Economy, governance back on track, claims Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government has put a derailed economy back on track and pulled a nation out of despair to trust and hope in just one year of operation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today while taking up the challenge of removing poverty from the land.

The government has contained inflation and improved investor confidence in the last one year, Modi said while promising to do more in the coming days to meet "high expectations" of the people.

"Economic growth has been revived, and (India) is amongst the fastest in the world. Inflation is substantially down. Fiscal prudence has been restored. Confidence is up. Foreign investments have increased.

"This positive outlook is endorsed by major rating agencies and international institutions across the world," he said in an open letter to citizens on achievements of his government on the economic front in the last one year.

''Bold reforms pending for decades have been implemented. Diesel prices have been decontrolled. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is slated to be introduced next year. By facilitating companies to `Make in India' through a focus on `Ease of Doing Business', new jobs are being created. Cooking gas subsidies are being paid directly to beneficiary bank accounts under PAHAL - ensuring the right amount of subsidy, reaches the right people, at the right time. FDI limits in insurance, railways and defence production have been raised. Moreover, we have embraced the states as equal partners in national development, working as `Team India' in the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism,'' Modi said.

He said public sector banks are free to function without political interference now.

The government has mobilised potential long-term revenues of Rs3,35,000 crore to coal-bearing states through transparent auction and allotment of coal blocks. Besides, the reform in the Mines Act has replaced a discretionary mechanism with a transparent auction process.

To combat black money, the government constituted a Special Investigation Team and passed a new stringent law to check black money.

In order to give a boost to digital connectivity, the government has allocated nearly Rs1,00,000 crore of public investment through budget allocation to improve physical infrastructure.

The Railways is set for major transformation - a comprehensive transformation into a locomotive of growth. Stalled highway projects are being restructured and revived. Power generation is at an all-time high. A new National Infrastructure Investment Fund has been set up with an annual government funding of Rs20,000 crore.

But, the prime minister said, he is well aware of the fact that economic growth has meaning only if it empowers the poor, farmers, women, as well as middle and neo-middle classes of all communities.

''To enable us to continue paying remunerative prices to our farmers, we secured a permanent 'peace clause' at the WTO. The world's largest financial inclusion project has brought banking to the doorsteps of the poor, opening a record 150 million plus bank accounts with deposits of over Rs15,800 crore. An affordable social security system, including pension, life insurance and accident insurance, has already witnessed 67.5 million enrolments in its first week. MUDRA has been set up with a corpus of Rs20,000 crore to help our small businessmen, who despite being our biggest job creators have historically been starved of credit.

''A lot has been achieved. However, this is just the beginning. There is much more to be done and I know your expectations are high. A year ago I gave you my word that while I might perhaps commit errors, I would always act with pure intentions and spend every available moment working for a better India. I have kept my word. I seek your continued support, suggestions and blessings in building the India of our dreams.''