Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the Modi government never took populist decisions for vote bank politics but worked for the betterment of people and ensuring political stability in the country.
Addressing the annual session of industry-body Assocham here, he said, in a vast country like India, development is possible only through the ”whole of government approach” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi implemented this vision of ”Team India” on the ground. This is why good results have come from every field in the last nine years.
”When we take decisions, we have before us the betterment of the country or a sector. We have before us efforts to put a system in place in the country. We don’t take decisions considering vote banks. Otherwise, GST would have never come in this country. We know there is a long army of people mocking the GST (Goods and Services Tax) as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ in the country. But we never cared for this thing,” he said.
Shah said development cannot be done without the right policies, which need to be formed with far-sightedness.
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”Modi government never took decisions that were populist, but it took decisions that were good for the people,” he said.
If a child gets malaria and a doctor prescribes him quinine, an anti-malaria drug, then he/she will definitely cry after taking it due to its bitterness, Shah said. ”But he (child) will smile soon after getting healed (from malaria),” he said.
Shah said, Modi ensured political stability in the country. ”This period under the leadership of Modi ji will be known as the ‘period of political stability’ in the democratic history of India,” he said.
The home minister said it is time to change the size and scale of industries for the development of the country under the leadership of Modi.
He said the government is working to bring down logistics cost to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 7.5 per cent from the current 13 per cent.
Shah said, without the development of the country’s infrastructure and reduction of logistics costs, development is not possible.
The logistics cost in India is 13 per cent to the GDP as compared to eight per cent in the rest of the world, making it difficult for Indian exports to compete globally, he said.
”We will have to remove the eight per cent and 13 per cent gap. We have formulated a framework for the next five years. I can assure you that we will reach 7.5 per cent logistics cost in the next five years,” Shah said, addressing the event ‘Bharat@100 Paving the way for inclusive and sustainable global growth’.
He said the central government has made a plan of Rs 100 lakh crore investment in infrastructure with some mega projects such as the doubling of railway lines, their widening, dedicated freight corridors from Mumbai to Delhi and Amritsar to Kolkata besides 11 other industrial corridors.
Citing other achievements in the infrastructure sector through major schemes, Shah said the government has set a target to bring down logistics costs below the national average by 2028 to make exports globally competitive.
”These achievements are due to tough decisions, right policy formulation, implementation of decisions with firmness and removal of corruption from the system. These are the four pillars with which we had tried to make progress in the country’s economy,” the home minister added.
Shah said the Modi government has laid a strong foundation for making India a developed nation by 2047 and a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.
Taking a dig at former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, Shah said when the prime minister was giving details of the Digital India scheme, the Congress leader questioned how small amounts would be paid to a street vendor, and whether villages will have electricity and broadband to enable those transactions.
He said, now, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is being used by almost every business.
”UPI contributed 52 per cent of the 8,840 crore digital transactions in 2022 which comes to Rs 1.26 lakh crore,” Shah said.
The home minister also credited Modi for giving a humane face to drab GDP numbers through social schemes which is a ”first in the world”.