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Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
09 JAN 2019 8:50PM by PIB Delhi
English rendering of PM’s address on the laying of the foundation stone of various development projects in Agra

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

 Governor of Uttar Pradesh Shri Ram Naik ji; the popular, successful and zealous Chief Minister Shri Aditya Yogiraj ji; Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Dinesh Sharma; Parliamentarian Professor Ram Shankar Katheria ji, State President of Bharatiya Janata Party and my colleague Dr. Mahendra Pandey ji, Chaudhary Babulal ji and Shri Anil Jain ji, other dignitaries on stage and all my dear brothers and sisters of Agra!

This is the first event in Uttar Pradesh in New Year. My best wishes for New Year 2019 to all the people of Uttar Pradesh! I salute all of you, the builders of New India.

Friends,

I am fortunate to be present in front of you all in Agra and whenever I have asked for your support, the entire Uttar Pradesh and the entire nation has showered blessings. I have relentlessly tried to live up to your expectations. May your blessings be upon me so that I continue to walk on the path of honesty and serve you and all the people of my country with complete dedication!

As a result of your belief and cooperation, our mission of 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' is about to cross another milestone. The inauguration of the projects worth Rs.3500 crores related to the development of Agra just a short while ago is an important step towards this direction.

These projects are primarily related to water, education, health, sewage treatment and connectivity i.e. these are related to turning Agra into a smart city. I congratulate all of you, my brothers and sisters for these projects.

I also thank Japan from the bottom of my heart for their support and cooperation in it.

Brothers and sisters,

You all will be pleased to know that this age-old demand has been met today. There used to be an issue of water scarcity from Agra to Mathura. The ground water is mostly saline and is thus not potable. That mother Yamuna, whose stream had made life possible, is polluted so much so that its water is no longer potable. This is the reason why a scheme for satiating Agra's thirst with Upper Ganga Canal has been formulated. Today, the Gangajal project worth about Rs.3 thousand crores is dedicated to all of you for assured water supply in Agra. This will bring clean drinking water to lakhs of families in the entire region. I also want to inform you that cleaning of Yamuna Ji is also our priority under the Namami Gange Mission.

Brothers and sisters,

The work on several projects is underway to not only eliminate the water related problems in Agra but also to modernize the city's sewage system. And brothers and sisters, you are fortunate to get Ganga water as drinking water but when one receives clean drinking water, it is not only the water problem that is resolved but also solves the health related issues. It is especially beneficial for the lives of the poor. The Ganga water reaching your houses in Agra is in a way the best remedy for health. Similarly, clean drinking water can also be the centre of attraction for the tourists visiting Agra. When the tourist would see the clean Ganga water received by the city, he would want to stay longer in Agra. Therefore, it should not be merely seen as an engineering work wherein a long pipe has been constructed to bring water to the city. This, in a way, is a stream of nectar and lifeline for Agra that will give an impetus to the life of Agra.

Brothers and sisters,

A scheme named AMRUT Mission is going on across the country. Under the AMRUT mission, the foundation stone of the sewage network project has been laid in the western part of the city today. Under this, the sewer line will be set up to which about 50 thousand households will be connected.

Friends,

Agra is among those cities of the country where smart facilities are being developed. Keeping in line with that, today, the work on a new 'Command and Control Centre' has been started in Agra. With the help of this project worth approximately Rs.300 crores, all the facilities around the city will be monitored. The entire city will be monitored from here with the help of more than 1200 CCTV cameras. Whatever is going on in every nook and corner of city will be monitored - whether there is traffic congestion, whether there is a heap of garbage lying on road, whether the sanitation workers have arrived on time or not; everything will be monitored by CCTV cameras. And brothers and sisters, for Agra, CCTV camera is a facility that will guarantee security of the city. And when the foreign tourists and the tourists from within the country get to know about CCTV cameras, they are relieved and assured. Agra is a place of tourist attraction for people all over the world. We would like Agra to break all records of the last 70 years so that its economy gets a new boost. The provisions of water, CCTV cameras, sewage treatment plants as well as smart facilities are a blessing for tourism. Moreover brothers and sisters, the inauguration of the Railway Bridge and heliports will improve connectivity of Agra.

Friends,

Agra will be revived as a smart city with cleanliness, clean drinking water, and CCTV cameras. It will create an environment of inspiration, strength and satisfaction for the tourists here. The glory of our historical heritage like Taj Mahal, will also be enhanced. It will have a direct impact on the tourism industry.

Brothers and sisters,

No country or city can be smart unless it is healthy. Keeping this in view, the Center's BJP Government is going to ensure cheap and effective areas across the country. There will be unprecedented development of infrastructure related to health.

Under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, Agra's SN Medical college is being expanded. 250 new beds will be added to the hospital and the super specialty facility will also be enhanced. Besides, I have also got the opportunity to dedicate a 100- bed maternity wing and 2 community centres in Women's hospital.

