… that I got an opportunity to come to Bangalore and address you this morning. I have just planted some trees outside the BJP office. And, in one sense, today India has taken global leadership of protecting the planet. The honourable Prime Minister was at the forefront of the Paris Accord that was finalized in December 2015, ever since then India has been making rapid strides to protect the environment. And, in one way, as we are, all of us are going all across the country; we are also connecting with the people of India in the same way as we believe the people of India are connecting with a better planet, a better future for the next generation.
The Prime Minister has just come back from a very successful tour where almost all the 4 major countries have expressed solidarity along with Prime Minister Modi to further the cause of the environment, be it Germany, be it Paris/France, be it Russia, be it Spain. All have demonstrated that the world will work together for a better future for the people of the world, and for a better planet that we wish to leave behind for the next generation. As the Prime Minister said, he is working for future generations. It’s not about what is decided in Paris or what one country does or does not do.
So, I would like to begin by complimenting Prime Minister Modi for the global leadership that he is giving to addressing the serious challenge of climate change. And, on this very auspicious World Environment Day, we rededicate ourselves to working for a better planet for the next generation, for the future of this country.
We have completed 3 years in government. These have been 3 years where we saw rapid progress being made on a variety of areas. And, when we were sitting down to list out what we should convey to the people of India at the conclusion of 3 years, we actually came up with so many issues that it was running into a few thousand serious decisions and actions taken by the government in a variety of areas across the country. We, therefore, thought of the outcomes or the themes on which this government or Prime Minister Modi in the centre has focused its energies.
And I would like to briefly share with you the 11 outcomes or themes on which this government has demonstrated outstanding leadership and demonstrated work, which truly reflect the ideology of the party, the ideology first articulated by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay whose birth centenary we are celebrating this year. As Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay said, the nation’s resources should first go to serve the poorest of the poor. The person at the bottom of the pyramid has the right to the nation’s resources first. That has been the central theme of the government of Prime Minister Modi, and if you will see the work of the last 3 years in benchmark to these 11 themes that I will share with you, you will realize the significant work that has happened to make India truly a global leader, to make India an economy which is amongst the fastest growing economies in the world, to bring about macro-economic stability, to bring about a government that truly is outcome-oriented and serves the people of India, serves the poor of India, serves the farmers of India, serves the women and youth of India so that we can meet the aspirations of the people and have a better tomorrow for the people of India.
We have seen a decisive and bold government, which has been willing to take decisions and get the country out of the policy paralysis that we had inherited in 2014. This government has not fought shy to make path-breaking reforms, reforms which are transformational in nature, and long-pending issues, issues which were not decided for years and years have been acted upon under this government, be it the fight against black money, the Benami Properties Act, as you are all aware, was passed in 1988, but for 28 years was not operationalized till Prime Minister Modi’s government operationalized it.
Issues in the power sector which were stuck for years and years were resolved during the last 3 years. We have been able to show serious actions against truant neighbours like Pakistan through our surgical strikes. Decisions like demonetization, which many have called the most bold and far-reaching reform measure that has ever been taken in independent India could only have been taken by a bold and decisive leader like Prime Minister Modi.
One Rank-One Pension, which gives our ex-servicemen, the people who have served this nation nobly and honourably, respect and fair treatment on their pensions is an issue, which for almost four decades was pending. The Bangladesh border dispute and the fencing of the border, the agreement with the Bangladesh government, could not be decided for years and years. Prime Minister Modi was able to bring finality to that.
And, as you are all aware, from 1st July, we will have the roll-out of GST again a decision which for years was not being resolved but due to the perseverant efforts of Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, we have been able to bring consensus amongst all the states of the country, which by itself is a near impossible task. While I can understand getting consensus even amongst the national mainstream parties, but to get a party in the Northeast, which is almost opposing every decision of this government, a large state in the east, also to come around and then most importantly, to get a government in the capital which has almost decided to abdicate its responsibilities of governance also to come around I think is a fair measure of how this government has been inclusive, how it has taken all viewpoints on board and finally passed GST successfully.
