Modi says India won't bow to terror, asks youth to shun violence

World Monday 15/August/2016 20:04 PM
By: Times News Service
Modi says India won't bow to terror, asks youth to shun violence

New Delhi: Declaring that India will not bow before terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked the youth who have taken to violence to join the mainstream.
In his 93-minute Independence Day address to the nation amidst tight security, Modi asserted that India will not yield to terrorism and violence.
The prime minister asked youths to return to the mainstream by shunning the path of violence, comments which are seen as a message to youth of Indian-administered Kashmir.
"I am telling those youths that there is time left, come back and join the mainstream. Realise your parents' aspirations. Lead a peaceful life. The path of violence has never benefited anyone," he said.
Attired in his trademark half sleeves kurta and sporting a Rajasthani turban, Modi devoted bulk of his address on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day to presenting in effect a report card of his government's work particularly in boosting economic growth, ease of doing business and welfare schemes for the poor and farmers.
Vowing to keep inflation under control, Modi said he has tried to stay away from populism which the past regimes practiced to get recognition while "emptying the exchequer".
Giving the 'reform, perform and transform' slogan in his third Independence Day address, Modi said the government has to be sensitive, responsible, accountable, transparent and efficient to complete the journey from 'Swarajya' (self- governance) to 'Suraj' (good governance).
"It has been a tradition in this country for governments to make populist announcements and emptying the exchequer to get recognition. I have tried to stay away from resorting to this kind of populism," he said from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
He said he wishes to focus not on the work done by the government, but on its work-culture.
Stating that his government's moto was transparent and accountable good governance, he said steps are being taken with a view to 'reform, perform and transform'.
He cited online registration in major hospitals, promptness in income tax refunds, speeding up of the process of passport delivery, faster company registrations, and ending interviews for Group C and Group D positions in the government as examples of the change taking place in the country.
Stating that the speed of delivery in vital areas had increased, he said the pace of construction of rural roads has gone up from 70-75 km per day to 100 km a day.
There has been quantum jump in construction of renewable energy projects both in wind and solar energy, he said, adding that transmission lines needed to take electricity to consumption centres are being laid at 50,000-km a year speed as against 30,000-35,000 km previously.
Also, cooking gas connections have gone up by 4 crore in 60 months as against 14 crore connections released in 60 years, he said, adding that 21 crore bank accounts have been opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana, 2 crore toilets built in rural areas, and 10,000 electrified villages electrified in a short span of time.
Modi said his government has not allowed the rate of price rise to cross 6 per cent as opposed to the double digit inflation during previous government.
"We have made a lot of efforts to contain price rise," he said. "I will do all it takes to ensure that the poor man's food plate does not become expensive."
Prime minister said the just passed legislation on Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will replace a raft of different central and state levies, will strengthen growth efforts and make economy more predictable. .
Modi assured tax payers that he will remove the fear of taxman hounding them by ushering in accountability and answerability.
"Middle class, upper middle class used to be hassled with I-T officers, more than police. I have to change this situation, I am working on it and will make the change happen," Modi said.
The prime minister said that he wishes to focus not only on the work being done by the government, but also on its work-culture.
Modi said that in the past honest citizens felt harassed while claiming refunds, but now the entire system has become electronic and refunds reach bank accounts within week's time.
"There was a time when ordinary, honest citizens used to give his or her income tax and used to carefully give two rupees extra so that there is no problem going ahead. But after the money came to the exchequer, then he or she used to have a hard time to get refund, they had to use contacts and it used to take months for the citizens to get their refund from the exchequer," he said.
"Today we have moved towards online refund. In a week, 2 weeks or 3 weeks refunds have started going. This is a result of measures like accountability and answerability," he added.
Seeking to eliminate corruption and promote ease of doing business, the Income Tax Department has been taking various tax payer friendly measures, including e-verification of returns, paperless email-based inquiry and e-scrutiny.