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New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi on Monday addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 70th Independence Day. He paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and countless people, who sacrificed their lives so that Swarajya could be attained. The PM said that 125 crore Indians have now resolved to complete the journey from Swarajya to “Suraj.” He said the achievement of Suraj will require sacrifice, hard work, discipline, dedication and courage, and added that every institution from Panchayat to Parliament must work unitedly towards this goal.

The Prime Minister said that there was a time when allegations engulfed the government. He said that this government is instead surrounded by expectations. He said that when hope gives rise to expectations, it gives us energy to move faster towards Suraj. Modi said that he wishes to focus not on the work done by the government but on its work-culture.

The Prime Minister defined various attributes of Suraj, such as Sensitivity, Responsibility, Accountability, Transparency, Efficiency and Good Governance. He illustrated each of these attributes through examples of the working of the Union Government, in areas such as online registration in major hospitals, promptness of income tax refunds, speeding up the process of passport delivery, faster company registrations, and ending interviews for Group C and Group D positions in the government.
The Prime Minister mentioned how the speed of delivery in vital areas of governance had increased and gave examples such as rural roads construction, renewable energy generation capacity, laying of transmission lines, and cooking gas connections. He spoke of the scale on which work had been accomplished in certain areas such as opening of 21 crore bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana, construction of two crore toilets in rural areas, and electrification of 10,000 unelectrified villages in a short span of time.

On the subject of LED bulbs, the PM mentioned that their price had been brought down substantially to make them more accessible to the common man. He said that the widespread use of LED bulbs would result in huge saving of electricity. He lauded the farmers for ensuring sufficient foodgrain production despite two successive droughts. He said that the area under pulses cultivation has increased substantially this year.
Modi said the focus of the government has been to build a national identity. He said the Government aims to Reform; Perform; Transform. He said the the government is more attentive to substance, rather than symbolism,  integrated development rather than isolated development; and empowerment rather than entitlement.

Giving illustrations of effective delivery, the PM mentioned clearance of sugarcane arrears, new LPG connections, and PSUs such as Air India and BSNL reporting operational profits. He said international rating agencies have acknowledged the progress in key areas of governance.

The Prime Minister said the government has taken a holistic, integrated approach towards welfare of women, which includes elements such as Beti-Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, and Ujjwala Yojana, to ensure the physical, educational and financial well-being of women.
In a strong message for social cohesion (Samaajik Ekta), the PM said every Indian must abide by the message of peace, oneness and brotherhood, given by great saints, philosophers and thinkers, such as Ramanujacharya, Mahatma Gandhi, and Babasaheb Ambedkar. He said that the Model Shop and Establishment Act will facilitate opening of shops on all days.

The Prime Minister said the Union Government does not hesitate in taking major decisions. In this context, he mentioned grant of One Rank, One Pension, declassification of files related to Netaji, and the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh.

Modi strongly condemned those who were attempting to glorify terrorists as martyrs. He said the world will appreciate India’s humanitarian approach and uniform condemnation of all terrorist activities.

The PM the pension for freedom fighters would be enhanced from Rs 25,000 to Rs. 30,000 per month. He said the government would work towards creation of museums and memorials dedicated to the Adivasi freedom fighters across the country. The government would bear expenses up to Rs one lakh for the poor, towards meeting the cost of hospitalization.

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