On Aug 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the tricolour at the Red fort to mark India’s 74th Independence Day. Addressing the Nation, the PM stated about several issues ranging from management of the Covid-19 pandemic, measures to boost domestic manufacturing as part of the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (ABM),” steps to revive the economy with a focus on middle class people. He said that making farmers self-reliant has been a cornerstone of the ABM and is also proving to be a value addition to cater to the needs of the global market.
Highlighting key agricultural reforms, he stated that farm trade has been freed up from all restrictions, enabling farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country. By drawing parallels with soap or cloth manufacturers who were able to sell their products anywhere at will, he said even after over seven decades of Independence, farmers did not enjoy the freedom to trade their commodities beyond local markets. He further added that, “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” does not mean only reducing dependence on imports, but strengthening India’s capacity, creativity and skills.
Following the 74th Independence Day speech, The PM reiterated the significance of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and assured full support to fellow Indians during the need of the hour. Over 130 crore Indians have decided to become ‘Aatmanirbhar’ amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Becoming Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) is mandatory. I am confident that India will realise this dream. I am confident of the abilities, confidence and potential of my fellow Indians. Once we decide to do something, we do not rest until we achieve that goal,” he asserted.
Notably, The PM said that the Government is prioritising on improving the overall infrastructure for faster development with the help of National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) project and announced that over Rs 110 lakh crore would be invested in the NIP, Ministry of Finance attributed. Addressing for the seventh time in a row from the Red Fort, he said there are numerous challenges in becoming self-reliant, but there are millions of solutions as well.
For this, he stated that more than 7,000 projects have been identified across various sectors. National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) Project will play a crucial role in pulling the country out of impact of Covid 19. NIP is a project that will revolutionise India’s infra creation efforts. Many new jobs will be created, our farmers, youngsters, entrepreneurs will benefit.
He also emphasised that now along with Make in India, we have to move forward with mantra of Make for World. In his address, the PM stated that the whole World has been noticing the reforms being pursued in India. As a result, the FDI inflow has broken all records. India witnessed 18% jump in FDI even during the Covid pandemic, he asserted.
The PM reiterated in his address “Vocal for Local” call and stated that India should strive for meeting needs of the world as well and wondered how long the country would continue to export raw materials and import finished products. He remarked that, India has vast natural resources and need of the hour was value addition. “Now we have to move ahead with the mantra of make for the world along with Make-in-India” he asserted.
Who could have imagined that lakhs of crores of rupees would be directly transferred in the Jan Dhan accounts of the poor in the country? Who could have thought that such a big change would happen in the APMC Act for the benefit of farmers? One Nation-One Ration Card, One Nation – One Tax, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and Merger of Banks is the reality of the country today, he asserted.
The PM, Seven crore poor families were given free gas cylinders, more than 80 crore people were provided free food with or without ration cards, about 90 thousand crores were directly transferred to bank accounts. Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan has also been started to provide employment to poor in their villages.
He said that, This is also the first time when the EMI of a home loan for your home is getting a rebate of up to 6 lakh rupees during the payment period. Just last year, a fund of 25 thousand crore rupees has been established to complete thousands of incomplete houses, the Prime Minister said in his address to the Nation, the Prime added.
The PM also highlighted that, 40 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened in the country, about 22 crore accounts are of women only. At the time of Corona, in April-May-June, about thirty thousand crore of rupees have been directly transferred to the accounts of women in these three months. In Corona’s age, we have seen what the role of Digital India campaign has been. Just last month, almost 3 lakh crore rupees have been transacted from BHIM UPI alone, he added.
Meanwhile, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu stated on Aug 15 that, it is time for an objective introspection. At this juncture, we must ask ourselves what we aspire to achieve as a nation by 2022. By 2022, India must be aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) in every sense of the word. We all must work with renewed vigour and determination to eradicate poverty, end social and gender discrimination and eliminate corruption,” he asserted.
Consequently, The PM on May 12th, 2020, announced the Special economic and comprehensive package of Rs. 20 lakh crores – equivalent to 10% of India’s GDP – to fight COVID-19 pandemic in India. He gave a clarion call for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat or Self-Reliant India Movement. This will play an significant role in the ‘ABM’. He also listed the five pillars of an ‘Atma-nirbhar Bharat’; these pillar are: economy, infrastructure, system, demography and demand. Thus, such economic package aims to spur growth and make India self-reliant. Essentially this is to spurt growth and to build a very self reliant India and that is why this entire initiative is called Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (ABM).
Author: Trilok Singh, Currently Studies Masters in Mass Communication & Journalism at International School of Media and Entertainment Studies, News 24 Campus. MA in Political Science, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. Currently, CEO at Youth Darpan Media, IASmind, & India’s Journal. Forthcoming Media House is Online Media 24.