State of Economy to Water Mission: Analysing Modi’s I-Day Speech

State of Economy to Water Mission: Analysing Modi’s I-Day Speech

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As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on the occasion of India’s 73rd Independence Day came to an end, BloombergQuint’s Kaushik Vaidya spoke to a panel of experts to gauge the message behind the prime minister’s 90-minute-long speech.

The guests who participated in the debate included:

  • Neelanjan Sircar, Assistant Professor, Ashoka University and Senior Visiting Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
  • Amitabh Tiwari, Political Commentator and Strategist, and
  • Manoj Joshi, Distinguished Fellow, ORF

Some of the key highlights of PM Modi’s sixth address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort included government scrapping Article 370, lauding initiatives like PM Kisan Nidhi scheme and urging citizens to minimise the use of plastic.

Also Read : Article 370, Jal Mission: Highlights From PM Modi’s I-Day Speech

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Speaking to BloombergQuint, foreign policy expert Manoj Joshi emphasised on the ‘inward approach’ of the prime minister, which essentially means focus on internal issues.

“The basic takeaway was the decision of his government to focus inwards – economic, political and social transformation of the country. He spoke for the need of ‘one nation, one election,’ he spoke of unifying the nation in terms of GST, etc.”
Manoj Joshi, Distinguished Fellow, ORF

In his speech, the prime minister highlighted the need to streamline trade and provide ease of doing business. “Wealth creators should not be looked at with suspicion,” said PM Modi suggesting wealth creation will lead to its equitable distribution as well.

Responding to the question on who was prime minister targeting while talking specifically about wealth creators, commentator Amitabh Tiwari was of the view:

“The message was intended for the bureaucrats of the finance ministry. Following the death of CCD founder, there was an issue of tax terrorism, tax for super rich and CSR rules, which make it a punishable offence, these were leading to the creation of an assumption that this government is anti-wealth creators.”

Also Read : India to Soon Have Chief of Defence Staff, PM Announces on I-Day

Make In India Shift: From 2014 to 2019

When asked whether the engines of the economy has shifted from a macro level of ‘Make in India’ to a micro level of small and medium scale industries, Sircar said:

He is as aware of the macro characters. Making a grand declaration of which section is going to create jobs is not a smart idea. He is somewhat constrained by the economic realties of the country. These are the kind of assurances that the people want.
Nilanjan Sircar, Professor, Ashoka University

On Water & Environment

In his Independence Day address, Modi said half of the country's households do not have access to piped water. He said that his government will spend Rs 3.5 lakh crore to ensure that every Indian household receives piped water by 2024.

“The strong point of Modi is that he involves people in his schemes to make it successful. So while he lays down the foundation of what government will be doing for water, he is also making a clarion call for citizens to make India water rich.”
Nilanjan Sircar, Professor, Ashoka University

But when asked by the anchor if Modi was trying to project himself as a climate warrior when leaders in United States and Australia have taken a step back, Amitabh Tiwari said:

“I do think that Narendra Modi understands the importance of thinking about water, given the concerns we have about water, pollution, green space and all sorts of issues faced by India. This requires a strong action, led by the Centre.”

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