Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM's address at Indian Community Event in Muscat, Oman (11.02.2018)

Posted On: 12 FEB 2018 4:00PM by PIB Delhi

Greetings! My dear countrymen who are present here in such a large number,

What kind of great power of our country is this,that if I start greeting people in the different languages and dialects of spoken in our country, then it will go on for several hours. This diversity is not there in any other country of the world.

Today, I see a mini India, outside India, before me on the soil of Oman. Indians from every corner of the country, Indians working in different sectors present a grand view before me.

Please join me in chanting aloud with all your strength…Bharat Mata Ki…Jay (Victory to mother India); Bharat Mata Ki…Jay; Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram.

Brothers and sisters, this is my first visit to Oman. I’ve come here amongst you from Dubai about two hours ago. Perhaps you might have seen this thing on TV that at the invitation of the President of Dubai, I got the good opportunity to deliver the inaugural address in the World Government Summit as a chief guest on the topic of Technology and Development. This is not limited to just delivery of a lecture in a program.

This event in itself isa respect for India’s development that the world is giving you this respect today. This official visit is taking place but I’ve visited Oman nearly 10 years ago when I was the chief minister of Gujarat. I was going to Africa as the then chief minister of Gujarat and during that journey I had passed through Salalah. I had stopped there for a brief period and today I’m fortunate to meet all those whom I had met at that time. I was longing to visit Oman to meet all of you, to be amongst you. Today, that opportunity is there.

 

I heartily thank the government and administration of Oman for making those arrangements. Friends, the relations between India and Oman are hundreds of, thousands of years old. Even five thousand years ago,the ships made of wood used to visit Oman from the Lothal port in Gujarat, and during the return journey these ships used to go up to Sri Lanka in the south while passing through Indian shores beyond Lothal. The systems have changed in the thousands of years. There was aprolonged period of slavery of India but our centuries old business and cordial relations remained the same.

After India’s independence, the institutions evolved to strengthen the business, economic and social relations between both the countries. The Bina refinery located in Madhya Pradesh has been operated with the help of Oman. On the other hand more than one thousand five hundred joint ventures of Indian companies have been working here in Oman. India and Indian talent has been working as ambassadors in the development and growth of Oman. Usually one ambassador is being appointed from the government side but hundreds of thousands of ambassadors of the country are sitting here representing the country. You people would have noticed that how we have been giving a new shape to India’s ancient and friendly relations with the gulf countries in the last three years as per the present requirement by formulating a policy. We have been taking these relations to new heights and linking them with different dimensions.

 

You people would have also noticed that to what extent the interest of gulf countries in India has increased alongside India’s growing stature and progress. Whether you people notice these things are not? Do you people experience these things?Its reverberations can be heard from all sides. India’s relations with gulf countries are becoming more important in themselves in every sector be it energy, trade or investment. It’s natural that a new momentum, a new energy has come into India’s historic relations with Oman. Geographically, Oman is the nearest neighbor of India in the gulf region. And it’s our good fortune that India has very old and cordial relations the royal family. Also, his majesty sultan had an inseparable bond with India.

 

Today, my presence in this stadium that is named after His Majesty Sultan to have an audience with you people in such a large numbers has a special importance. This reflects that how much warmth His Majesty Sultan himself has for India and Indians. We are extremely grateful to him for this special gesture.

I’m going to see his majesty after having a dialogue with you people. I will convey my best wishes for his health and long life and also on behalf of 1.25 billion Indians and all of you. And I will tell him that the purpose of my visit is to further strengthen the friendship between our two countries. Today, you people get the home like environment in Oman and it is not without any reason. The home like atmosphere that you people get here is the reflection of those values of the people and leadership of this place that we consider very important for diversity and coexistence in India.

My eight lakh brothers and sistersresiding in Oman are India’s goodwill ambassadors. You people have made your important contribution for the development of Oman, you have shed your sweat and you have sacrificed your youth for this place. And I am happy that the government of Oman gives you full respect for your extreme hardwork.