This is a government that is committed to empowering the poor of this country, to empowering the rural areas with better welfare. We have transformed various initiatives to make the benefits of government programmes reach the poorest of the poor. You are all aware that through our housing for all programme by 15th August, 2022, when the country turns 75, we are committed to make sure that every poor man in this country, every citizen of this country has a home, has a shelter on his head, which will have electricity, water, good toilet facility, road leading up to his home, good healthcare and education in the vicinity.
We truly believe that unless we take development to the villages of India we will not be able to look for a better future for India. India lives in its villages, and this government through the Jan Dhan account, Aadhar and Mobile trinity, the JAM trinity, is taking development and taking welfare measures of the government to the true beneficiaries, the socially and marginally deprived sections of society to the poor, to the women, directly to them. And our efforts have yielded almost 2 lakh crores of subsidies going directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries, also resulting in a saving of almost 50,000 crores, which money is further being used to serve the poor and rural areas even better.
You all recall, at one point of time, there was a talk of Rs 100 coming out of Delhi government and only Rs 15 reaching the true beneficiary. That was the statement made by a former Prime Minister. Sadly, that government or his party governments after that did not do anything to correct the situation. The BJP-led NDA government, headed by Prime Minister Modi, is focusing to make sure that when Rs 100 leaves Delhi, how we can ensure that every rupee goes to serve the poor, through financial empowerment, financial inclusion of the poor and through the Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile trinity.
Our efforts are to reform the economy in a way that it truly serves the poor of India. If you want to transform the future of India, the lives of the poor of India, reform cannot be insensitive. And, therefore, every one of our reform measures is focused on reaching benefits to the poorest of poor. Our mantra being reform to transform, and when we transform, we can only do that by good performance. So Perform, Reform and Transform is the mantra of this government.
This is a government for the poor, of the poor and by the poor. We are working for the welfare of all sections of society and several measures over the last 3 years, particularly, the financial inclusion of the poor, the decision to demonetize high value currency notes so that it’s a decisive strike against corruption, against black money, something, which has been eating into the vitals of India. The BHIM app, on which we have already seen 2 crore downloads, by which we want to connect the commonest, the common man on the street with the digital revolution that is happening globally. All of these measures – direct benefit transfer to the poor of India, significant interest subvention schemes so that every citizen of India can own his own house. As you may be aware that loans up to 6 lakh rupees, which are taken by the people below a certain threshold income level, are receiving 6.5% interest subvention for 20 years.
Today, as you are aware, thank to the strong measures taken by the government to control inflation, interest rates on housing loans are down to 8.5%, out of which 6.5% the central government gives subsidy, so that the poorest of the poor can also own his own house. Loans up to 9 lakh are given 4% interest subsidy; loans up to 12 lakh are given 3% interest subsidy, so that all the middle class can also own their own house. So the effort of this government is that how we can take benefits of the government schemes to the common man and help them lead a better quality of life. Empowering women is one of the foremost programmes of this government, because we believe that Naari Shakti can only truly bring development to this country.
You will be happy to know that under the Mudra Yojana where almost Rs 3 lakh crore worth of loans have been disbursed to about 7 crore beneficiaries in the last two years alone. Almost 70% of these loans have been given to women entrepreneurs. Our government believes that India is a land of job creators and not job seekers. We believe that the innate tendency of every Indian is to be an entrepreneur, to develop his own business, to become self-employed, to become self-reliant, to get empowered through incomes which he generates.
I don’t think the way technologies are moving in the world, the way the whole ecosystem in the world is changing, the top-down approach will bring success to India. That is an approach that post-liberalisation in 1991, was attempted to create more jobs, to create more incomes for the people. Sadly, the top-down approach has failed. Prime Minister Modi’s government is working on a bottom-up approach, we believe that as we empower the people with skill development, with low-cost loans, very low-interest loans, more and more people, through Startup India, Stand Up India, Skill India, Mudra Yojana, will be empowered to become self-reliant, self-trained. They will create their own entrepreneurial businesses.
