In a wide ranging interview that he gave to Times Now, PM Narendra Modi today took a number of issues head-on. From demonetisation, GST, demonetisation, fiscal deficit, even Gabbar Singh Tax (goods and services tax -GST) to Opposition flaying the NDA government over job creation, GDP growth to law and order, PM Modi said that they are refusing to look at reality, that India has been transformed economically into a ‘bright spot’ for the world from its earlier position in the ‘fragile 5’. He added, “If there is a country that has a thriving middle class, if there are 800 million people who are younger than 35. And with all this, there is the democracy, then it is very natural that the world will be attracted towards such a country.” He concluded the point by saying, “In one way, even for those blaming us, it has become difficult as to what can be raked up to target the govt.” Here are the highlights of points PM Modi raised in his interview:
1. The world is saying India is a bright spot. I would definitely want that the country should get a comparative study of the 10 years of UPA with our three and a half or four years in office: PM
2. If you look at it from the point of view of the world then they have been saying it repeatedly that India is a bright spot, doing very well as far as development in economic front is concerned: PM
3. Every time the talk was about how much has gone, how much has come. In the last three and a half years, you are seeing there is news that so much has come and is coming: PM
4. Within three and half years, the turn-around for India is from part of the ‘fragile five’ to being a ‘bright spot’, so this is the result of the efforts of those 1.25 crore Indians: PM
5. For the last three & half years, we are running such a govt that is taint free. There is no major problem that can imperil the govt or that the opposition can exploit: PM
6. Sensex is another indicator, it has crossed 35,000 and one of the reasons is, which even you were talking about, is fiscal deficit. Fiscal Deficit, earlier it was 4.5% or even more in the country and we brought it down to 3.5%. Current account deficit, in comparison to the GDP was 4%. Today we have got it down to between 1-2 %: PM
7. Secondly FDI, from 30 billion dollars to now more than 62 billion dollars. This is a big jump in itself. This happens when there is trust in economic policies: PM
8. India has achieved a track record of doing well in every field in the last three years, it is because of that, that the world has turned to us: PM
9. And we have come out from there and today India’s economic policy is being seen as a shining star with optimism and expectation. I think that this is a big thing in itself: PM
10. IMF Chief Christine Laggard had said that ‘we have slightly downgraded India but we believe that India is for the medium and long term on a growth track
11. When I say India should be Congress mukt, then I am talking about the culture that pervades that party. In fact, Congress itself must rid itself of this culture. In fact, Congress must make itself Congress-mukt.
12. If you think we are doing so much hard work around the world to isolate one nation (Pakistan), then that is wrong. This is not our work. Yes, the world is grappling with the scourge of terrorism and whoever is sympathetic towards terrorists, the world is uniting against them. India’s foreign policy is issue-based and is in the context of its relations with the world. I welcome him (Donald Trump) and I respect him. Whoever takes a step against terrorism, I will welcome them and praise them, because my country has been suffering from terrorism for forty years. Innocents are being killed. Terrorism needs to end in the world: PM
13. I directly talk to the people of Pakistan. I directly tell the people, should we not fight poverty? Should we not fight illiteracy? Should we not fight diseases? If we fight together, we will win faster. You have to unite those who believe in humanitarian values, only then can you isolate terrorists and defeat terrorism: PM
14. Every Indian citizen has the right to speak to Mr Modi and say ‘Mr Modi please stand and talk to us’. We are there for those who believe in the Constitution of India and for those who live and die for the nation: PM
15. The GST too is a new system. I have been saying this since the day one that people will take some time to adjust to the new system. We will have to improve wherever there are loopholes. Everyone should attempt to deliver a product to this nation which will be useful for a longer period. This is a process and our intention is good. Our efforts are underway. We are using all our knowledge in that direction. Everyone should make combined efforts for good things. Will you only see your political greed in everything?