Growth with inclusivity is the driving principle behind the Government’s approach to policymaking, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, stressing that a roadmap is being readied to pursue ‘reforms by conviction’ over the coming 25 years, unlike the ‘reforms by compulsion’ undertaken in the past.
Addressing the first Arun Jaitley Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on July 8, the PM said, “The gist of my experiences of 20 years as the head of government is that without inclusion, real growth is not possible. And, without growth the goal of inclusion too cannot be accomplished… we adopted the way of growth through inclusivity and tried for everyone’s inclusion.” “I want to ask this question to all of you. Is real growth possible without inclusion? Can inclusion be thought of without growth?” PM Modi said.
The speed and scale of inclusion in the last eight years has been unprecedented in the country. To illustrate his point, he listed the measures taken by his Government to promote inclusive growth. PM Modi shared with pride of accomplishment in his eyes and humility in his words that 3 crore pucca houses have been given to the poor, 9 crore free cooking gas connections have been distributed, 10 crore toilets have been constructed, and 45 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts have been opened in the last eight years.
Further, he said that prior to 2014, on average 50 medical colleges used to be set up in 10 years. However, in the last eight years, 209 new medical colleges have been set up, which is four times more. He told the gathering that in the last 7-8 years, the number of undergraduate medical seats has increased by 75 per cent and the number of annual total medical seats has almost doubled.
“Today’s India is preparing a roadmap for the coming 25 years with reforms by conviction rather than reforms by compulsion. Earlier, major reforms took place in India only when the earlier governments were left with no other option. We do not consider reforms as a necessary evil but a winwin choice in which there is national interest and public interest,” he said.
Even during the pandemic period, the Government did not yield to populism and adopted its own approach to deal with the problems with focus on the people and MSMEs. He further said that his Government did away with over 30,000 compliances to promote ease of doing business. “Our approach of minimum government with maximum outputs is giving outcomes,” he said.
Giving examples of Covid-19 vaccines, he told the audience that private players have done very good work. “Our Government stood behind them…,” he said. Time has come to treat the private sector as a partner in progress and encourage them, he asserted and added, “We are moving in this direction.”
In his lecture, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a senior minister in the Singapore Government, “India will have to increase its pace of reforms and reorient the role of the Government to deal with the challenges that the country might face in the next 25 years.n the occasion, PM Modi paid tribute to the former finance minister and BJP veteran Arun Jaitley. Remembering Jaitley, the Prime Minister said, “We all were in awe of his oratory. His personality was full of diversity; his nature was friendly to all.”
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman began the event by pointing out that Jaitley was the one who brought about two major reforms, namely, GST and the Bankruptcy Code. It was during Jaitley’s tenure that the presenting date of the Union Budget was advanced to February 1 and a separate presentation of the Railway Budget was abolished.
Jaitley served as the Union Finance Minister in the first Modi Government and wore many hats in public life, from that of a lawyer to a politician and a cricket administrator. He died at the age of 66 years in August 2019 after prolonged illness