital. The theme of the ongoing Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is ‘Role of Indian diaspora in building new India’.

First Published: Jan 22, 2019 12:58 IST