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Modi to Indian workers in Gulf: Govt will protect your hard-earned money

Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged difficulties arising out of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the demonetisation exercise, but likened them to teething troubles faced when moving to a new home.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Updated: February 12, 2018 7:12 am
PM Modi visited Muscat on the third leg of his West Asia tour.

From the opulent opera house and glitzy World Government Summit in Dubai to the massive Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made three speeches with pronounced pro-poor, pro-middle class tones, saying that the honest, hard-earned money of the country has been saved by the government through the use of technology and proactive decision making.

Addressing the Indian community in Muscat on Sunday evening ahead of his bilateral talks with Sultan Qaboos, Modi said that his government had saved a total of about Rs 1.4 lakh crore in four schemes over the last three years. “With clear intent and transparent policy of the government, we have been able to save money…we have also needed technical help,” he told an enthusiastic gathering in an hour-long speech.

Through Direct Benefit Transfers, the government had saved about Rs 57,000 crore, Modi said. “We have saved the money meant for the poor… earlier, they say, Aadhaar saved Rs 56,000 crore were being sent to middlemen, to fake accounts. We have ended this game… actually, we are saving the money of the middle class,” he said to applause from the audience. He then cited LED electrification of households, which he said had contributed to savings of Rs 60,000 crore, and said Rs 12,000 crore each had been saved on account of fertilisers through policy intervention and renegotiating old loss-making oil pacts with countries like Qatar and Australia.

“You tell me,” Modi asked the audience, “wasn’t that money for the poor? Should it not be their right?” to which the crowd responded enthusiastically in the affirmative. He was fighting corruption, Modi said, and people with black money were facing the law. “I can tell you… a lot of big fish are under investigation. In the last one year alone, lakhs of fake companies have been de-registered,” he said. To the cheering crowd of mostly blue-collar Indian workers, he spoke directly, “The remittances you send, that money should be well spent… that’s your hard-earned, honest money, and should be honestly spent by the government.”

The Prime Minister also mentioned the newly-announced insurance scheme for the poor, which he said the Indian media, has named “Modicare”. Mocking the Opposition for questioning its feasibility, he said, “When the country has decided to implement it, it will be done.”

Underlining his record of fighting corruption, he said, “Nobody says, Modi kitna le gaya… (How much money has Modi made) I can say with humility to those who have put me in this position, that I will not let them down.”
The Opposition, he said, was asking, “Modiji, kitna aaya? (how much has come back)”, referring to the return of black money to banks. But, earlier, he said, people would ask, “kitna gaya? (how much is gone)”, referring to the siphoning of funds in corruption scandals.

Earlier in the day, in two speeches delivered in Dubai, Modi spoke about his government’s use of technology as a tool for development, but also underlined the challenges that its misuse can present.

Delivering the keynote address at the World Government Summit, he said his government had saved Rs 56,000 crore — $ 8 billion — using Aadhaar-enabled direct benefit transfers in about 400 government schemes. In an affidavit filed in June 2017, the government had said the total recorded savings through the DBT scheme in two years — 2014-15 and 2015-16 — were Rs 49,560 crore.

The Prime Minister acknowledged difficulties arising out of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the demonetisation exercise but likened them to teething troubles faced when moving to a new home. He stressed the pivotal role that technology plays in the growth of an economy, adding that the GST structure has been made possible only because of the use of technology.

The change in the governance was his theme in speeches made in both countries. In the morning, he told the Indian community in Dubai, “Desh badal raha hai (the country is changing)”. In the evening, he said, “Badlav mahsoos ho raha hai. (You can feel the change).” India was the Guest Country at the sixth edition of the Dubai-based World Government Summit, which is being attended by more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries.

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  1. N
    Nagu Arasu
    Feb 12, 2018 at 12:35 pm
    We thank the Prime Minister for the efforts he and his team is putting in to transform and reform, India. We also want to thank for the educational opportunities given to our children. The Gulf NRI's have been the major contributor to Forex remittance since mid 70's. Can we expect government to treat NRI's in line with export oriented industries. Both are earning Forex for India. Most of the NRI's are returning home with tremendous stress. Employment opportunities are not coming up to accommodate them, within India. In this scenario, can the government allow NRI's to live on their FD Interest, with a tax holiday or tax free for a period of 3 to 5 yrs. Why can't an NRI's with family transfer the household articles worth x lakhs or essential objects, free of duty. It is after all to start a living, back home. Why can't an NRI bring back his car (Per Family - One) Will ever fair policies and custom rules, come up to protect NRI's.
    1. Birendra Kashyap
      Feb 12, 2018 at 12:19 pm
      do not listen to this fekumaharaj he is going to demenetise all money earned by NRI he is just a liar and cheat
      1. B
        Feb 12, 2018 at 9:59 am
        Indian Govt should impose tax on NRIs who earn more than certain amount and work in countries there they pay no tax.That would be far more 'patriotic' for both these NRIs and Modi Govt.
        1. ASHOK
          Feb 12, 2018 at 9:56 am
          When this Government cannot help the "Resident Indian people " how can you Help the NRI's. . In today's scenario Indian have to work Abroad to sustain there Families in India.
          1. S
            Feb 12, 2018 at 9:04 am
            India is changing not because of the plans introduced by a particular gujju telecom company nor because of the sermons/dictation from the valuable assets [MPs and MLAs] of the ruling party.. dian are Intelligent Hardworking...Advancement in Science, Technology Engineering will automatically make India a Super Power..The SAGA of a "New India" was started in 1947 not since 2014....-------For a moment Indians forgot that, All Chaiwalas and Pakodawalas are working for PROFIT....not for CHARITY...----------
            1. Kim Sharma
              Feb 12, 2018 at 9:08 am
              Modi failed as PM as he thought a country could be built by 1) organising mass yoga events, road shows or rock show-like spectacles abroad 2) holding radio talks and Tiranga rallies 3) guiding and following third-rate cyber goons 4) encouraging vandals on streets and crass cheerleaders at rallies 5) frequent overseas tours that don't yield gains commensurate to a PM's visit 6) abusing opposition coining acronyms 7) frequent tweets obfuscating historic facts 8) blaming the real builders of the nation to hide one's own failures 9) shielding criminal party leaders 10) appointing semi-literate country bumpkins as CMs 11) oratory devoid of intellectual heft 12) renaming old schemes or ins utions 13) whimsical actions.... Desire or noble intentions are not enough: Indian Prime Ministership is an art. Modi proves why he is unfit as PM and why the Gandhis could be successful in the ? His jealousy prompts him to target them.
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