Brussels: In a veiled dig at Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said “some neighbours” don’t understand that issues can be resolved peacefully by talks as he cited the example of Bangladesh with which decades-old disputes, including boundary question, were solved.
While talking about how disputes with Bangladesh were solved, he said, “We presented an example before the world that by talking, issues can be resolved with neighbouring countries. (But) some neighbours do not understand this. Now, how can we change our neighbours? They will also understand, some day they will also understand.”
He did not name Pakistan but was apparently referring to this country with which there are several disputes and India wants these to be resolved through talks.
“Sometimes we wonder whether there can be solutions to problems with neighbours….There was a land dispute with Bangladesh since that country was born in 1971. Since then, the question was pending. One issue was about water sharing, another about demarcation of boundary in the sea and third about land boundary,” Modi said addressing a gathering of Indian diaspora here.
“You would be happy to know that after our government came, without firing any bullet, without any fight, by just sitting with Bangladesh, the border dispute was ended.
“Whoever had to come to India, they came, whoever had to go to Bangladesh they went, the border was dermarcated and now fencing work is going on there. The disease of infiltration will also end and both the countries will live peacefully and happily. Water dispute has also been resolved,” Modi said.
He was enlisting various steps taken by his 22-month-old government to take the country forward.
The Prime Minister said while the world was going through an economic crisis, global analysts and rating agencies like IMF see India as a “land of hope”.
India is currently one of the fastest growing economies, “not because of ‘naseeb’ (luck), nor because of Modi but the reason for this is the efforts by 125 crore people of the country,” he said.
“If the direction is right, policy is clear and above all, intention is clear, then nobody can stop India. India can progress,” he said.
Modi, who enlisted before NRIs the various initiatives of the government during the one-hour speech, said he was giving account of his work as he considers himself ‘pradhan sevak’ (prime servant) and not Prime Minister.
“In a democracy, it is obligatory to give account of your work to the people,” he said.
Talking about corruption, he said he was confident that the menace can end with little changes.
The Prime Minister said his government’s initiatives have helped curb theft and pilferage to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees.
“When Modi does this, will he not be troubled? Will not there be some people who would have suffered losses? Having usurped so much, their shouting capacity too will be big. That is why they say all around that ‘Modi is useless’, ‘he does nothing’. You will get to hear that ‘Modi does nothing’. It is normal since their condition has become bad after grabing the cream for so many years,” he said, taking a dig at critics.
While talking about efforts to stop pilferages, he referred to urea and said the government had decided to neem coat the product, which ensures that it can be of no use except as a fertilizer.
“And the result was that diversion of urea to chemical factories ended. The assessment is being made. It will end theft of thousands of crores of rupees. And if you hear voices against Modi, then you should conclude that Modi has tightened the screws somewhere.
“The more stronger the voices against me, you should understand that there is something wrong… Sometimes ‘poori daal hi kaali nazar aati hai’. What I want to say is that things can be changed and results can also be got.”
About his government’s initiatives, Modi said the year 2015 saw the highest production of power, urea, ethanol, coal and milk.
He said 90 lakh people had given up LPG subsidy following his call and this was being diverted to poor people who still cook using firewood. The government will bear the cost of first LPG cylinder of 5 crore poor people.
The railways saw maximum expansion and construction of highways saw a jump from 2 kms per day during previous government to 20-22 kms per day, Modi said.
On the ‘ease of doing business’, India rose in the rank by 12 points and the maximum amount of foreign exchange was received, the Prime Minister told the Indian diaspora.
He said while banks were nationalised by Indira Gandhi in 1969, 40 per cent of people remained out of the banking system.
Under the NDA government’s Jandhan scheme, 21 crore new accounts were opened and “Today, almost all the citizens have Aaadhar-linked bank accounts”, Modi said. Rs 34,000 crore have been deposited in these accounts.
JAM (Jandhan, Aadhaar, Mobile) scheme of providing subsidy to the intended poor people ensured that theft of about 14,000-15,000 crore was stopped every year, he said.
“When our government came to power, 18,000 villages did not have electricity even after nearly 70 years after Independence…I said on Independence Day last year that these villages will be electrified in 1000 days. Seven months have passed since then, and in more than 7000 villages, poles, cables etc have reached,” Modi said.
He said people can keep track of the progress by using a GARV App.
About the intention to achieve 175 Gigawatt of renewable power generation, Modi said he was confident of achieving it.
With regard to toilets in schools, he said the target was to build 4.25 lakh toilets and “today no school is left without a toilet”. He also talked about ‘One-Rank, One-Pension’ scheme, saying the demand had been pending for over 40 years and his government had fulfilled it within no time.
“The earlier governments used to keep Rs 200 crore for it…it costs Rs 10,000 crore every year. Earlier, only promises were made to the soldiers who die for the country but we fulfilled the promise,” Modi said.