India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (3R) with chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state Yogi Adityanath (4L) formally launches various government women-centric schemes during an event held at Allahabad on December 21, 2021. (Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi has said that the country needs to accelerate the pace of development in the new year and will not allow the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to dampen the growth process.
He stressed that the country will continue to fight the pandemic with “full caution and vigilance”, and also take care of the national interest.
Modi reeled out the achievements of the country during the pandemic-hit 2021 across sectors, like health, defence, agriculture, start-up ecosystem and infrastructure.
“2021 will be remembered for India’s strong fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as also for reforms undertaken during the year,” Modi said, and lauded the achieving of more than 1.45 billion Covid vaccine doses.
He said in the year gone by, India accelerated the speed of reforms in various sectors, and also created modern infrastructure.
“We have to further accelerate the pace of development. Corona poses challenges, but it cannot stall the growth process,” Modi added.
India reported more than 27,000 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday (2), with infections sharply rising for a fifth consecutive day.
Modi said that as India enters the new year, the country needs to embark upon a new journey taking inspiration from the achievements of the past years.
He recalled the nation’s effort in fighting the pandemic, vaccination and making arrangements for the vulnerable sections during the difficult period.
He said the government is working relentlessly to strengthen the country’s medical infrastructure and listed efforts like new oxygen plants, new medical colleges, wellness centres, Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission and Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission in the direction of revamping the medical infrastructure.
Modi said the country is moving with the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Prayas’.
“This year we will complete 75 years of our independence. This is the time to start a new vibrant journey of the country’s resolves, to move forward with renewed vigour,” Modi said.
In his first address of 2022, Modi said that on many parameters, the Indian economy is looking better than pre-covid days.
He pointed out that India’s economy is growing at more than 8 per cent, the country has attracted record foreign investment, forex reserves have touched new highs and GST collections are rising. Also, the country has set new records in exports, especially in agriculture, he added.
Modi also said that more than 50,000 start-ups are working in India of which 10,000 came up during the last six months.
Initiatives like beautification and development of Kashi Vishwanath Dham and Kedarnath Dham, Renovation of Samadhi of Aadi Shankaracharya, restoration of stolen idol of goddess Annapoorna, construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and getting World Heritage status for Dholavira and Durga Puja festival are strengthening India’s heritage and enhancing its tourism and pilgrimage potential, he said.
Leading the world against climate change, Modi said India has also set a target of Net Zero Carbon emissions in front of the world by 2070.