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PM Modi on Davos: World wants to communicate directly with India

In the interview, Modi maintained that his government’s budget would be focused to carry forward the country’s development — a task the NDA had been doing since it came to power.

Davos Summit 2018 Updated: Jan 19, 2018 23:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,World Economic Forum,Davos Summit
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during an interview with Zee News TV channel telecast on Friday. (PTI)

Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for his first World Economic Forum meet in Davos, he said “the world wants to communicate directly with India”, underlining the importance the country gained in the last few years.

“World Economic Forum is world’s biggest financial forum. Davos has become the biggest congregation of economic world and I feel proud to present them the success story of 125 crore Indians,” Modi said in an interview to Zee News on Friday, adding that the world economy was focused on India, its big market and demographic dividend.

The Prime Minister pointed out that India’s growth in economic reforms had been “tremendous”.

He explained that after 30 years, the government at the Centre enjoyed a full mandate and that too “has attracted the attention of the world and changed the nature of interaction”.

Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to attend Davos in two decades — after HD Deve Gowda in 1997.

Close on the heels of his Davos trip, the NDA government will present its last full budget on February 1 before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

In the interview, Modi maintained that his government’s budget would be focused to carry forward the country’s development — a task the NDA had been doing since it came to power.

“It will be development, development and development. That’s what we have been doing earlier too,” Modi said even as he took digs at the earlier governments for working “only for elections”.

The PM once again made a pitch for holding the Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously, arguing it would save a lot of time and money.

“Like festivals, the dates for polls should be fixed,” the PM said, underlining that politicians and bureaucracy are not involved in the exercise of campaigning and holding elections throughout the year.

He also batted for a single electoral roll for Lok Sabha, assembly and local body polls.

Modi’s economic policies have often been judged by the touchstones of electoral politics.

In the recent Gujarat polls, where the ruling BJP scraped through, the Opposition had made the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation key poll planks.

The Prime Minister, however, defended his two big steps.

He turned the tables on the Congress and said the UPA did not address the issues of states.

“We respected federal structure in true spirit. No one could imagine that in such a short time, such a huge transformation could happen successfully,” the PM said about the GST rollout.

While the Opposition has been critical of the Modi government’s record on job creation, the Prime Minister trashed the criticism as “hawabaazi”.

He referred to the inclusion of 70 lakh names in the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) register to show how jobs were generated during the NDA regime.

He also gave examples of street vendors, adding that the self-employed did not get counted in official surveys.

Similarly, Modi narrated the steps taken to strengthen agriculture and allied sectors and added that his government was committed to do more for farmers and rural people. “My government will focus on taking the right steps and not make any mistakes,” he said.

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 21:39 IST