Top Union Ministers today joined a gala event, which had a smattering of Bollywood actors, including megastar Amitabh Bachchan, aimed at publicising the "achievements" of the Narendra Modi government on completion of two years in office.
Top Union Ministers today joined a gala event, which had a smattering of Bollywood actors, including megastar Amitabh Bachchan, aimed at publicising the “achievements” of the Narendra Modi government on completion of two years in office.
While the centrepiece event was held at historic India Gate here that saw Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and many of his ministerial colleagues speak at length about numerous steps taken by the government across sectors, some Cabinet Ministers joined in from different parts of the country, including Mumbai, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Guwahati and Vijaywada.
The five-hour programme ‘Ek Nayi Subah’, which was telecast live by Doordarshan across the country, also saw superstar Amitabh Bachchan talking about one of the government’s flagship programmes ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’. His participation came amid questions being raised by opposition parties in the wake of his name figuring in Panama papers.
The event started with young ministers like Kiren Rijiju, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Babul Supriyo talking about ‘new vision, new India’ as they heaped praise on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his vision and making efforts for effective execution of various programmes.
“He is the most youthful among us,” said Rathore.
Bollywood actor R Madhavan and anchor Neelam Sharma hosted the programme which was also attended by Union Ministers Birender Singh, Maneka Gandhi, Najma Heptulla, Ram Vilas Paswan, Uma Bharti, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and J P Nadda.
Food and Public Distribution System Minister Ram Vilas Paswan lauded the government’s electrification programme, saying it has benefited the poor and dalits most.
Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said the government is working overtime to strengthen rural infrastructure which will lead to a “revolution”.
Maneka Gandhi, Union Women and Child Development Minister, said the government has strengthened anganwadi centres to tackle malnutrition and taken several child reform initiatives to ensure their safety and security.
“There was no check on Anganwadis since they were established, as a result of which malnutrition went on increasing. So, we put the entire system on reform mode.
“We are giving tablet computers to each and every Anganwadi which will enable us to monitor on real time basis the nutrition being given to the children. This will decrease malnutrition within two years. It was happening due to carelessness and nothing else,” Gandhi said.
Listing out government’s achievements in the past two years, Gandhi said the Women and Child Development Ministry has streamlined adoption and foster care procedures which has helped in cracking down on illegal child care institutions.
Talking about children’s immunisation cover, Health Minister J P Nadda said it has increased five to six per cent in the past two years with the government’s Mission Indradhanush programme.
“Around 2.70 crore children are born in the country every year out of whom 90 lakh were not immunized. 20 lakh from poor and migrant families which were completely left out and 70 lakh children were partially immunized.
“We launched Mission Indradhanush, which was apart from routine immunization programme, to provide seven types of vaccines to the left out children. In three phases, we covered 497 districts where immunization was below 50 per cent and, within one year, 1.62 crore children were immunized out of whom 45 lakh were fully immunized and rest partially. With this, immunization increased five to seven per cent in one year,” Nadda said.
Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the Modi government has changed the style of governance and ended policy paralysis that existed during the previous UPA regime.
He added that government has brought in transparency and cut down red tape.
Gadkari also said government was finishing many pending infrastructure projects started by the previous government and making efforts to ensure better connectivity in the northeastern states.
Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said infrastructure was critical to any country’s growth and this government was making efforts to improve it. He said a beginning has been made in this regard and soon India will be among the developed nations.
Sharma said government was planning to send as many doctors as possible to rural areas but for that reasonable infrastructure such a roads and electricity were required.
He said government is working on plans to utilise several airstrips lying idle across the country to help ensure more and more people are able to travel by air.
Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh said the Prime Minister has given a deadline of 1,000 days for complete electrification of villages across the country and it is hoped the target will be achieved much before that.
The interests of farmers, he alleged, had been ignored for a long time but now with soil health cards they would know what to sow and how to improve productivity.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was among the very few senior Cabinet members who did not participate in the event due to illness.
“I am recovering from illness. I will join our Government’s celebrations very soon,” she said while replying to a query on twitter.
Apart from Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju were not part of the event.
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is trying to provide technology for the poor for their empowerment.
“This country is changing and we have to take it forward,” he said, adding that e-commerce is also progressing fast.
He said Digital India will transform the country and the mission is to bring governance to the “palm of the people”.
Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said government has taken a number of steps to simplify the FDI policy.
She said industrial manufacturing zones are being set up in different parts of the country and each one of them will help generate 1.5 lakh jobs.
Sitharaman said investment in the country is rising after every visit of the Prime Minister abroad.
HRD minister Smriti Irani said the government’s efforts have accelerated skill education in the country.
Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said by deploying digital technology in the field of research a lot of paper work has been reduced.
Skill Development Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy praised Prime Minister Modi for taking up the issue of skill development in a big and systematic manner.