And, after all, the 7 crore beneficiaries of Mudra Loan have all in their own way through entrepreneurship become job creators rather than just job seekers.
The Ujjwala Yojana is one of the most powerful ways to revolutionize the lives of our women, particularly, the poor. More than 2,15,00,000 free LPG connections have been given to the women of India, particularly, the poor households saving them from smoke, which otherwise was harming the health of our sisters and mothers. There were studies which showed that almost 400 cigarette equivalent smoke was being taken in by women who were using smoke chulhas. Through the free LPG gas connection, we have been able to empower the poorest of the poor to get the benefit of LPG cylinders. It’s a caring government that cares for Indians all over the world as it cares for Indians in India.
We saw that when there was a crisis in Yemen. When there was a crisis in Libya. Wherever in the world, when there is a crisis in Tamil Nadu, our fisherman get caught in Sri Lanka or there is a crisis in Pakistan, like we have addressed the Kulbhushan Jadhav case where we have taken it up at the highest level in the International Court of Justice in Hague.
This is a government that leaves no stone unturned and every Indian is precious for this government. This government cares for the 125 crore Indians in India or living anywhere in the world. It is a visionary government that is focused on securing a good future for the youth of India. As I mentioned earlier, with the 2 lakh crore rupees disbursed through the direct benefit transfer, we have saved almost 49,560 crores of leakages of government subsidy money, which is helping the government serve the poor with availability of more funds. You are all aware that the economy was in a terrible state when this government came in 2014. Inflation was in double-digit, fiscal deficit was over 4 and a half per cent, interest rates were very high. You are aware that there was a lot of leakages in the subsidy schemes, the current account deficit was nearly 4%, in almost every respect we inherited a broken economy.
In the last three years, through the persistent efforts of Prime Minister Modi, Finance Minister Mr Jaitley and the central government, we have been able to bring about a great deal of macroeconomic stability in the country. Inflation rates from double-digit are down to some 3.1% in the last figures that came out, under 4% inflation consistently. Interest rates have fallen significantly, as I said earlier, today a housing loan is available at 8 and a half per cent. On top of that you get interest subvention. Interest rates, the base rates of banks have fallen by over 2%. Current account deficit last year was down to 3.5%, in the current year it will be 3.2%. Current account deficit which was over 4% was brought down last year to only .7 %. This year we may actually have a current account surplus.
In every aspect, this economy has been strengthened, from a 4% growth we are up to over 7% growth now, poised to go up to 8% in the years to come, and clearly, in a situation where globally economies are collapsing. Recently, I was in Europe, when they achieved 1% growth they are very excited that we have started achieving growth from a negative growth perspective, whereas India has consistently improved its performance and is growing strength to strength.
Today, India is providing global leadership. I started by our leadership in the environment in the fight against climate change, but if you will see in space research, we are providing global leadership for the first time 104 satellites were released at one shot at one time in one flight. We have taken the lowest cost satellite to Mars. We have been able to start a South Asia satellite which will help to serve the entire region in terms of cutting edge technology on solar, on wind power India is at the forefront. On the LED revolution, our energy efficiency programme is being discussed world over as the fastest and most efficient programme anywhere in the world to promote LEDs. So, in one sense, today brand India is rising rapidly and the world is taking note of India’s leadership, of India’s progress and India’s development.
As you might have read recently, for the first time our per capita income has crossed 1 lac rupees in the last year that has just gone by. Prosperous farmers can only lead to a prosperous India. We have a large part of India which is dependent on farming and our government is focused on ensuring that by 2022, we double the income of every farmer. A variety of initiatives and steps have been taken across the country by the government. Our Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana for the first time ensures 100% compensation in the event of any drought or any mishap that a farmer faces.
