Updated: November 13, 2014 8:16:03 pm
Having changed the image of Gujarat during his decade-long rule in the state, Narendra Modi, now prime minister of the country, is “changing the face of the country”, said Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Povery Allevation, Venkaiah Naidu. The minister while addressing an event in Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar on Thursday went on to say that people thought of Modi as “God’s Messiah” who would transform the country.
Taking a pot-shot at the United States for not granting visa to Narendra Modi in the past, Naidu said, “Earlier, the United States did not give him a visa. But now wherever Modi goes, he gets a huge reception. India is being respected and recognised because of his leadership. The leadership is very important… You have all seen the Madison Square (event)…”
The minister while addressing the inaugural session of the 12th International Conference & Exhibition on Emerging Trends in Sustainable Habitat & Integrated Cities (Municipalika 2014), also cited the receptions Modi received during his recent visits to Myanmar and United States of America.
“He changed the face of Gujarat and now he is bent on changing the face of India. People think of him as God’s messiah; God’s gift to the country… who will transform the country,” said Naidu while showering praises on Modi at the event in Gujarat.
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“The aspirations of the people are high. They think that Modi has come (to power), and now he will bring heaven to earth,” the minister said adding that the NDA government was launching “programme-after-programme which are important for every section and segment of the society”.
Naidu went on to stress how under the Modi-regime, the GDP and the industrial growth has risen, Rupee has grown stronger, while petrol prices and inflation has come down. “People are now ready to invest in India. Earlier, people used to have confidence in Gujarat. Today, this confidence has come to India,” Naidu said while addressing over 1,000 delegates from 200 cities of India and abroad, comprising of secretaries to state governments, Mayors, Municipal Commissioners, City Managers, Town Planners, Architects, Engineers, Urban Transport Specialists, E-Governance Experts, Urban Utility Managers and the Private Sector.
Naidu also spoke about how the NDA government is planning to launch the “Sardar Patel National Urban Housing Mission” for EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) and LIG (Low-Income Group) segments of the society. “We will also launch a new urban mission that will replace JNNURM Misson,” he added.
“Nowadays, smart city has become a buzzword and everybody wants a smart city, but the fact remains that to build a smart city, the local administration should take bold decisions rather than depending upon the government for funding, the resources should be mobilized through an efficient and transparent revenue model. If good amenities and infrastructure are created and taxes are levied, people will pay it willingly,” Naidu said.
He also announced that the central government is in the process of frame a guidelines for urban development project, wherein financial assistance from central government will be extended to those cities & states only, which are ready for reforms.
Giving an example how reforms can make a difference he said, that Hyderabad opted for computerization of land records recently and as a result, the annual revenue increased from Rs 765 crore to Rs 1,035 crore.
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