Brothers and sisters, the cultural values of Indians are like that we easily carve out a place for ourselves in every society. Exactly this is what happens or not? We mix the way sugar mixes in milk or not? Don’t we? And we make the milk sweet. These are our values, this is our nature and we have inherited this thing as our legacy. Because we are those people who follow the principle of VasudhaivKutumbkam, which means the whole world is one family.  The nature of adapting as per the time and society, giving respect to everyone, giving respect to every tradition while maintaining our conduct and our customs and traditions, this is the uniqueness of India. And therefore you people deserve praise as you people have been doing an unprecedented work of winning the heart of common people of this place by following Indian values at a distant place away from India.

And precisely this is the reason that even today India has been moving ahead with all the success even if the world map has altered, even if the top countries of the world have disappeared. No matter how difficult the path may be, no matter how difficult the situation may be, we are the ones who know how to overcome the difficulties. The restlessness that we have for the change; it is in our veins, it’s our commitment to come out of every difficulty with hope and excitement.

Brothers and sisters, today every Indian has fully dedicated himself for realizing the dream of a New India. He has been working day and night. And you people sitting here in Oman, if something good happens in India then there is no limit of your joy, you people become very happy. And if you come to know about something bad then how restless you people become; precisely this is our uniqueness – this feeling of belongingness.

We have been moving in the direction of making this kind of India where the poorest of the poor person gets an equal opportunity to grow. Where the poorest of the poor person can dream; and where the hope to realize those dreams rises; where he gets the opportunity to work hard to realise those dreams; where he gets the support and guidance of someone in the times of need. And with this role the country has been moving ahead on the path of development with much more vigor and speed than earlier to realise the dream of a New India by taking along 1.25 billion countrymen.

We have been doing several things for making the life of the common man of the country easier, to increase the ease of living by following the mantra of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.

We have included all these things in the culture of the government: simplification of the processes; repealing unnecessary laws; reducing the size of forms in the government office from 40-50 pages to 4-5 pages; creating system for online filling of those forms; giving a sincere hearing to the grievances of the people and work to resolve them.

It’s the same government, the same people and bureaucracy, same tools and resources, it’s the same file and same clerk, everything is same but different results are being produced. A change is being felt. In the changed India, now the poor people are not being insultingly turned away from the banks. In the changed India, the government is coming home to provide the gas connection, to provide the electricity connection.

 

Today in our country; and you people in Oman may be feel like this: Modi Ji, how is it possible. You may not believe it. This word: insurance, it felt like that it was for the rich people, it felt like that this topic was related to the big people.

Today, you people have given the opportunity to work in this kind of government in Delhi that the poor people have been given life and safety insurance at a premium of 90 paise per day and another scheme is at a premium of one rupee per month. Ninety paise, because I’m a tea seller that’s why I know that you can’t even have a cup of tea by paying 90 paise. You know what happenswhen a government which is sensitive and when it formulates such a policy then what is the result of such a scheme. You people would get satisfaction from the fact that when there was a difficulty for those poor families which had insurance cover under these schemes then the insurance people were there for them. For these families, this is not something which is old; it was hardly a year ago. An amount of nearly Rs. 2,000 crore has been disbursed as claims tothe poor people under these insurance schemes. Some of you would have been aware about this thing, you would have got to know about this thing if it had happened with your family members or relatives.

Friends, you people don’t have to face hardship to get a new passport or for its renewal. We have extended the passport facilities in the post offices as well so that the problems faced by the common man, who had this kind of apprehensionswhether he would get a passport even after 15 days or not, can be solved. And today because of decentralization and efficiency and because of bringing in the post offices into the system, these days passportsare provided in a day or two.

