India growth story to pick up speed with development of NE: PM

 Highlighting “path breaking” economic reforms undertaken by his government, Prime Minister?Narendra Modi on Saturday?said India’s growth story will further pick up speed when there is an all-round development of the Northeast

Inaugurating the two-day ‘Global Investors Summit’ hosted by Assam, he stressed on the importance of ‘Act East Policy’ in the Centre’s aim of achieving balanced and fast-paced growth of the Northeastern region

“We have created the Act East Policy and the Northeast is at the heart of it

“The Act East Policy requires increased people to people contact, trade ties and other relations with countries on India’s east, particularly ASEAN countries,” he said

The prime minister said due to economic reforms, India is today the most preferred investment destination in the world with the highest FDI in last fiscal at USD 60 billion, and highlighted the country’s improved credit rating, low inflation rate and opening of various sectors to foreign direct investment

“The world sees India today as an emerging power house for economic growth,” he said

Modi said his government has changed the work culture of the official machinery, giving it greater speed, and “we want all projects to be completed before target”

Pointing to initiatives announced in the Budget on health insurance and free cooking gas connection for the poor and transparency in tax regime, he said all the schemes of the Union government are oriented towards bringing about a qualitative change in the lives of the people

The aim is to improve “ease of living”, the prime minister said

The Union government has taken up many path breaking economic reforms in last three years, which have simplified procedures?for doing business, he said

It is a result of these reforms that India today ranks 100 among 190 countries in the Doing Business Report, of the World Bank, after climbing up 42 ranks, Modi said

India’s position has improved in many other ratings like Global Competitiveness Index of World Economic Forum and Moody?s rating upgrade from stable to positive in November 2017

“Our policies have ensured that inflation remains below 5 per cent mark. Now, we have foreign exchange reserves of USD 418 billion

“Many new sectors have been opened for 100 per cent FDI through automatic route like automobiles,?textiles, tourism, ports and highways

“Today, India is one of the most preferred destinations for FDI. India has received highest ever annual FDI of USD 60 billion in 2016-17,” he said

Talking about the recent announcements in the budget, he said 45-50 crore people will benefit from the health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat and it has enhanced the possibilities of setting up hospitals in tier II and III cities by hospital chains

Modi said the government’s current focus is on infrastructure investment and next year it will be investing about Rs 6 lakh crore in this sector

“This year we aim to complete more than 9,000 kilometres length of National Highways. We will?be developing 35,000 kilometers of roads with investment of Rs 5.35 lakh crore under ?Bharatmala? project,” he said, adding the Railways will make an investment of Rs 1.48 lakh crore in 2018-19

? Assam is hosting its first global investors summit?to showcase its manufacturing opportunities and geostrategic advantages to foreign and domestic investors

The summit aims at highlighting Assam’s core competencies in different sectors along with the policy initiatives taken by the state government

The prime minister said the tagline of the summit ‘Advantage Assam: India’s Express way to ASEAN’ is not just a statement but is a comprehensive vision

India’s growth story will further pick up speed only when there is an all-round development of the Northeast and its people, he said

Modi said development of MSME sector is a priority for the government as this is the back-bone of country’s industries

“In this year?s budget, we are giving a big relief to MSMEs by reducing rate of income tax to 25 per cent on companies reporting a turn-over of up to Rs. 250 crore

“This will benefit almost 99 per cent of companies, he said

Modi said the 2018-19 budget has provided additional deduction to the employees of 30 per cent of the wages paid?for new employees under the Income Tax Act

“We are also rolling out e-assessment of income tax across the country to eliminate corruption and bring efficiency and transparency, he said

Further, the women employees? contribution to EPF will be 8 per cent for first three years against existing rate of 12 per cent

The prime minister said he was happy to note that Assam is ranked first among the Northeastern states in the Ease of Doing Business report

“I am sure that with the present leadership of the state government,?Assam is going to further improve its current position to emerge as one of the most sought-after states for industrial investment in the country,” he said

Those present at the event included Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay, several Union ministers, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, ambassadors and high commissioners of 16 countries, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani,?Tata Sons?chairman N Chandrasekharan besides other.