Friends,

In the coming days, a huge network of hospitals will be built up in the country. This will not only expand the healthcare services in the small towns and cities but will also open new employment opportunities for the youth. Ayushman Bharat is one such major scheme. Some people also call it Modi Care. Its success can be attributed to the fact that everyday about 10 thousand poor people are getting treated under the scheme. And these were the people who had been suffering from ailments for the past 4 to 5 years and were facing serious difficulties. They had been awaiting death due to lack of money and were enduring all the pain.

Brothers and sisters,

Where would the poor go? But Ayushman Bharat has helped so many distressed people in such a short time! When one person in a family falls ill, the entire family is affected. The education of the children stops and is diverted to fulfilling the need of food. Every work at the home stops. The Ayushman Bharat scheme, which is also called Modi Care, has saved all these people. Just within 100 days 7 lakh poor brothers and sisters have either been treated or their treatment is going on in the hospitals.

Brothers and sisters,

The BJP government is committed towards the 5 streams of development - education for children, income for youth, medicines for elderly, irrigation for farmers and addressing the grievances of people.

 

In terms of employment, almost every district of UP, including Agra, is known for its medium and small scale industries. Agra's Petha is the identity of this city. Many more traditional works also are going on in Agra. The Center and the UP Government are engaged in further boosting these small industries. 'One district one product' scheme of the UP government is going to be a milestone for promoting small and traditional industries here. Besides, our campaign of Make in India is also getting an impetus through it.

Friends,

Our government is constantly taking steps to empower the micro, small and medium enterprises. A modern system of online loans has been made for small entrepreneurs to facilitate loans from banks. And you will be surprised to know that the people of Uttar Pradesh are taking advantage of it; the people of Agra are taking advantage of it. The technology system has been set up to sanction the loan of up to Rs 1 crore in just 59 minutes. In just 59 minutes, not even an hour!

Besides, the government is also trying to ensure that the money of the big enterprises and companies is not stuck and the cash flow is maintained. Exporters should get a 2% discount on the interest for loans. Similarly, rules and regulations ranging from environmental clearances to inspection have been relaxed. With all these efforts, small and medium entrepreneurs will get a boost in the near future and new opportunities for employment will also be available to the youth of Agra and nearby areas.

Trade and businesses flourish when the rules and regulations are simpler and that are easily understandable for both the traders and the customers. The system of GST is to strengthen the mutual trust and confidence between the traders and the customers. It has been just 1.5 years to this new system. There are continuous improvements and modifications in the rules while listening to the complaints and petitions of the people. This massive work has stupefied the people around the world.

Brothers and sisters,

A few people are spreading rumours that GST is a new tax in addition to the existing taxes. This is a lie. This is a rumour. GST is not a new tax. The previous taxes like a tax of 25%, 30%, 18%, 20% or 22% were hidden. No one could see those but we had to pay. We have ended all those taxes. The 40%, 25%, 30%, 35% or 28% taxes have been reduced and 99% of the things have been brought under 18% tax. Some of the things are taxed at 12% while others at 5% or 0%. The consumers are taking advantage of it. Therefore brothers and sisters, the process of simplifying the GST for the businessmen and the consumers is going on continuously.

This government that runs with public participation is implementing most of the suggestions received from all of you. And so we have now urged the GST Council that the income limit of entrepreneurs coming within the scope of GST to be increased from 20 lakhs to 75 lakhs. I have made several requests. The decision is not in my hands. The decision is in the hands of GST Council. The GST Council includes all the political parties and all the state governments. And they all have to decide together. But yet I have urged them.

Besides, the houses built for the middle class should also be brought under the 5% bracket. I have requested these two things to the GST council. I had made this request even the last time but a few states had opposed it. We could not arrive at a consensus. I hope that in the days to come, when the GST Council meets, it will also take care of this matter of the public.

Friends,

'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' is not just a slogan but the soul of good governance. Our government is striving to ensure that no section of the society, no individual or no region of the country remains deprived of the opportunities.

Brothers and sisters,

Yesterday the entire nation has seen how a historic Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha.

After these many decades of Independence, an attempt has been made to find a solution to the inequitable conditions created due to poverty by first accepting the problem.

A crucial big step has been taken on this issue to help the poor families of general category to get them reservation in educational institutions and government services.

And I know that slogans were raised before too and many announcements were made during elections. At that time I used to openly tell everyone that I never bothered about whether it would be beneficial for elections or not. I used to tell everyone that if someone promises reservation above 50% bracket, then it is cheating. This is because if one wished to provide reservations beyond 50%, then the Constitution had to be amended. If anyone ever made such promises without considering that factor, then it would mean stealing from a part reserved for other categories like the Dalits, Scheduled Tribes and OBCs. This was to garner vote bank. Therefore, we had said that Constitutional Amendment was needed before that.

And I am glad that the promises that I had made as the Chief Minister has been implemented today by me as the Prime Minister. The Constitution has been amended and without stealing the share of the Dalits, the STs and the OBCs, I have also included the Economically Weaker Section of the Upper castes too under reservation, thinking of the poor children.

