Government working on ease of living while keeping middlemen at bay: Modi

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Varanasi, Dec 29 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Central and state governments are working full-time to ensure that all projects and schemes rolled out are centred around ease of living and ease of doing business besides keeping middlemen at bay.

Addressing a summit of the ‘One District One Project’ (ODOP) in his parliamentary constituency, the Prime Minister said that ODOP was an extension of Make in India with the potential of “firmly placing Uttar Pradesh on the world map”.

In an oblique reference to the Congress regime, the Prime Minister said his government was committed to keeping middlemen away by making necessary changes in the government system by making it more transparent. He asked people if “some people were being troubled because of a tradition of allowing the middlemen.”

When the gathering responded with an applause, Modi said for the prosperity of the nation, some pain has to be borne to keep middleman at bay. He also lauded the Union telecom ministry for launching a digital pension project, saying it would benefit pensioners immensely, reflecting the citizen-centric approach of his government.

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“This is our approach to minimum government and maximum governance,” the Prime Minister said. People can now track the pension status on their mobile phone and don’t have to made rounds of offices for pension-related issues.

Referring to strides taken in different sectors under the present regime, the Prime Minister said internet connectivity had increased to 65 per cent in the past two years and India now had 50 crore active internet users. This, he said, was special because the growth of internet was equally big and significant in villages.

Under his government, he said, 1.25 lakh panchayats have been connected by broadband of which 29,000 villages are in Uttar Pradesh.

Purchases by government departments had been shrouded in doubts and charges of favouritism, he said, adding government’s e-market place (GEM) can enable the smallest of traders to sell their products. “This is the best platform for the MSME sector,” Modi said.

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Online loans up to Rs 1 crore are now being disbursed in 59 minutes without any red-tape or exploitation, the Prime Minister said.

The quality of Ganga water has considerably improved as tested by scientists. He said while schemes had been made for long, the Ganga remained polluted, but not any longer. “Jab niyat saaf hai to Ganga bhi saaf hogi (if the intention is clear, the Ganga will be cleaner),” he said as people applauded and raised slogans of ‘Har Har Mahadev’.

Talking about the industry in Varanasi and nearby areas, Modi said there were 1.5 lakh weavers and 70,000 power looms in the region, and that right from funds to facilitation in marketing their produce, the state and the Union government were working out things for the weavers. “We will keep extending job opportunities through such schemes,” he said.

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Uttar Pradesh’s MSME Minister Satyadev Pachauri informed the Prime Minister that so far loans worth Rs 5345 crore had been given to 65,000 artisans in the state and that Rs 75,000 crore loans will be disbursed by banks in the state.

The Prime Minister laid the foundation stones for 14 infrastructure projects and inaugurated 12 projects, totalling Rs 279 crore.

Earlier Modi inaugurated the International Rice Research Institute and interacted with scientists.

–IANS

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