Triple Talaq Bill should be passed with the help of all political parties : PM Narendra Modi

 In the Budget session of Parliament, PM Narendra Modi today made a “humble request” to all political parties to help pass the bill on instant triple talaq saying it would be a New Year gift for Muslim women.

PM Narendra Modi said despite his government’s efforts and people’s expectations the triple talaq bill could not be passed in the last session.quoted to reporters outside Parliament House,

He said though there should be no politics on the issue as it relates to the rights of Muslim women, the Bill could not be passed.

While the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, sailed through the Lok Sabha, it is pending in the Rajya Sabhja as several opposition parties demanded that it be referred to a select committee.

The Budget session of Parliament got underway today.

Dialogue is the only way to resolve conflicts: PM

Dialogue is the only way to cut through deep-rooted religious stereotypes and prejudices that divide communities across the world and sow seeds of conflict between nations and societies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.

“As the inter-connected and inter-dependent world of 21st century battles a number of global challenges, from terrorism to climate change, I am confident that the solutions will be found through Asia’s oldest traditions of dialogue and debate,” he said.

Modi said he is a “product of the ancient Indian tradition that firmly believes in dialogue on difficult issues.”

He stated this in a video message to the 2nd edition of ‘Samvad- Global Initiative on Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness’ being held in Yangon.

The prime minister said the ancient Indian concept of “Tarka Shastra” (debate) is founded on dialogue and debate as the model for exchange of views and avoidance of conflict.

It is only natural that the search for answers be led by the humanity’s longest traditions of thought, rooted in various religions, civilizations, and multiple streams of spirituality, he said.

Giving examples of Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha and Bhakta Prahlada, he said the purpose of each of their actions was to uphold ‘dharma’ (duty), which has sustained Indians from ancient to modern times.

Talking about the environment, he said man must relate to nature and revere it and not merely consider it a resource to be exploited.

If man does not nurture nature, then nature reacts in the form of climate change, he said.

Environmental laws and regulations, while essential in any modern society, afford only an inferior protection to nature, he added, calling for “harmonious environmental consciousness.

GST has transformed economy: PM

Almost a month after the GST rollout, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it has transformed the economy and marks an example of cooperative federalism as states have been partners in all the decisions related to the new indirect tax regime.

He said the “smooth transition” of such a huge measure in a vast country involving crores of people was historic and can be a case study for universities around the world.

The prime minister said the priority of the government, while ushering in the GST (Goods and Services Tax), has been that there should no burden on the plate of the poor man.

In his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi also spoke about various other issues like the flood situation in various parts of the country and mentioned about the freedom movement in view of the upcoming Independence Day.

In the 30-minute broadcast also stressed the need for using only the environment-friendly items made by the poor people of the country during the festivals and hailed the performance by the Indian Women’s Cricket team in the recent World Cup.

Referring to the GST which was rolled out on July 1, the prime minister said, “one nation, one tax — how big a dream has been fulfilled.”

Underlining that GST is more than just a tax reform, he said it ushers in a new culture.

“It has been about a month since the GST was implemented and I feel satisfied and happy when someone writes to me to say how the prices of goods needed by the poor have reduced,” Modi said.

“GST has transformed the economy,” Modi said.

“GST, which I call ‘Good and Simple Tax’, has really made a very positive impact on our economy and in such a short span of time,” he added.

He said the speed at which the smooth transition, migration and new registration has taken place has led to a new confidence in the country.

Describing GST rollout is an example of cooperative federalism, the prime minister said all states are partners in it and have a responsibility as well. “All decisions were taken by the Centre and the states through consensus,” he said.

Modi said is an example of success of the collective effort of India and marks a “historic achievement”.

He said it was not only a tax reform but “is a measure that lends strength to the new culture of honesty. In a way it is campaign for cultural improvement.”

The prime minister said the magnitude of the exercise is an example in itself and will surely be studied by the world.

Modi said the people from the North East, far off mountains and those living in the jungles have written letters, saying that initially there were fears but as they started understanding the GST, it became easy and business became easier.

