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Individual benefits for villages, farmers are Modi govt’s biggest feats: Nitin Gadkari, Union minister

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari elaborates on the achievements of the Modi government and how road safety is a major task on his to-do list. He spoke to Supriya Shrinate of ET Now.

Edited excerpts:

Four years of your government and I think your ministry standouts for being one of the top performers. You had a committee on the four years report card of the Modi government that recommended that the government should highlight what has happened so far and not announce any new schemes, why is that?

The performance audit is very important. We want to indicate the schemes that have been implemented by the government and are beneficial to individuals. Any new declarations are meaningless as it is the last year before we head towards elections.

The schemes introduced, completed in our regime and its benefits to different people were the basis of the theme of that new concept.

After four years there are economic reforms, administrative reforms, judicial reforms, social sector reforms, new legislations and newer programs. The most important thing is that individuals and the poor people, those who are socially, economically, educationally backward, are benefited. 16,000 villages have been provided electricity and now we are giving electricity to every household.

We planned on providing gas connection to eight crore families and out of that four crore families have already been allotted gas connections.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana the accounts opened by poor people were only three crore initially, but now this figure has crossed 31 crore and Rs 80,000 crore have been deposited so far.

Even under Atal Pension Yojana, the health insurance scheme, Fasal Bima Yojana, the irrigation scheme, the individual benefit is going to gaon (village), garib (poor), mazdoor (labourer) and kisaan (farmer) which is the important achievement of our government. We are not declaring anything new; whatever we have done, that report card is all we are showing to the people of India.

You have said that your government has done more work in 48 months than Congress did in 48 years because there seems to be a gap between perception of execution and announcement. Coming to you specifically, you have announced projects of over Rs one lakh core, is execution keeping pace with this announcement?

Which one lakh crores?

The projects that you have announced through the term.

You are a journalist and I am making the announcement that more than Rs 10 lakh crore of work has been allotted in four years. I am ready to give the list and you can check it. If what I have declared has not happened, then you can start the breaking news. You cannot ask me questions because whatever I have declared either has been executed or has been initiated.

One thing where you have scored very high and even higher than some of the peers in your government is the fact that while land acquisition has been a very difficult task for most, you have recently announced that you have acquired land worth Rs 70,000 crore in compensation. How did you manage to do that and why is not the government following a similar model?

Everywhere land acquisition is difficult because the cost of the land acquisition is more than market price. It is going to be beneficial to the farmers and the people. There are rules, regulation and system in place because this acquisition is the responsibility of the state government. They are the stakeholders and we need cooperation from them. Somewhere there is a problem but through constant follow up, persuasion we have been successful. Our engineers and our officers are working day and night. Because of all these efforts we are now in a good position regarding land acquisition.

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