NEW DELHI: Preparations are afoot for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first Independence Day address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort. More than the sprucing of the historic venue, the talking point is on what he would deliver.
The PM, it seems, does not want to spin empty words, as he wants to show results. As such, the thrust is on showcasing the achievements of the nascent government and present a record card of sorts.
With that in mind, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has shot off a letter to all ministries to comply with an August first week deadline so that the PM’s speech is more than just unveiling of a roadmap and becomes a text of a road already travelled.
Over the next few days, despite Parliament being in session, ministries have been told to start implementing the policy decisions that have been announced till date, either in the budget or prior to that. The Cabinet Secretariat has directed all ministries to report back by August 10 on what they have managed to put on the ground from the drawing board.
Since, it’s going to be Modi’s first major public statement since his initial days in office, much care is being taken to ensure that “the government is seen to be on the move, quickly rolling out the promises that have been made’’.
Both the PMO and the Cabinet Secretariat, sources said, are “closely monitoring the implementation of the key announcements made in the Budget.’’ In addition to that, the PMO wants to get it across that the government agenda is “inclusive financial growth’’ and that the PM “is alive to the hardship faced by the people and their aspirations.’’ For this, the Cabinet Secretariat’s direction is rather curt. Government sources said, “Once decisions are taken, files are cleared and implementation of programmes and policy have to start. There is a sense of urgency that has been generated.’’
Faster decision-making can significantly propel the economy, the source added, but the biggest challenge ministries and departments face is activating various new schemes that have been announced.
Despite the push, it will not be easy to roll out some of the new idea, which includes generating additional funds through disinvestment and the Ganga rejuvenation plan, river-linking, revamping of the 100-day job guarantee, setting up Industrial Policy Promotion, officials added.