Modi promises housing, power, water for all

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"The Prime Minister's statement of this nature is myopic, parochial and uncalled for on a day like Independence Day".

This is the Prime Minister's fifth and the last Independence Day speech before the general elections next year.

In 2016, he had spoken for 96 minutes, the longest ever Independence Day address by an Indian prime minister. Prime Minister Modi said that the country has made rapid changes in the past few years compared to 2013 when the Congress-led UPA government was in power.

Here are some of the things he said this year.

"If we had continued at the same pace at which toilets were being built in 2013, the pace at which electrification was happening in 2013, then it would have taken us decades to complete them", said Prime Minister Modi.

"The country is brimming with self-confidence and is regularly crossing new heights".

"We have to make a new dawn and create a new India". The world's sixth-largest economy seeks to use its space program to leverage technological advancements to solve problems at home. While decisions have been held back in the past due political and other compulsions, bold decisions like the GST are being taken now, he said.

"We will put an Indian in space by 2022 or earlier", he said.??He said India was proud of its scientists, who were excelling in their research and were at the forefront of innovation.

The Congress leader also said there was a need to fight a second struggle for independence - independence from discrimination, independence from unemployment, independence from poverty, independence from lack of opportunities and from empty rhetoric and promises. PM says as per Sabka Saath, Sabka Paas, the government doesn't discriminate between any people.

India is celebrating its 72nd Independence Day amid positivity and confidence stemming from its robust economy, Modi said.

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Attacking the Congress but not by name, he said if comparison was made of the speed of governance in the last four years, people would be surprised.

Prior to 2014, India was likened to policy paralysis and delayed reforms. "But today, India is seen as a destination for multi-billion dollar investments", Modi said. "The narrative has changed", he said.

The new programme forms a series of space exploration missions spearheaded by his government, including a plan to send a rover in October to explore virgin territory on the lunar surface and analyze crust samples for signs of water and helium-3. Today in 2018, it is ease of doing business.

Bottlenecks were a topic of discussions among global institutions and experts prior to 2014 but "today they are saying the sleeping elephant has woken up and has started running".

Industry body Ficci welcomed "firm resolve" of the prime minister to position India among the top economies of the world. The OROP demand was also pending for decades.

"We have the potential to take tough decisions. Today the same institutions and people are saying that reform momentum is giving strength to fundamentals".

He said the structural reforms like a national tax replacing various state and local taxes, bankruptcy and insolvency laws, and a crackdown on corruption have helped transform the economy.

Modi announced a manned mission to space by 2022.

Modi used the spotlight to laud his government s achievements and announce that a massive health insurance scheme would be launched in September and India would send a manned mission into space by 2022.

The plan - popularly known as "Modicare" - will cover about 500 million Indians, a mass of people larger than the population of South America. "It is essential to ensure that we free the poor of India from the clutches of poverty in which they can not afford health care", he added.

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