NEW DELHI :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech gave a blueprint of what his government wishes to do over the next five years to fulfil the growing aspiration of Indians in terms of housing, infrastructure, electricity, broadband, education and healthcare.
Modi said while 2014-2019 was an era of fulfilment of needs, “the period beyond 2019 is that of fulfilment of aspirations and dreams".
Speaking from the historic Red Fort in Delhi, the Prime Minister said by the 75th year of independence (before 2022) farmers’ income should double, every poor person should get a pucca house, every family should get electricity connection and every village should have optical fibre network and broadband connectivity, besides the facility of long-distance education.
“In the coming days, 1.5 lakh wellness centres will be created at villages. One medical college in the midst of three Lok Sabha constituencies, housing for 2 crore poor people, drinking water supply in 15 crore rural households and 1.25 lakh km roads in rural areas, besides connecting every village with broadband and optical fibre network are some of the targets to be achieved," Modi said.
High-speed internet will be key for a host of facilities to reach rural hinterlands, including digital payment, online education, telemedicine, etc. By the end of 2018, India’s internet base, including wired and wireless broadband connections, had crossed 525 million subscribers.
“Earlier, the aspiration was to have a good mobile phone, but now people aspire to have better data speed. Times are changing and we have to accept that people’s thinking has changed. Earlier, people were happy with merely a plan to make a railway station. Now, people ask when will Vande Bharat Express come to my area?" Modi said, adding that even when electricity has reached all villages, people are now demanding 24x7 electricity. “People do not want only good railway stations or bus stations, they ask when is a good airport coming?" he said, adding that “ease of living" is the aspiration of every Indian, and the government should strive to fulfil it the same way it is improving “ease of doing business". He added pension for unorganized sector workers is a step in that direction.
Under the PM Pension scheme, the Union government is looking to enrol as many as 150 million people. Individuals subscribing to this scheme require to make a monthly contribution till the age of 60 years, to get an assured pension of ₹3,000 per month. At least 3.5 million workers have already enrolled under the scheme till the beginning of July. Touching on the aspiration of the youth, who wish to be entrepreneurs, he said “more than 50,000 new startups are also being planned".