“And the biggest thing is that the trust of customers in traders has started going up,” the prime minister said.

“I am seeing how GST has impacted upon the transport and logistics sector, how the movement of trucks has increased, how their travel time has decreased, how highways have become clutter-free.

“With the increase in the speed of trucks, pollution has also reduced. Delivery of goods has also been speeded up.

Besides making life easier, it also strengthens the economic progress,” he said.

Don’t politicise Triple Talaq: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged the Muslim community to ensure that the triple talaq issue was not “politicised”, and hoped that intellectuals from the community would come forward to fight the practice.

Addressing an event marking the birth anniversary of Kannada philosopher Basaveshwar here, Modi voiced the hope that Muslims in India would “show the path of modernity” to their counterparts across the world.

“There is so much debate on the triple talaq these days.

Looking at the great tradition of India, my mind is filled with the hope that powerful people will emerge from the community in this country (to) eradicate outdated practices, evolve modern systems,” he said.

In his 40-minute speech, the prime minister spoke about women’s empowerment, equality and good governance.

“It is the strength of our country’s soil that people from the (Muslim) community will emerge to save our mothers and sisters from this trouble,” he said, referring to the practice of triple talaq.

“I will urge people from the community to not allow the issue to get politicised,” Modi told the gathering at the event, which was also attended by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar.

Source : PTI

Ban on red beacons aimed at ending VIP culture mindset: PM

The decision to get rid of red beacons is aimed at removing the VIP culture from the mindset of certain people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today and added that the concept should be replaced with “EPI”, meaning “Every Person is Important”.

A day before the government decision on red beacons comes into effect, he underlined that all the 125 crore people of the country have equal value and importance.

“I did not know that people have so much contempt for the VIP culture before we took the decision recently banning use of red beacons on vehicles of ministers and others,” he said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

He said the red beacon had become a symbol of VIP culture which had creeped the mindset of those using it.

“Experience shows that though the red beacon would be used atop a vehicle, gradually the VIP culture would go to the head of those using it and it would lead to a mindset of VIP culture.

“Although the ‘lal batti’ is gone now, nobody can claim that because of this, the VIP culture which has gone into the mindset would have also gone,” Modi said.

He said getting rid of red beacon was an administrative decision but efforts have to be made to remove the VIP culture from the mindset also.

“If we all make concerted efforts jointly, this also can go (from the mindset),” he added.

The Prime Minister said his government’s concept of ‘New India’ is that instead of ‘VIP’, importance to ‘EPI’ culture should increase.

“When I say EPI instead of VIP, the meaning is clear — Every Person is Important. Every person has value and importance. If we recognise the importance of 123 crore citizens of the country, imagine the big strength that the country will have in fulfilling the grand dreams. We all have to do it together,” he said.

Source : PTI

Govt biggest litigant, need to lessen load on judiciary: PM

pmTerming government as the “biggest litigant”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said there is a need to lessen the load on the judiciary which spends its maximum time in tackling cases where the government is a party.

He also pitched for an All India Judicial Service on the lines of Indian Administrative Service.

Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of the Delhi High Court here, Modi said the government is the “biggest litigant”.

“The judiciary spends its maximum time on us. Us does not mean Modi, but the government,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the load on the judiciary can be reduced if cases are filed after taking a considered view.

He said if a teacher approaches court over a service matter and wins, then the judgement should be used as a yardstick to extend the benefit to thousands of others to reduce litigation at a later stage.

Though there are no concrete figures, government is party to at least 46 per cent of the court cases ranging from service matters to indirect taxes.

While the Centre has so far failed to finalise the litigation policy, several states have gone ahead with their respective policies based on the 2010 draft of the Law Ministry.

The draft litigation policy, which is being fine-tuned keeping in view the latest trends, makes it clear that the mindset that matters should be left to the courts for an final decision, should to be discarded.

Recalling the role Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary on the formation of an All-India Civil Service, Modi said its officers work as a bridge between the Centre and the states in implementing policies.

He said due to the training, an IAS posted in a district thinks on national lines.

