15 Aug 2017 13:02 IST

India @70: Need to create New India by 2022

Narendra Modi addressed the nation on its 71st Independence Day from the Red Fort

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday promised the nation that his Government would continue to fight against black money and corruption while leading the country to a new track on economic progress without reducing the pace of development.

In his 4th Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort, marking the country's 70th year of Independence, Modi called for the creation of New India by 2022 with focus on infrastructure development.

Modi used his address, which lasted 55 minutes, to reel out the various steps taken on the economic front by the Government to free the country from corruption and black money.

A substantial part of his address was focused on the Government initiatives to strengthen the economy including the farm sector. "The speedy, timebound rollout of GST is an example of what we can achieve. The Government looks to deliver what it promises. Without reducing speed, we are taking India to new track," he said. For instance, GST implementation has improved transport sector efficiency by 30 per cent.

Asserting that initiatives such as note ban had curbed black money generation, Modi shared numbers including the estimated return of ₹3 lakh crore to the banking system post demonetisation. Also, demonetisation has led to spurt in the number of income tax filers with 56 new IT filers coming in April-Aug 5 this year as against 22 lakh in the same period last year.

Focusing on the Government's anti-black money drive, Modi said that stringent action has been taken on shell companies and had shut 1.75 lakh dormant/shell companies recently.

On benami properties, Modi said that his Government had taken the initiative of implementing the benami prohibition law and till date over ₹800 crore of benami properties have been taken over by the State.

Modi also had special mention about the youth who are turning 18, inviting them to play a big role in economic development.

Of the ₹3 lakh crore that had come back to banking system, as much as ₹2 lakh crore is under scrutiny (for income tax levy).

On Kashmir, Modi invited Kashmiris to start a dialogue and join the mainstream. He said that the age old dispute can only be resolved with compassion. " Na Gali se na goli se, Kashmir ki samasya suljhegi Gale lagane se", Modi said. (Kashmir issue cannot be solved with either bullets or abuses, but with love). Modi said that the Centre was committed to restoring Kashmir's status as 'heaven on earth'. Along with the Kashmir Government, it is also the nation's concern to develop J&K and it's youth.

He also referred to the recent tragedy in Gorakhpur and noted that people of India stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected.

Modi also announced that a special portal is being launched in honour of the gallantry award winners. This portal will have details and profiles of the gallantry award winners.