In fact, Karnataka has been facing problems with the monsoon, there is drought in Karnataka this year. All those farmers whom the state government would have included, would have encouraged to become part of the Pradhan Mantra Fasal Bima Yojana will be saved from the misery of drought. And, we would encourage farmers all across the country to join the Pradhan Mantra Fasal Bima Yojana, the premiums have been kept very low and you will be happy to know that last year almost twice the number of farmers and amount of insurance was done and in the current year we hope to further increase the coverage under Pradhan Mantra Fasal Bima Yojana. It is a universal coverage and I think all the farmers of India will benefit if they join this programme.
Similarly, soil health cards has been given a big focus. Over 6 crore soil health cards have been distributed and we continue to train farmers across the country for better utilisation of fertilisers, using information through the soil health card to care, to improve the productivity of the farmers going for better irrigation, going for.. or the investments in irrigation through the Pradhan Mantri Sinchai Yojana have been expanded in the last three years. And, we would look at better quality farming so that productivity can improve, and the crops can get a better yield for the farmers of India. Calibrated with the lower inflation, the minimum support prices in the last three years have been increased, far more than increased in the past calibrated for inflation in a low inflation scenario. And I am sure that we are well on our path to ensuring that our farmers’ income can be doubled by 2022.
The youth of India are in the centre stage of this government’s policies. Yuva Shakti is being harnessed for a new India tomorrow. We are focusing on skill development, more than 22 lac youth have received skill development, to empower them to be able to stand on their own feet, to be self-reliant. We believe the youth of India today are looking for opportunities to become entrepreneurs and, therefore, the Mudra Yojna where loans up to Rs 10 lacs are given at very low rate of interest without collateral, without any additional security, have helped millions of people become entrepreneurs, to become self-reliant through skill India, through Start-up India, through Stand-up India, particularly, in places like Bangalore where we have a large pool of IT entrepreneurs. We are focusing our energies to support the youth of India, to bring new technologies, new ideas to the fore.
Finally, this is a government which is incorruptible. You are all aware that not a single allegation of corruption could be put on the central government, particularly, when you are in Bengaluru, which is a city, which is continuously plagued with corruption scandals of the Karnataka government. I think you will appreciate the huge value that a government that Prime Minister Modi is leading which is an incorruptible government, which believes in the highest standards of probity and transparency. All our decisions have been kept before the people of India. All procurement, all contracts are given through transparent e-auctions, reverse bidding where we encourage more and more equal participation so that as Prime Minister says, a new India of the dreams of the youth is taking shape, a new India that fulfils the aspirations of the women of India is taking shape, a new India about giving opportunities to the poor is taking shape.
That is the new India that this government is committed to, a new India where prosperity not poverty, where equal opportunity not discrimination, where respect for the women not any harm to the women is permitted or women are not at a disadvantage in society, a new India where the youth will prosper. That is the new India where farmers, the marginalized sections of society, the socially deprived, the poor of India get respect that is the new India that we are all working for. Three years, we have earned the trust of the people.
लोगों का विश्वास हमारे साथ है, प्रधानमंत्री मोदी जी पर लोग विश्वास करते हैं, उनको प्रधानमंत्री मोदी जी के काम में विकास की धारा नज़र आती है |
Progress is the buzzword of this government, people trust that the work of this government is strengthening to create a framework of good governance and progress for this country.
I am delighted that we have been able to take a lot of our programmes to the people of Karnataka also. I wish we had more support by which we could do even better when we are serving the government, the people of Karnataka. And, I would urge the state government to support the efforts of the central government to serve the people of Karnataka in a far better way, in a faster way and in an honest way and I would like to compliment the leadership of the Bhartiya Janta Party in Bengaluru and Karnataka for being in the forefront of keeping a check on the Karnataka government. And I am sure that the people of Karnataka are also going to watch the central government’s performance, compared to the performance of the Karnataka government and make sure that they take the right decisions in the days to come.
Thank you very much. If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them.
Q : Sir, inspite of all these achievements, still we see that the government is little lagging behind as far as Kashmir and its issues are concerned?
