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‘Priority is best use of taxpayers’ money’: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday defended his government’s track record on corruption, job creation, inflation, development, and social welfare even as he lashed out the at the Opposition saying he is being criticised because he has hurt “the vested interests of several people”.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2019 23:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,India news,PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(PTI file photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday defended his government’s track record on corruption, job creation, inflation, development, and social welfare even as he lashed out the at the Opposition saying he is being criticised because he has hurt “the vested interests of several people”.

“No other leader would have been abused as much as I have been. …they all are hurling abuses at me from one stage. They are not pained because Modi has done some wrong. They are…. because I have stopped loot,” Modi said at the News18 Network’s Rising India summit.

Modi drew parallels between how India was in 2014 when he came to power and what is the situation is today. He insisted his government has improved the ease of doing business, increased GDP growth and the size of the economy while keeping inflation in check and dealing with corruption.

Modi said the government’s decision to open bank accounts for the poor, link them to Aadhaar and transfer benefits directly to their accounts has helped save ₹1.10 lakh crore, which for years middlemen pocketed. “There were about 8 crore fake people who were receiving these benefits,” Modi said.

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He said those whose interests have been hurt with the stoppage of this leakage are now crying foul over Aadhaar and trying to block it in the court. “Now you understand why they are going to the Supreme Court because earlier ₹1,10,000 crore was going into someone’s pocket,” Modi said.

Modi called delays in execution of government projects a criminal wastage of taxpayers’ money. He said he has tried to streamline them by personally reviewing projects worth ₹12 lakh crore after coming to power to ensure that they were executed on time. Modi cited examples of irrigation projects in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh to suggest that delays in them led to cost overrun and eventually wastage of public money.

“My priority right now is to make the best use of taxpayers’ money,” Modi said. He also referred to the government schemes for farmers and unorganized sector labours.

Modi said his government has created jobs, but some people do not wish to accept this fact. He asked why would not new jobs be created when a huge push is being given to road projects, railway lines are being laid at greater speed, the aviation sector is expanding, FDI is at a record high, and loans are being given to young entrepreneurs.

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First Published: Feb 25, 2019 23:24 IST