If somebody wants to do business in our country, if he wants to float a new company or wants to invest some capital then there was a time when it used to take several days to register a new company. I can say this thing with satisfaction that today this work is being done in just 24 hours. Earlier you people would have heard that the governments used to announce this kind of things that: we made this or that law, we did that thing. This is what you people used to hear or not? I want to give news that is just the opposite. Laws are made when there is a need and we also made laws but after formation of our government we have repealed nearly 1400-1500 laws which were not required these days. Repealing of 1400-1450 laws it means that on an average one law is being repealed everyday during my tenure. The accumulation of these laws becomes a burden on the common man. We change these laws to allow him to breathe freely, to change the direction and to set him free from this old burden.

If you people have taken a closer look at the budget this time then we have announced such a scheme in this budget which has attracted the attention of the entire world. You would have seen it, it’s possible that you might not have heard the name that I would mention as you might have heard some other name. But the scheme that we have announced in the budget is Ayushman Bharat Yojana. Under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme we have been providing the health insurance cover to 10 crore poor families of the country, it means nearly 45-50 crore people, we have announced Ayushman Bharat scheme for providing health insurance to these people. And it is that kind of scheme which will benefit 40-50 crore people, and its benefit will be that a family will get free treatment of up to Rs. five lakh in a year, the government will foot the bill of up to Rs. 5 lakh for the treatment of diseases through this insurance.

Now I have said Ayushman Bharat then perhaps you people would have also felt that: friends, we have not heard of it but during the last few days you would have noticed that Indian news papers have given it a new name. Good! Has anyone heard it! Indian news papers have presented it as Modi Care and even our opponents are not opposing the scheme. They just say: brother, it’s a good scheme but how will you do it?

Brothers and sisters, India is such kind of country that if it decides on something then it will accomplish it in any case. Several such schemes aimed at increasing the ease of living have been making the lives of 1.25 billion people easier.

Brothers and sisters, governments come and go, people come and go. The important thing is that what kind of governance is being provided by the government. There was a style of governance earlier as well, under which schemes did not materialize for 30-40 years. I was chief minister of Gujarat. There is a dam – SardarSarovar Dam -and its foundation was laid by Pandit Nehru and its work has just been completed the last year. Sometimes, this was the case that although a dam was constructed but no work was done on the canal system. Although sometimes bridges were constructed but connecting roads were not constructed. Although the poles were being erected but the electric wires were not laid on them and sometimes wires were laid on them but people used them for drying their clothes as electricity was not supplied. New trains were announced but no one used to think about the tracks or the trains. Sometimes even the drawings of the tracks were never drawn on the papers. With this kind of style of misgovernance the country could not progress in the 21st century.It has to change itself. And this change is compulsory. Moreover, because of the long list of scams the image of the country was damaged within and outside the country. Now we have brought out the country from this kind of situation.

Today, four years are about to complete but no one says that how much Modi has taken away.

And, dear brothers and sisters of my country, today, I would like to say this with humility and satisfaction while bowing down my head that I will never hurt those hopes and expectations with which this country has given me the responsibility. But today it’s just the opposite. Wherever I go, whosoever I meet, even my opponents they don’t level allegations against me, but what they do instead, they ask me: Modi ji please let us know how much has come. Earlier people used to ask how much has been siphoned off and now they ask Modi that how much has come. I think this confidence which has grown in the country this same confidence has given rise to a new hope. And that new hope is providing support to solemn pledge of making a New India.

Today, we have been working to take the country forward by focusing on a citizen friendly, development friendly and accountable administration. And as I have said earlier that its results could be seen today.

Today, the speed of all these things like the speed of construction of roads, the speed of laying of railway tracks, the speed of electrification of railway tracks, the speed of building new airports, the speed of construction of houses for the poor by the government, the speed of opening of bank accounts or the speed of providing gas connections, all these works are being completed two or three times faster than the earlier speed.

 

You would be surprised to know that we are able to realise the full potential of the first two decades of our country now. Several governments came and demitted office, the whole world has changed but India did not have its own aviation policy. We formulated the aviation policy after forming the government. And we activated those airstrips that were located in small cities and district headquarters of tier-II and tier-II towns. We launched a campaign to construct new airports.