Ans : Not at all, in fact, Mr Rajnath Singh, the honourable Home Minister recently, just 3 days back I think addressed the press and gave all the details how this government has been able to reduce the cross border terrorism, how we have been able to attack the modules of terrorists and left wing extremism. And the number of terrorists who have been killed in the last 3 years are almost twice the number in the previous three years before that. So this is a government which has taken harsh, serious steps to stop and curb terrorism. The surgical strikes gave a solid message and I think it is the desperation of the neighbouring countries that they are trying to somehow bring about unrest in Kashmir. It is now restricted to 3 and a half districts of Kashmir. By and large, Kashmir is peaceful. The GST Council where Karnataka representatives were also there met in Kashmir just 2 weeks ago, there was absolutely no problem, there was peace and all of Srinagar, everything was normal.
So, I don’t think that Kashmir is, it’s being exaggerated I think than the real situation on the ground. I think the problem in these 3.5 districts also the armed forces are addressing very seriously. Last two-three days you are aware the NIA has been raiding all the modules of terrorists, I am quite confident and our central government is committed to bringing peace because we believe, by and large, the people of Kashmir want peace, the few misguided people we will also try to bring in the mainstream.
I just want to add one more thing. Today is the death anniversary of Guru Golwalkarji, the second Sarsanghachalak of the RSS. I pay my respects to him. I, in fact, personally fondly remember my own association with Guruji when I was a very small child and, in fact, my website starts with my photograph with Guru Golwalkar. And, truly a visionary, a person who was concerned about a society where everybody gets a better life, better quality of life, where workers are respected, where the poor get opportunity to become self-reliant and get a better life for their children. Guru Golwalkarji was instrumental in taking the RSS activities in different walks of life and today we remember him very fondly.
And, we pledge ourselves to work on the high ideals that Guru Golwalkarji had set for all of us and which we are dedicated to pursuing and dedicated to completing his vision and fulfilling his dreams for which he served his whole life, almost for 60 years he served the people of India. And, our party and all of us dedicate ourselves to his high ideals.
Q : Goyalji, today CBI has raided NDTV’s Pranay Roy and his wife, and the channel has called it the witch-hunt. So, it’s a veiled attack on the central government, so what is your….
Ans : Well, I think our government does not interfere in any investigation process, that is left to the investigative agencies to do. This government does not interfere in any investigation. We have heard these kind of comments for anybody who is investigated, and I don’t think anybody should shy away from an investigation. If they are very clear that everything is alright then, obviously, the investigation will show that everything is alright. There should not be any concern about that. Our government does not believe in any investigation, interfering in any investigation whatsoever. But just because you run a media house or you are a former Minister or a sitting Minister or a top politician or whatever does not also give immunity in this country from investigation. Investigative authorities have to pursue all the leads that they receive, they are doing their job. We are not in any case involved in any investigation, that’s for the investigative authorities to continue.
Q : One question, it just come right now. Saudi Arabia and its 3 allies have cut ties with Qatar, they are …….(inaudible). So Qatar being you know………… will this impact the supply of LNG in India?
Ans : Not at all, we have not cut any relations with Qatar. So India will continue to get its supplies. That is an internal diplomatic matter between those countries, I don’t think India has any view and we do not take sides in this. We believe in good harmonious relations with all countries of the world with which India has diplomatic ties.
Q : Can you elaborate more on helping farmers, farmers were not accustomed to through the technologies, who has to coordinate and how do the ……….?
Ans : See, we started the Kisan Channel so that we can disseminate information to the farmers of the different far off places, then we focused on soil health card, because that soil health card helps the farmer to understand what is the best output he can get to improve his productivity. Then we have set up centres, common service centres, over 2,25,000 or so common service centres have been set up all over the country where we are taking training programmes for the local farmers to help them understand that based on the soil health card what is the best produce, what is the best mix of fertilizer so that farmers can get better output from their field. We have connected through e-Nam, we have connected all the Mandis, the agricultural centres so that the best price information can go to the farmers.
