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PM keen on empowering last poor Indian: Venkaiah

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Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu today said the Narendra Modi government has launched a multi-pronged strategy to empower the last poor Indian with all the entitlements due to him to make him stand on his own with pride while at the same time seeking to realize the full potential of India.

He was addressing at the Indian School of Business Leadership Summit on ‘Strategy Next: Building a Better India’.

Venkaiah Naidu said Modi is a true leader capable of inspiring people through his capacity to communicate and connect with them. His vision emanates from aspirations and individual visions of over 125 crore Indians. “Modi’s vision is to take India to its potential at the earliest. We need similar leadership in States and lower tiers of our democracy”, he said. “His promotion of ‘Team India’ spirit seeking to make States equal partners in taking India to its potential indicates his participatory style of leadership. Much against the advice of many of his colleagues, Modi decided to transfer 42% of divisible tax revenue to States”, he said, adding that the government under the visionary leadership of Narendra Modi has firmly brought urban agenda to the mainstream, Venkaiah said.

“Four new urban missions have been launched to address urban challenges in an integrated manner. These are: Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for ensuring basic infrastructure in 500 cities each with a population of above one lakh, Smart City Mission under which 100 cities would be taken to a new level of infrastructure and governance, Housing Mission to build two crore affordable houses and Swachh Bharat Mission to ensure open defecation free cities besides door-to-door collection and scientific disposal of solid waste. Keeping the urban challenges in view, for the first time, we have introduced an element of competition in selection of cities under Smart City Mission. Prime Minister has made it clear that only merit should be the criteria for such selection in the two stages of City Challenge competition”.

The Centre was also committed to assist the States and urban local bodies to the tune of Rs lakh crore under new urban initiatives as against only Rs 38,000 crore provided during ten years of JNNURM. “We need to appreciate the need for a broad consensus across the political spectrum on development policies. Some progress has been achieved in this regard in the form of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Acts but much needs to be done to ensure effective utilization of resources for development rather than frittering them away on freebies to subserve political objectives”, he added. (NSS)