Bengaluru: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave an all-inclusive and all-reaching government in the last eight years.
Taking a swipe at the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre, Shah alleged that there was "policy paralysis" then, while several scams also happened.
“In eight years PM Narendra Modi gave a ‘Sarva Sparshi, Sarva Samaveshi’ government to the country. There isn't any area where reforms didn't take place. We have taken an oath for the welfare of the entire society,” he said.
Shah, who also holds the cooperation portfolio, was speaking at the ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’ event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here to celebrate 75 years of Indian independence.
In an apparent reference to the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government, Shah said, “There was a time before 2014 when the Prime Minister was not considered as a Prime Minister as every minister believed he or she was the PM.”
“There was policy paralysis in the country and there were Rs 12 lakh crore (worth) scams. These scams used to make daily headlines of the newspapers. The CVC, CBI, and the Supreme Court used to investigate these irregularities,” the union minister alleged.
Shah also claimed that crony capitalism and price rise were at the peak and the ease of doing business had hit rock bottom then while the fiscal deficit was also high.
“These developments made the country take a unanimous decision to install the Modi government with a majority. After a long duration of 30 years, the country decided to have a decisive government,” he said about the BJP's victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“India is now the fastest growing nation and we have successfully implemented the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The maximum exports and foreign direct investment took place in 2022,” Shah said.
The Home Minister said India had set its economic goal by introducing two slogans – ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self Reliant India) and ‘Make in India’ and laid the foundation for ‘Amrit Kaal’ (platinum era), which is the next 25 years, when the country completes 100 years of its independence.
“I can say with confidence that no one can take India lightly anymore. There will be no one, who will not recognise India's rising power in the next 25 years,” he said.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, everyone was directionless and worried, because there was no vaccine available. The lockdown impacted not only India but also the global economy, badly hitting the supply chain,” Shah said. “Amidst the pandemic, India presented itself as a model, and the economists worldwide recommended increasing demand, announced big packages, and printed more currency notes but India adopted a new kind of policy.”
He said India tried to come up with a remedy for the pandemic and encouraged an indigenously-developed vaccine to help the society tide over economic sluggishness.
“Rather than announcing packages and printing currency notes, India focused on its policies,” Shah said claiming that economists worldwide admitted that the Indian economy was the first to successfully come out of the pandemic effect.
The Home Minister also claimed that India saved it's Medium Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) by giving a working capital of Rs six lakh crore.
“The Centre also provided free ration to 80 crore poor and marginalised people for 2 years and started the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme so that people can feel protected,” he said. “We identified five limbs to focus on - economy, infrastructure, systematic reforms in system, demography, and demand and supply to tackle COVID-19. I am glad that this policy of PM Modi helped India overcome the pandemic.”
Shah said that no one thought that India with a 1.3 billion population would ever manage COVID-19 so easily.
He said that big economies too failed to manage the pandemic the way India did.
“We vaccinated more than 100 crore people and the world could not know this. There was no mismanagement as the technology was used brilliantly, which no one country had ever done,” the Home Minister said.
He said that the 14 Production Linked Incentive (PLI) sectors like automobile and auto components were given thrust so that they should not work in isolation.
Shah said that the thrust of the PLI scheme was a step towards ‘Self-reliant India’ and a key component of ‘Make in India’.
“India was a strange nation, which had 130 crore people but the market was only for 80 crore population because rest of them did not have the purchasing capacity. Their priority was only to take care of their families,” he said.
The Home Minister noted that after the union government took care of their basic needs such as water, electricity, toilets in every house, direct benefit transfer to the farmers, houses to 2.57 crore population, health insurance to 5 crore people, and 43 crore bank accounts to people and Rs 23 lakh crore were given to poor under 300 different schemes.
He said that the Narendra Modi-led government gave the economy a human face.
“We have not made the GDP arid but gave a human face to it,” Shah said and advised the industry to focus on changing the scale instead of increasing its speed.
In this connection, he asked them to give impetus to research and development.
“Capital could be an issue but you can promote R&D through a consortium. Indians are considered to be the best brain for R&D in the world and CII should make efforts for it to do R&D in India. The industry should also back up startups because there is a kind of linkage between the industry and the startup,” the Home Minister said.
He also suggested to CII that nothing in the production chain from raw materials to finished goods should be made outside India.