A few people are saying that Modi ji purposefully brought this provision before elections. Tell me, every six months, elections are held in some or the other part of the country. Had I brought it three months back, you would have said that it was in view of the elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Before that you would have said that it was for Karnataka elections. That is, every year elections are held twice. Elections are held somewhere or the other. Therefore, I have been suggesting that the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha elections should be held simultaneously. There should be elections once in five years. Don't you agree with me or not? Shouldn't these expenses be curbed? Being engaged in the election- related work day and night should be stopped or not? The government should work for complete 5 years or not? Should this constant engagement with elections continue? Should the police look after the law and order situation or keep on doing the election related work? This is what goes on! The political leaders are not concerned about the nation. They are not even ready to look at each other.

They are scared of the 'Chowkidar'. They first want to get rid of the 'Chowkidar'. Once the 'Chowkidar' is gone, they would loot everything but till the 'Chowkidar' is there, it would be difficult for them to survive. You tell me, whether the 'Chowkidar' should do his job or not? Should the 'Chowkidar' be afraid of anyone? Does this 'Chowkidar' have your blessings? Whether this 'Chowkidar' should do his work honestly or not? Shouldn't the looted wealth of the country be brought back? The poor should get their rights or not? I am committed to make every person of the country stand as the 'Chowkidar'.

Brothers and sisters,

The Parliament has done a major work in providing reservation to the upper class poor people. I am grateful to my colleagues in the Parliament and everyone who has played a crucial role in strengthening the spirit of equality.

Friends,

This step will provide opportunities to lakhs of youngsters who could not move ahead due to lack of money and poverty. Historical initiatives have been taken to prevent poverty from creating hurdles in raising anyone's standard of living.

Brothers and sisters,

We have not only provided reservation in appointments but also in higher education, technical and vocational studies. Along with reservation, we have also decided to increase the seats in higher educational institutions by 10%. We won't do anything that would threaten someone else's rights.

Friends,

We are moving ahead with these kinds of systems. For several years, there had been a demand of granting reservation on the basis of economic status. The Bharatiya Janata Party government has fulfilled this demand. But I would also like to warn you about those forces that are spreading rumours. These enemies of the poor are constantly spreading lies and rumours through social media as also from bigger platforms. We need to defeat every attempt and conspiracy of those whose self-interests are being served with the division of the society.

Friends,

The government has taken another important step. Amendment to the Constitution related to citizenship is a part of that resolution of the country, according to which we will be standing with all those people who were once a part of India's soil. India must stand with those who had been separated from our land during the partition and are being tortured on religious grounds. I believe the opposition who are opposing the decision will understand this.

Friends,

I am trying to conform to my full capacity, even on the orders you gave me to fight against corruption about four and a half years ago. This is the reason why some people have started to form alliances against this 'Chowkidar'. You have clearly seen how the rights of the oppressed and the deprived sections of the society were being taken away by the sand mafia in Uttar Pradesh. Such people have now started a campaign for joining hands in corruption. Those who were never ready to see each other in the eye are now joining hands to hide each other's scandals and scams.

Brothers and sisters,

The Lucknow guest house scandal was also forgotten for gaining political brownie points. They are trying to erase this in several parts of Western U.P including Muzzafarnagar. All of this is happening because the 'Chowkidar' is awake and alert. He is standing there with complete honesty. They are trying to connect every piece to remove the 'Chowkidar'. When the investigation agencies are trying to seek answers for their actions, they are conspiring against the 'Chowkidar'.

Brothers and sisters,

You must have seen about 2-3 days back in the Parliament how our pride, our first daughter as the Raksha Mantri who has been handling the security of the 125 crore Indians, had given a befitting response to the opposition. This is women's pride. She had exposed all the lies of the political leaders of the opposition parties. She has been placing the truth one after the other in the Parliament. They were frustrated so much that they tried to insult a woman. They tried to insult a lady Defence Minister. This is not just an insult of the Defence Minister but the women power of the entire India and these irresponsible leaders have to pay the price for it.

Brothers and sisters,

Howsoever they might try, but the investigation agencies will do their work. They will hold them accountable. Friends, today they have been brought to this stage not because of Modi but because of your blessings. It was possible because of the belief of 130 crore Indians. I am constantly trying to stand by your beliefs.

Brothers and sisters,

Now you are well-versed with the story related to Michel-Mama of chopper scam. Today he is in Indian prison. That's why they are worried. What would happen if he reveals anything against them? So, when the accused in the Chopper scam was arrested, Congress immediately sent their lawyer to protect him.

Brothers and sisters,

What does it show when Congress sends its lawyer to help the accused? Wouldn't it become clear that something is fishy? One would easily know what's going on behind the back.

Brothers and sisters,

Now the 'Chowkidar' is creating problems for them. They had expected that Modi would become like other politicians with time. But after 4 years when Modi remained the same, they started fearing the 'Chowkidar'. Therefore, they are frustrated. Once again, I congratulate all of you for the various development projects. I am grateful that you came here in such large numbers to shower your blessings. Say along with me -

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

My best wishes to you all in advance for Makar Sankranti.

 

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AKT/VJ/IG/MG/AK