Through SMS alerts we are sending all the farmers what is the situation of the Monsoon, when the rains are expected, what is the Weather Bureau predictions, so that they can plan their activities of harvesting better. You will be happy to know that for the first time in 3 years, there has never been a single day of shortage of fertilizer anywhere in the country. By doing a root cause analysis, we have put neem-coated urea and I must compliment your local MP and our honourable Minister Shri Ananthkumarji by this revolutionary step. By neem-coating of urea we have been able to save all the urea which was being diverted to industry and rather than going to serve the farmers was being misused by middlemen to serve industrial needs at low costs. Because of neem-coating now, the urea goes straight to the farmers, it’s no more useful for industry, it cannot be misused.
Now our studies show that they will have to, even with 45 kilos, 10% less urea per bag, the same output is received by the farmer. Because of that neem-coating it has improved the output of the fertilizer. So, now farmers will save 10% cost of urea also, already Ananthkumarji has reduced the urea prices as you might be aware. I am sure he has told the Bengaluru press about his achievements and how he has reduced fertilizer price first time in so many years. On top of that, 10% urea saving will be there, because same output they will get by 10% less consumption.
Having said that, we are promoting through Fasal Sinchai Yojana, irrigation schemes, to complete all those schemes which were left incomplete over the last decades, we are focusing to give money to improve the irrigation facilities. MNREGA is being used to create, like in Maharashtra, the jalyug shivir, we are using MNREGA funds to create small ponds that even if three days rain comes, the farmer for the whole year will have water. And, Mr Devendra Fadnavis was telling me, Chief Minister from Maharashtra, that another two years, Maharashtra will almost become drought-proof, that even two or three days rain there can be adequate water bodies to have enough water.
Desilting we are taking up in a big way wherever we are getting cooperation from the states. Unfortunately, if your local government does not cooperate with our programmes, very often we are not able we are not able to take it to the people, to the common man.
We have given more than one lakh solar pumps to farmers across the country, now we are planning to expand that programme even further. Micro irrigation is being given a great boost so that more and more farmers wherever there is drought or where they are dependent on monsoon can come under micro irrigation. Through the insurance scheme, universal insurance scheme, 100% compensation in the event of any loss at very low premium. First time in the history of independent India, farmers will get 100% compensation that also if only 33% losses are there, earlier it used to be minimum 50% loss you would get compensation, Modiji made it 33%. I was just seeing the figures one of my colleagues was showing me that in the last 3 years the amount that Karnataka government because of problems of drought or rainfall are a record, never before has congress’s own government in Karnataka has not been able to get that kind of support from central government which the BJP government in Delhi has given to Karnataka’s Congress government. Because, we believe that we have been elected to serve 125 crore Indians. We have never distinguished or differentiated on who rules a state government. Once we are elected, we serve every state equally, uniformly without discrimination.
Look at my own Ministry, 6 coal blocks in my state of Maharashtra for which in Maharashtra I have received more than my share of land, but I gave it to Karnataka because they were earlier Karnataka’s blocks. They were operating in Karnataka, for the service of Karnataka’s people. So, though the blocks are in Maharashtra, Maharashtra’s power plants are 20 kms, 50 kms from there. Cost of power would have fallen significantly, but I am not Minister for Maharashtra alone, I am Minister for India. And in that spirit, the BJP government of, central government despite having a BJP government in Maharashtra in fairness gave those 6 blocks back to Karnataka. And I believe for that in your Assembly also, there was a resolution thanking the central government and Prime Minister Modi. So, this is one government and I do wish you will take this message and I wish to give this message through all of you ladies and gentlemen to the people of Karnataka that Prime Minister Modi will serve Karnataka and the interests of the people of Karnataka, even though there is a government which is not willing to take all our benefits and all our schemes to the people. Wherever we are not getting support we will go directly to the people of Karnataka, like Ujjwala, we went straight to the people and gave free LPG connections. I have the figures also, as I told you, when I was compiling information of what what has happened it became more than one thousand items, I would have sat on this press conference till dinner time instead of lunch and I could not have finished all the items. So, I didn’t say all of this, but I can continue more on farmers also if you want from my memory, from what I recollect different Ministries telling me.