And my dear friends, you would be happy to note that today there are nearly 450 aircrafts flying in our country in both public and private sector. It means that we have reached the level of 450 aircrafts during the period of 70 years. And in this one year, the different private companies, people from private sectors have placed the order for purchase of nearly 900 new aircraft. 450 aircraft during the 70 years and on the other hand the booking of nearly 900 aircraft in this one year. Why?  Because in our policy we have stated that we want that a person wearing a slipper too should be able to travel in airplane.

Friends, if we had not improved things at the grass root level then it would have never been possible to see the kind of growth and speed that you see. Huge and long lasting changes cannot be brought so easily. The entire system must be changed and when these changes take place only then the country jumps 42 places, from 142nd to 100th, in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking and now the entire world is being surprised.

Brothers and sisters, now the next generation infrastructure is being developed in the country by considering the requirement of the 21st century. Specially, we have been developing the transport sector in such a manner that various components support each other. Highways, airways, railways and waterways are being integrated as per each other’s requirement.

The government has started the construction of 53,000 kilometer long national highways under the Bharat Mala project - 53,000 kilometer. The work on railway corridors in different parts of the country is going on. The metro has been expanded to the 11 large cities. Just last year I got the opportunity to publicly dedicate the Kochchi metro. The work to expand the Chennai metro has been going on.

 

In this budget we have made provision for a huge budget for metro in Bengluru. Similarly, we have been running a programme under the name of Sagarmala for development of the country’s coastal economy and infrastructure related to the coastal economy and sea shores.

We have started aBlue Revolution Scheme for our brothers and sisters from the fishing community and the government of India has been providing them financial assistance to purchase modern trawlers. The government has been developing more than 100 waterways in the country. Rivers can be used for transportation. We have identified 110 such waterways that will not only protect the environment but will also bring down the transportation cost. And because of that the consumers will get things at an affordable price.

Brothers and sisters, those of you who will come to India in 2022-23 they will get to see one grand thing in the country. And that will be the bullet train.

The work on the bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad has been started last year. This train will take you to Ahmedabad from Mumbai in two to two-hours-fifteen-minutes.

India will not only get an incremental improvement in the existing system but the country is also going to get a modern technology and a new service delivery system.

Friends, now the decisions have not been postponed in India. Now the country has developed a new habit. The time to delay the decision has become a thing of past. Now we have been moving forward with the preparation to face the challenges. The schemes are being completed in time by setting the target. This is the example of a changing work culture in India. This is a New India. This is the living example of a New India. And this is the reason that’s why earlier in India everyday this kind of noise was there in the country that so many crores have been lost in this scam and so many crores have been lost in that scam.

Brothers and sisters, the country’s money is being saved when decisions are taken with a clear conscience and with a transparent policy. The country’s money is being saved when the work is being done in an efficient manner and when the available resources are utilized in the best possible manner.

 

With the help of technology, by using direct benefit of transfer scheme, our government has saved more than Rs. 57,000 crorethat were being siphoned off into wrong hands. We have done the work of saving every single penny of the poor. Direct benefit scheme means that the money for the subsidy or for the pension or for the scholarship and wage payments is directly transferred to the beneficiary’s bank account. Earlier this money was siphoned off by the middlemen by using fake names. Now our government has put an end to all these things. Similarly, the money of the people of the country, particularly of the middle class is being saved through our scheme Ujala.

Brothers and sisters,

In our country, the LED bulb which used to sell for more than Rs. 350 a piece before 2014, the same LED bulb is now available for Rs. 40-45 a piece. In addition to having affordable LED bulbs, the households that have been using them have been able to save around Rs. 15,000 crore in electricity bills per year.

Friends,

You would be surprised to know that the country would have to spend more than Rs. 45,000 crore on producing that much electricity which has been saved by using LED bulbs. If these two figures are combined – the saving of the people and saving of the country – then there is an estimated saving of Rs. 60,000 crore.