He said though “controversial”, the issue of an All-India Judicial Service should also be debated.

Against the backdrop of opposition to the idea by some states and high courts, Modi said debate is the essence of democracy.

Opposition misleading people on issue of tribal and forest land:PM

pmAmid a raging debate on the controversial land bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today accused opposition parties of misleading people on the issue of tribal and forest land saying such a campaign will hurt the interests of the country.

He said tribal and forest land do not come under the ambit of the land bill and are protected by separate laws.

“The land bill has no mention…there is no word on tribal and forest land in the bill. The tribals and their land do not come under the ambit of the land bill. Still, people who lack knowledge run this (campaign) 24 hours. They do not know,” Modi said.

He said there are efforts to “mislead” society on the issue. “For you it must be a small issue, a matter of your political principles, but do realise how much will it is hurting the country,” he said addressing a conference of state environment and forest ministers here.

He said the ongoing campaign must end. “A debate based on facts and truth is welcome. Afterall it is a democracy. But when truth lacks weight, you spread lies. A country is not run like this,” he said.

Modi’s remarks cam against the backdrop of government trying to build a consensus on the land bill in Rajya Sabha where NDA lacks numbers.

The land bill, which cleared the Lok Sabha with nine official amendments, faces a tough task in Rajya Sabha. An ordinance on land promulgated earlier was to lapse on April 5.

It was repromulgated last week since it could not be converted into an Act by Parliament in the ongoing Budget session.

BJP has asked its MPs and senior leaders to explain to the people the benefits of amending the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act brought by the previous UPA government.

Court reserves order for Jan 30 on comp against PM

An order of Delhi High court has been reserved for January on a complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Prime MinisterManmohan Singh and former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran for their alleged role in the 2G scam.

According to the Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal after hearing the arguments from the CBI as well as the complainant Vivek Garg, “Arguments have been heard. Put up for order on January 30.”

During the arguments, Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran told the court that the complaint should have been filed before the Special Court constituted exclusively to deal with all the cases and matters pertaining to 2G spectrum scam.

He said, “The complainant (Garg) should move the special court. The present complaint, filed before any other court except the special court is not maintainable. This court may direct this matter to be placed before the special court.”

Garg, who in his complaint has accused the Prime Minister and Maran of “unlawfully changing and diluting” the original Terms of References (ToRs) for vacation and reallocation of spectrum leading to the 2G scam, told the court that first the CBI should lodge an FIR and then further proceedings can be done in the special court.

Garg also filed his reply in response to the CBI’s status report submitted in the court earlier and sought initiation of action against the agency for filing a “misleading” report.

The CBI had earlier told the court that Garg’s complaint has been merged with the FIR already registered by it against Maran and others in October 2011.

Garg had earlier sent a complaint to the CBI and also to the Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi government, before moving the court.

Petition for calling PM Manmohan Singh as ‘Shikhandi’

 After facing the criticism for taking potshots at Prime(PM) Minister Manmohan Singh, core member of team Anna, Prashant Bhushan will now have to face litigation over his remark. A city-based lawyer has filed a petition in court seeking permission to register a case against Prashant Bhushan for using the word ‘Shikhandi’ for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

 Advocate Inderjit Singh Bhatia said that Bhushan’s remark has lowered the dignity of not only the Prime Minister’s (PM) office but also the country. Bhatia in his petition filed with first class judicial magistrate mentioned that Bhushan should be booked for treason and hurting the religious sentiments of Sikh community.

 “I have asked the court’s permission to file a case against Bhushan so that he can be tried in the court of law,” said Bhatia adding that in a democratic country every individual has right to speak but no one has right to lower the dignity of democratic institution and hurt the sentiments of any community. The petition will be heard on July 12.

 While criticizing the Prime Minister for defending the UPA government on issues of corruption, Bhushan had said that the Congress is using the PM as a shield like ‘Shikhandi’.

 Bhushan had said that they say he (reads PM) is clean, so his cabinet must be clean. Why is the PM allowing himself to be used like ‘Shikhandi’ in this manner.

 However, Bhushan had later denied using the word ‘Shikhandi’ for PM.