Minimum Support Price; Congress keeps saying and I must share this with you that you know, we increased Minimum Support Price by 8%, BJP increased it by 5%, some figures they give out. But you all are aware that in their time there was double-digit inflation so even if you increase by 8%, when inflation is 12% actually farmer is earning less money, after all, he has to spend more day to day. But in our government when we increased MSP, our inflation is down to 3-3.5%. So, effectively, there is a genuine increase in the farmer’s side.
So, that has been the approach of this government, create a strong foundation on which the farmers will benefit, support the farmer by empowering them and empower them to double their incomes and we are working towards that end.
Q : Sir, Karnataka government is already …. 4 years achievement and they are already ….. and as you said there are some schemes which the government has not been able to implement in the state itself. Do you need to highlight which are the schemes which the centre could have implemented more successfully if there was support from the government…..?
Ans : There are so many but take this Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana, knowing full well that Karnataka often faces drought problem, if they had encouraged all the farmers and taken the scheme to all the farmers today they would not have been under so much pressure or tension. My IPDS and Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana schemes, Karnataka should do a faster roll out of that. I mean the amount of data that I keep getting, corruption scandals, if the kind of corruption scandals come up then the utilization of central government funds becomes a question mark on the state government and we are not able to give more funding till we receive all the utilization certificates.
If they focus on UDAY, the Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana, they can save 6,700 crore rupees for the power DISCOMs every year, if they focus better and give out LED bulbs faster to all their people, if they use the agricultural low-energy consumption, energy-efficient pumps and give it out to the people, if they ensure that everybody gets 24 hours power.
For the first time, again in years and years, decades, in the last two years not a single power plant of Karnataka has had coal shortage. Today, also not a single thermal power plant has a coal shortage as we speak and for two years this country has been surplus coal. They should ensure that everybody gets enough power. Bengaluru had a lot of power problems last year. What was the reason for that? Because the state government doesn’t give right of way, doesn’t arrange for the right of way so that transmission lines can be set up. There is a place Yelanka? Yelanka, near Karnataka, one day I had to fly down to Bengaluru to discuss that please give right of way so that transmission lines can be expanded and all of south India will benefit not only Karnataka. After all, our duty as political public servants is to serve all the people, despite that, we have been able double transmission lines to south India and, therefore, you will be happy to know that where three years back, four years back, Karnataka in certain months of the year had to buy power at 11 rupees, 10 rupees and as high as that. Today, throughout the day and throughout the year power is available at power exchange at very reasonable prices. If you see the Vidyut Pravah App, you will find that power prices have fallen so drastically on the power exchange they are available at such competitive prices that every state can buy power and give low cost power to their people. So I think, through auction of blocks, there are mineral blocks which we have given to Karnataka to auction. Earlier they used to all be given out free of charge.
Prime Minister Modi has said no freebies to anybody. Coal blocks we auction and we proved that coal-gate was a reality now there is already a conviction also. So it demonstrates the corrupt Congress government how they were giving out free blocks to their relatives, to their party MPs. We did auction and these states where these blocks are located will earn nearly three and half lakh crore rupees in the next 25 years as the coal mines start producing and produce coal. Even in Karnataka, we have already had seven blocks auctioned which revenue will be 34,353 crores to the state as the mining takes place.
Earlier, Congress government used to give out all these blocks free of charge. Because of the amendment in the law that Modi government brought, now auction is compulsory and 34,353 crores Karnataka people will get in terms of service through the state government. Of course, if they do it honestly. So the critical thing is good governance, honest governance, pro-poor governance, which unfortunately Karnataka has failed to provide.
May 26, 2017 Speaking at 'Dialogues from Facebook'.