GST is a fine example of the collective strength of the people of India: PM

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on July 30 addressed the people of the country through his radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’. He talked on climate change and its impact. He also reminded that our country is going to observe 75th Anniversary of the Quit India Movement. Here, We are publishing highlights of the address.

Climate change, altered weather cycles, and transformations in the environment, are also having a big negative impact. Recently, in certain parts of India, particularly, Assam, North-East, Gujarat, Rajasthan and some areas of Bengal, have had to bear the brunt of natural disasters, caused by excessive rains.

Flood affected areas are being closely monitored. Relief efforts have been undertaken on an extensive cale.

A 24×7 control room helpline number 1078 is functioning continuously to deal with the flood situation. People are also voicing their difficulties.
NDRF teams were deployed. Aapada Mitra, or Friends during Disaster were identified at various places and these were then trained in the Do’s and Don’ts; volunteers were enlisted, and a people’s organisation set up to work in this situation.

When a person from the North-East, someone living in the remote areas, in the hills or forests, writes a letter to communicate that in the beginning, he used to be apprehensive about GST wondering what it was all about, but now that he has begun to understand it, he feels that things have become much easier than before. Doing business has become so much easier. And most important of all, the trust of customers for the traders is increasing. I have been observing how GST has impacted the transport and logistics sector; how the movement of trucks has increased. The time required to cover distances has come down drastically. Highways have become clutter-free.

Pollution levels have come down with the increased speeds of the trucks. Goods are also being transported much faster. This indeed is a convenience, but at the same time it is also bolstering the economic progress. Earlier, because of the multiple tax structures, maximum resources of the transport and logistics sector were expended in maintaining paperwork and that also led to the need for construction of new warehouses in each state. I call GST, Good and Simple Tax. Indeed, it has produced a big positive effect on our economy in a very short time span. The speed at which the smooth transition has taken place, along with rapid migration and new registrations, has instilled a new sense of confidence in the entire country. And some day, the Pundits of Economics, Pundits of Management and Pundits of Technology, will certainly undertake researches and write about India’s GST experiment as a model for the world.

Using the GST App all information is available on your mobile phone as to how much the price of an item was earlier and how much will it be now in the new situation. The lofty dream of One Nation – One Tax has finally been fulfilled. In the matter of GST I have seen how everyone, right from the Government functionaries at the Tehsil level to the officers in the top echelons of Government of India have toiled tirelessly with great dedication. The manner in which the friendly environment was created between the Government and traders, between the government and consumers, played a very significant role in enhancing mutual trust. I extend my heartiest felicitations to each and every ministry, every department and all employees of the Central and State governments involved with this process. GST is a fine example of the collective strength of the people of India. This is a historic achievement. And this is not just a tax reform; it is a new economic order that will strengthen a new culture of honesty. In a way, it is also a campaign for social reformation. I would like to once again express my deep gratitude to the millions of my countrymen who have contributed to the successful achievement of this great feat with such felicity.

We have been hearing this as a natural fact right from our childhood and the reason is, the Non-Cooperation Movement was launched on the 1st of August 1920; the Quit India Movement, which is also known as ‘August Kranti’ began on the 9th of August 1942; and on 15thAugust 1947 India became independent. In a way, there are many events in the month of August that are closely associated with the history of our freedom movement.
This year, we are going to observe the 75th Anniversary of the Quit India Movement. But very few people know the fact that the slogan, ‘Quit India’ was coined by Dr. Yusuf Meher Ali. Our young generation must know what had happened on the 9th of August 1942. From 1857 to 1942, the people of India, with their ardent desire for freedom, came together, fought together, and suffered hardships; these pages of history are an inspiration to us for building a glorious India.

Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for the ‘Quit India Movement’ on 9th August, but each and every prominent leader had been imprisoned by the British Government, and it was during this time that the second generation of leadership comprising great men like Dr. Lohia, Jaiprakash Narain played a leading and pivotal role.

I would now like to connect you with its mathematical manifestation. We became free in 1947. This is 2017. It has been almost 70 years. Governments have come and gone. Systems have been made, changed, nurtured, and expanded. Everyone has tried to rid the country of its problems in one’s own way. There have been efforts towards increasing employment, poverty alleviation, and development. These efforts were also driven with hard work in their different ways. There have been successes. Expectations have also risen. The way, the years from 1942 to 1947 were the decisive years for attainment through resolve. I can see that 2017 to 2022 presents itself as a new time segment of five years for attainment through resolve. We should celebrate 15th August 2017 as the Sankalp Parva or the Day of Resolve, and in 2022 marking 75 years of Freedom, we will certainly transform that resolve into ‘Siddhi’ or attainment.

My dear countrymen, on August 15, as the nation’s ‘Pradhan Sewak’, I get an opportunity to communicate with the country from the ramparts of the Red Fort. I am merely an instrument. It is not one single person who makes that address, but it is the collective voice of 1.25 billion of my countrymen that resounds from the Red Fort. I try to give words to their dreams, and I am glad that for the past 3 years, I get suggestions from every corner of the country for August 15, as to what I should speak on the 15th August and which issues should I include in my address on the occasion. This time too, I invite you to share your thoughts either on MyGov or on NarendraModiApp. I read these myself and shall try to express them in whatever time I have with me on 15th August. For the previous three 15th August speeches, one consistent complaint has been that my speeches tend to be a little lengthy. I have planned to keep my speech short this time – not more than 40-45-50 minutes. I have tried to draw these rules for myself, but I don’t know whether I’ll be able to stick to them. But I do intend to try this time to shorten my speech. Let’s see whether I succeed or not.

I have observed and sometimes think that the citizens of our country are more aware and active than me. For the last one month, environmentally conscious citizens have constantly written letters to me. And they have requested that I talk about eco-friendly Ganesha idols, well in time for people to plan for clay Ganesha idols during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Firstly, I am most grateful to such conscientious citizens.
My dear countrymen, I remind you once again of ‘Agast Kranti’, of 9th August, I remind you once again of 15th August. And I am reminding you once again of 2022, 75 years of India’s Independence. Every countryman should make a resolve, every countryman should prepare a 5-year roadmap to realise that resolve. All of us have to take our nation to newer heights. We must strive tirelessly to do so. Come, let’s march together as we do our bit. The destiny, the future of the country shall be brighter, let us move ahead with this belief. Lots and lots of good wishes to you all.