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‘Entire Nation Has Seen Detailed Discussion on J&K’: PM Modi in RS

For the first time, an anti-corruption bureau was set up in J&K, Modi said.

Updated
India
3 min read
File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
i

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 6 February, said the entire nation has seen the detailed discussions on Jammu and Kashmir, adding that an anti-corruption bureau has been established for the first time after its special status was scrapped.

Replying to the debate in Rajya Sabha on a motion thanking the president for his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament, he said for the first time in decades, people of Jammu and Kashmir got benefits of reservation.

There were BDC polls, RERA came into being there, he said, adding that for the first time, Jammu and Kashmir got a comprehensive start-up, trade and logistics policy.

For the first time, an anti-corruption bureau was set up in J&K, he said.

He attacked the Opposition for not offering any "constructive suggestion" during the debate, saying they made a "virtue out of stagnation".

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‘Unprecedented Peace in Northeast’

The prime minister said there is "unprecedented peace in Northeast", countering the Opposition charge of unrest in the region following an amendment to the citizenship law.

Modi quoted one member as saying that the decision to abrogate the special status for Jammu and Kashmir in August last year was taken without discussion.

“This observation is not correct. The entire nation has seen the detailed discussions on the subject. MPs have voted in favour of the decisions,” Modi said.

"People do not forget things easily. I want to remind the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha about the manner in which proceedings regarding the creation of Telangana took place when the house was locked and televised address stopped when the bill to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh was passed,” Modi added.

‘Fundamentals of Indian Economy Strong’

Modi said the fundamentals of the Indian economy were strong and had inherent capability for higher growth rates, adding that there was no reason for being despondent.

Rejecting pessimism over the target of nearly doubling the size of the economy to $5 trillion, he said aspirational targets were needed to move ahead.

“There is no question of thinking small. Pessimism and gloom do not help us. We talk about a $5 trillion economy. Yes the aim is ambitious, but we have to think big and think ahead,” he said, adding his government is focusing on infrastructure development, small businesses, textiles, startups, and tourism.

Modi said the focus on 'Make in India', his government's flagship scheme to boost domestic manufacturing, is yielding results.

Also, tax compliance is being simplified to make it easier to do business in the country, he said.

On Goods and Services Tax (GST), which from July 2017 amalgamated 17 different central and state taxes, he said frequent changes were a reflection of federal structure of the country and showed the government was willing to improve the law.

‘Updating NPR Will Help Give Benefits of Govt Schemes to Poor’

The prime minister launched a strong defence of the National Population Register (NPR), saying it was being updated to allow the rightful beneficiaries get the benefit of government welfare schemes.

He said census and NPR are "usual administrative" processes which have been carried out previously as well but have now suddenly become contentious.

Questions asked in the NPR are purely governance related, he said citing the example of asking citizens of the language spoken by them and their parents are deeply linked to the schools that need to be set up in that particular area.

(This copy has been edited for clarity.)

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