There is another example of fertilizer sector. Brothers and sisters, because of our policies the production of urea has gone up by 18-20 lakh tones without setting up a new plant; and I’m talking about almost all the old plants, and it was done by increasing the efficiency and preventing leakages. In order to produce this 20 lakh tones of urea the government was required to spend nearly Rs. 7-8,000 crore which has been saved and urea has been made available. It’s not limited to this only, foreign reserves worth nearly Rs. 3.5-4,000 crore have been saved which was spent on buying urea from abroad. In addition to this, the government has saved nearly Rs. 800 to 900 crores on account of subsidy. It means that we have saved nearly Rs. 12,000 crore of the country in the fertilizer sector alone by increasing the efficiency, through policy interventions and monitoring. And this money belongs to you people, this belongs to the people of the country.

Brothers and sisters,

We have started taking a second look at the agreements signed in the field of petroleum and gas, we started taking a closer lookthat how all this was done. See, these agreements have been signed for a period of 20-25 or for30 years. And we studied them and since now India has more prestige so we discussed the issue with those countries. And you will be happy to note that we renegotiated the agreements signed with Qatar and Australia and now they have been amended and because of these changes now we will have to pay Rs. 12,000 crore less than what was paid earlier. We have saved Rs. 12,000 crore of the country.

Brothers and sisters,

I have given you example of just four schemes and the saving of the country because of these schemes is more than Rs. 1.40 lakh crore. My brothers and sisters, please tell me that the money worth Rs. 1.40 lakh crore which was wasted earlier whether that money belonged to the poor people or not. Whether it belonged to the poor people or not? Whether that money should have been saved or not? Whether that money should have been used for the poor people or not? This government has launched a massive battle against the corruption and black money in the country with this approach, with this kind of commitment towards honesty. Those people who did not pay tax to the government despite earning crores of rupees, those who amassed wealth on other’s name, those who floated fake companies, those who deal in black money, now these big sharks are being probed by the government. 

You would be surprised to know that in the last one year the registration of nearly 3.5 lakh dubious companies have been terminated by the government, they have been sealed.

Friends,

The hard earned money sent to India by my countrymen contributes in the country’s economy. And when they send the hard earned money and when that money is being used in developing the facilities in the country then it has a multiplier effect and the people present here also get a satisfaction.  What a wonderful result is being produced if the money earned by honest means is being spent honestly and we have taken upon ourselves to promote this honesty.

Friends,

We are aware about the challenges faced by you people here sometimes. We have been in constant touch with the government of Oman about the problems faced by you people and we make every effort to solve your problems at the earliest.  The work to reduce your problems has also been done with the help of ‘migrate system’ and ‘Madad portal’.

It is the result of several such initiatives taken by the government that a confidence is there in every Indian living abroad, he has that confidence that if he faces any problem then the government of his country will be there to take him back to the country. This government of India has become an honorary member of his family in foreign countries.

Friends, our approach of SabkaSath, SabkaVikas is bringing about a change in the thinking of the entire world.  The announcement of International Yoga Day by the United Nations, formation of the International Solar Alliance at India’s instance, these are such examples that define India’s growing reputation and capabilities.

The country has been benefiting from your experience and your support and the entire country is indebted to you for this thing. I consider you an important partner in the development of the country and in nation building. The impact of your resolves to realise the dream of making a New India will also be felt in India. I’m confident of this thing. All my dear brothers and sisters, today, I got the opportunity to have an audience with you people. I conclude my speech with the wish that may you be healthy and safe. I convey my best wishes to you people.

Please join me in saying with all your strength – Bharat Mata Ki Jay (Victory to mother India), Bharat Mata Ki Jay, Bharat Mata Ki Jay.

Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram; Vande Mataram.

 

 

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AKT/SH/KT/RSB/AK

 

 



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