As Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares for his maiden Independence Day address, various ministries have been asked to furnish by this month end details of programmes in different sectors which could form part of his speech, possibly in the form of announcements.
The Prime Minister’s focus in the August 15 address from the iconic Red Fort is expected to be on infrastructure development, skill development, job creation, control of inflation and building of 100 smart cities across the country.
The Finance Ministry has written to other ministries and departments asking them to spell out the roadmap for implementation of the Budget proposals and new schemes that could be launched, sources said here on Monday.
They have been asked to reply by July-end after which the details will be forwarded to Cabinet secretary Ajit Seth.
The Cabinet secretariat will assess these inputs and important decisions will be taken before August 10 regarding what will form part of the address, the sources said. Modi’s first address to the nation from the historic monument will be watched keenly as he has outlined that his priority areas would be ‘good governance’ and development, the planks on which BJP got a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
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In this regard, his focus is on developing infrastructure like world class roads, airports, ports and railway networks besides development of rivers. Outlining its vision in the President’s Address to Parliament last month, the Modi government had said it will revive ‘Brand India’, riding on its strengths of five ‘T’s – tradition, talent, tourism, trade and technology – and pursue foreign policy on the basis of “enlightened nationalism” and mutually beneficial relationships.
To revive the economy which has seen sub-five per cent growth for the last two years, the government has promised to create a policy environment which is “predictable, transparent and fair” so that the investor sentiment is re-ignited and foreign investors pump in money.
The government is also focussing on developing energy-related infrastructure, human resource and technology for which it has promised to come out with a comprehensive National Energy Policy. Housing is another aspect to which the goverment is paying keen attention besides sanitation and 24X7 electricity supply and access.
Last year, Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, had attacked the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying his Independence Day address contained nothing new. Modi had alleged that much of what Singh spoke was said by first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in his First Independence Day address.
“I am wondering that despite your name being included among those who have unfurled the tri-color on maximum occasions, you are saying the same things which were said by Pandit Nehru in his first address to our nation,” Modi had said, addressing Singh.
“The same problems and concerns are highlighted by you (Manmohan Singh) today which were mentioned by Nehru in his first speech. The question arises what did you do for the past 60 years,” he had asked.