Reforms, policies over 8 years made India 5th largest economy, helped deal with Covid: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday that India’s economic policies and reforms over the last eight years are reasons why the country could tide over the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Launching the Rozgar Mela, the government drive to recruit 10 lakh people over 18 months, Modi said, “The Central government’s help of more than Rs 3 lakh crore to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector during the Covid pandemic saved over 1.5 crore jobs that were in crisis.”

On Saturday, 75,000 new employees in 38 Union ministries and departments were handed appointment letters at functions in multiple locations across the country.

In his address via videoconference, Modi said more recruitment letters would be handed over in the coming days. He said NDA-ruled states and the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu along with Central government institutions will organise similar Rozgar ceremonies and hand out appointment letters.

On the pandemic’s fallout on employment and the economy, the Prime Minister said no one in the world expects to recover from the impact of the biggest crisis in 100 years within just 100 days. “But we have been able to shield the impact so far with everyone’s efforts. And that has been possible because over the last eight years, we have removed the economic shortcomings that created hurdles,” he said.

Due to its economic policies over the last eight years, he said, India has jumped five places from being the world’s 10th largest economy to the 5th largest.

He listed various schemes that generated jobs, including the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, and said that to generate employment, the government is working on multiple fronts.

Over the last few years, Rs 20 lakh crore worth of credit, he said, has been availed through the Mudra scheme. “Over 7.5 crore beneficiaries started their businesses for the first time with Mudra loans. Seventy per cent beneficiaries are women. Over 8 crore women connected with self-help groups, and are now selling what they make,” he said.

He said innovators, entrepreneurs, industrialists, farmers and people from the fields of manufacturing and services have a crucial role in making India self-reliant. Highlighting the importance of Sabka Prayas, the Prime Minister said that everyone’s effort is critical and Sabka Prayas is possible only when all important amenities reach everyone.

Modi said the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data indicates the success of employment policies. “In the month of August 2022 alone, 17 lakh people joined the EPFO, in the formal economy. In that, around 8 lakh are in the age group 18-25,” he said.

He linked the NDA government’s push for infrastructure projects with job creation, saying that globally it is accepted that infrastructure creates jobs. “Thousands of kilometres of roads are being built, rail lines are being doubled, converted, electrified… airports being constructed… The government is working with a target of Rs 100 lakh crore investment in infrastructure. All this will create lakhs of local jobs and will also develop the tourism sector,” he said.

Through Digital India, 5 lakh Common Service Centres alone have provided jobs to lakhs of youth, he said. “With the expansion of 5G, employment opportunities are going to increase even more in the digital sector.”

Identifying manufacturing and tourism as the two big creators of jobs, Modi said processes are being simplified for global companies to come to India, set up their factories and fulfil global demands. “The Production Linked Incentive (scheme) is India’s policy. The more the production, the more the incentive. The benefits of this policy have started showing in many sectors,” he said.

On the recruitment drive, Modi said it is meant to provide basic services to people faster. He said the drive itself is an example of the changing times. “Eight years ago, applying for a government job itself was the start of many problems. Over the years, we have removed those problems and simplified the processes. We have abolished interviews for Groups C and D,” he said.

Modi urged the new employees to always remember their “kartavya path” (duties) towards people while doing their jobs.

Those being given appointment letters will join at various levels in Group A and B (Gazetted), Group B (Non-Gazetted) and Group C. The posts on which appointments are being made include the Central armed force personnel, sub-inspectors, constables, LDC, steno, PA, income tax inspectors and MTS among others.

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