Promises to work for uplift of Muslims, take every State govt and political party along

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the country needs to establish its identity as “skill India” and not “scam India”.

Delivering his maiden speech in Parliament, as part of the motion of thanks to the President’s address, Modi said he wants development to become a mass movement and not merely a government programme.

“One needs to have skills and not just certificates in his hands to lead a proper life,” Modi said.

He made it clear that for his Government, the President’s address is not a mere ritual or tradition, but an inspiration, which has its own sanctity. He called upon all members of the Lok Sabha to work towards achieving the goals mentioned therein.

He said the elected members of the Lok Sabha are now the custodians of the hopes and aspirations of the people.

“Let us recognise our demographic dividend. Our nation is young. The world needs skilled manpower,” he said. Keeping this in mind, the new Government has created a separate Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

On growth concerns, Modi said: “Mahatma Gandhi made the freedom struggle a mass movement. The same way, we must make development a mass movement”.

Uplift of poor

The Prime Minister said that his Government would focus on the uplift of the poor while working for the development of all sections, including Muslims. He promised to take along every political party and State to make the country prosperous and powerful.

He said that if the Government did not pay heed to the needs of the poor, the people would never forgive it.

Devoting a significant part of his speech to agriculture and rural development, the Prime Minister called for greater focus on agro-technology, including agro-based industries and better soil-testing facilities. He asked students of agricultural universities to use their summer vacation to test soil in the labs of rural schools. This will help them and the schools earn money.

Rural push

Modi referred to the term ‘Rurban’, mentioned in the President’s address, and said that the economy would benefit if urban amenities were provided in rural areas, ‘suvidhaa shahar ki, aatma gaon ki’ (city-like facilities and the soul of a village). Such areas will have 24x7 power supply, broadband connectivity and education through satellite-based systems. Giving the example of Sikkim, which has emerged a big producer of organic food, he said the entire North-East could become an organic hub to meet the growing global demand for organic produce.

Curbing inflation

Reiterating his Government’s commitment to curbing inflation, Modi made it clear that it is not merely an election slogan.

“We are sincerely committed to bringing down prices. It is our collective responsibility to ensure nobody sleeps hungry,” he said. In this regard, he called for real-time data on inflation to help distribute foodgrains as and where required.

He also mooted the idea of trifurcating the Food Corporation of India into procurement, storage and distribution arms. Modi called for R&D to enhance the productivity of land and ensure higher protein content in pulses.

(This article was published on June 11, 2014)
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