Minister Highlights key Achievements of the Government in the past two and half years
Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Urban Development, and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has said that Note withdrawal is an effective Anti – Scam Vaccine introduced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister to prevent scams taking place through Corruption and Black Money generation. The mandate for the Government was for a CLEAN INDIA encompassing all aspects of mind, surroundings, economy, governance and public life. In the past two and a half years the government has taken various initiatives and steps in various sectors in its journey of transformation towards a NEW INDIA. Shri Naidu stated this while addressing the Press Conference on Achievements of the Government in the past two and half years and on issues related to demonetization here today at National Media Centre.
Speaking further on the issue of demonetization, Shri Naidu said that the Government would not rest till the last rupee of black money was accounted for and removed from the system. He mentioned that demonetisation was an initiative with many objectives. These included ushering in attitudinal changes on the part of all stakeholders including government employees, businessmen and traders, investors, political class and the common man. He stated that there was a need to change the way we look at and use money and hence the emphasis was on digital transactions. He also mentioned that the inconvenience caused by note withdrawal is gradually declining and from next month, situation will further improve rapidly.
Giving the progress report of the Government, Shri Naidu said that several initiatives ranging from Swachh Bharat in October, 2014 to Swachh Economy in November, 2016 had been taken. The Hon’ble Prime Minister himself convinced the people and all other stakeholders of the need to think and act differently to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The SWACHH initiative encompassed changing of minds and attitudes of all stakeholders, transforming institutions and processes of governance thereby creating an enabling environment for increased economic activity through necessary policy initiatives and improving ease of doing business, triggering a collective effort with Team India spirit, efficient resource management, targeting relief to the poor and the needy, ensuring social security networks for the vulnerable sections, focusing on social welfare, strengthening social sector programmes, unleashing individual enterprise through various initiatives, emphasis on farm and manufacturing sector and leveraging India’s strengths to secure due place in the international order etc.
Highlighting the major achievements of the Government, the Minister said that scandal free governance, effective inflation management, increased Foreign Domestic Investments, enhanced pace of infrastructure creation, stepped up economic growth rate despite adversities, financial inclusion, transparent resource allocation, increased accountability and transparency in governance, positive macro-economic parameters among other have been the major outcomes of the efforts and the Governance in past two and a half years.
While addressing the Media, Shri Naidu highlighted some of the key outcomes in various sectors post Demonetisation. While giving the details for Tourism Sector, he mentioned that there has been a notable growth in the comparative figures of Foreign Tourists Arrival (FTA) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) and online sale of e – tickets after demonetization. Comparing the data for the month November 2015 & 2016, he mentioned that FTA & FEE recorded 9.35 % & 14.45 % growth respectively over the same month previous year.
Speaking about agriculture sector, Shri Naidu said that despite apprehensions about demonetization adversely impacting rabi sowing, the overall sowing across the country surpassed 573.42 lakh hectare, which is higher than the average sowing area for the last five years. He further stated that rabi sowing has increased by close to 6.37% so far this year.
Giving the details for Railways, the Minister said that earnings from cashless ticketing has increased 30 percent and the number of people booking reserved tickets online using credit and debit cards or online transactions was at 58 percent in November but now it has reached over 75 percent.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Naidu highlighted major achievements of the Government through various Flagship schemes. He mentioned that more than 26 crore accounts were opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jandhan Yojna as a step towards financial inclusion. The Make in India initiative ensured enhanced Partnership between Government and the Industry. The Ease of doing business ranking improved from 142 to 130 in World ranking. He stated that Foreign investment has increased by 46% since the launch of “Make in India.”
About 3.09 crore farmers were covered under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in 2015-16 and 3.66 crores this year. Highlighting the achievements of the Skill India Initiative, the Minister stated that over 19 lakh youth were trained in useful skills under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana. Under the Stand Up India scheme, Rs. 500 crore has been allocated in 2016-17 budget. Over 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs have benefitted from the scheme so far. Shri Naidu mentioned that 1.22 crore LPG connections had been provided to BPL households under the Ujjwala Yojana. Speaing about the soil health card scheme for the farmers of the country, he mentioned that over 2.5 crore health cards were distributed so far.