New Delhi: The direct benefit transfer programme has resulted in Rs50,000 crore savings for the government in the last three years as funds were directly transferred to 32 crore needy people, BJP President Amit Shah has said.

The Aadhaar-linked DBT scheme, he said, has helped in plugging leakages, removing middlemen and eliminating ghost beneficiaries. As many as 32 crore people received funds in form of subsidies directly into their bank accounts resulting in savings of nearly Rs50,000 crore to the exchequer over the last three years, he told PTI in an interaction.

Citing various achievements of the Narendra Modi-led government, Shah said, both direct and indirect taxes have witnessed a growth rate of 20%, which is unprecedented in the history of independent India. “On the economic front, the BJP-led government has performed very well. We are the fastest growing nation in the world and inflation by and large is under control," he said.

Listing out the government’s high points during 2016-17, Shah said, there were many like “highest urea production, largest gas connection distribution, record coal and power production, highest national highway and rural road construction, vehicle manufacturing, biggest ever software export and highest ever forex reserve". Besides, he said his party “BJP had achieved the greatest political gain during the year".

He further said that interest rates have been reduced remarkably and fiscal deficit has been reined in at 3.9% in 2015-16. It was under the NDA regime, the country saw a 5.1% industrial growth and 4% agriculture growth and also 45% rise in FDI inflows, the BJP national president said, adding that exports also surged after registering a slowdown. As a result, he said, per capita income has increased by Rs10,000 to cross Rs1-lakh mark at Rs1.03 lakh.

On soaring financial markets, Shah said both key indices Sensex and Nifty have touched their record highs, triggered by the positive sentiment. With regard to Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said, “We have moved ahead with it and it will be implemented soon." The government intends to implement the GST from 1 July. On other key initiatives, he said that under the Ujjwala Yojana, more than 2 crore women from BPL families have been given LPG connections and the target is to take this number to 5 crore by 2019. As far as the power sector is concerned, Shah said, nearly 13,500 dark villages electrified out of a target of 18,456.

Power generation has increased by 30% and the government has reduced electricity consumption by installing 23 crore LED lamps. As part of government’s effort to fund the unfunded, more than 7.45 crore entrepreneurs have been given bank loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, he said. Under the Mudra Yojana, a loan of up to 50,000 is given under ‘Shishu’ plan, between 0,000 to 5 lakh under ‘Kishore’, and between 5 lakh to 10 lakh under ‘Tarun’.

Banks have sanctioned more than 22,000 applications worth Rs4,699 crore under ‘Stand Up India’, he said. The scheme facilitates bank loans between Rs10 lakh and Rs1 crore to at least one scheduled caste/scheduled tribe borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch for setting up greenfield enterprises. Talking about other social security schemes, he said Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) has benefited more than 16 crore since its launch in 2015 while Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), a low premium life insurance scheme, has covered over 3 crore.

With regard to pension scheme, he said, the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has covered 38.23 lakh individuals and disbursed Rs1,344 crore. The subscribers base under the APY has reached about 53 lakh, he said, adding that 235 banks and the Department of Post are involved with the implementation of the scheme at present. Shah also said that under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), the highest ever expenditure of Rs51,902 crore was made in 2016-17.

As many as 51.3 lakh works have been completed so far in 2016-17 from an average of 25 to 30 lakh works till 2013-14, he said. As much as 47,447 km road has been constructed in 2016-17 under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana as compared to 36,449 km in the previous fiscal.

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