On the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence, Modi Unveiled his Infrastructure Plan

Indian social media and opposition activists reacted with skepticism to the revelation of the $1.35 trillion plan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in a speech on the country’s 75th independence day that India will start a huge infrastructure plan to stimulate the economy and aim for 100 percent coverage of development initiatives.

He claimed a national infrastructure plan of 100 trillion rupees ($1.35 trillion) will be launched to encourage industry and jobs.

“From free cooking gas to health insurance schemes, the poor of the nation know the strength of the government schemes. These schemes have expanded rapidly in recent times, but now we have to move toward saturation,” Modi said in his address from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi.

“One hundred percent of villages should have roads, 100 percent of households should have a bank account, while 100 percent of eligible persons should get insurance, pension and housing schemes. We have to operate on a cent-per-cent mode.”

“All manufacturers should target the global market. India should become the hub of global market.”

However, there was criticism on Indian social media and from opposition activists that the administration had previously announced similar development plans.

As a result of coronavirus lockdowns, Asia’s third-largest economy dropped by 7.3 percent in the fiscal year that ended in March, the country’s worst recession since independence.

Modi, who was wearing his customary colorful independence day turban, outlined his government’s accomplishments and praised the country’s coronavirus immunization drive throughout his speech.

“Despite all the efforts, we have not been able to save many people. So many children lost their support system, their loved ones. This unbearable pain will stay with us forever,” he said.

With a total caseload of more than 32 million and 431,225 deaths, India is the world’s second-worst afflicted country behind the United States, with many of the deaths occurring during a severe second COVID-19 wave between April and June.

On August 15, 1947, India declared independence from British domination. For the second year in a row, commemorations of the day were subdued as the country prepares for the third wave of the pandemic.

Modi claimed in his speech that India was facing twin threats of “terrorism” and “expansionism,” statements that were seen as a jab at Pakistan and China by domestic media and foreign policy experts.

Pakistan is accused by Indian security authorities of funding armed organizations that carry out attacks in India, particularly in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The remark to expansionism was made in response to suspected Chinese incursions and an ongoing stalemate in the Ladakh border region, which erupted in June 2020, the worst conflict between the neighbors since the 1962 war.

According to official accounts, India lost 20 soldiers and China four. Following it, there was a huge build-up of troops and artillery, as well as smaller skirmishes.

Source: AL JAZEERA

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