Independence Day speech highlights: Modi says 175,000 shell cos shut down

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort on the occasion of the 71st Independence Day, in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of India's 71st Independence Day. During his Independence Day 2017 speech, PM Modi touched on various issues, including the recent tragedy in Gorakhpur, where over 60 children have died in a hospital over the past few days, his government's fight against black money, creating a 'New India', empowering the youth of the country, and India's security.

According to reports, living up to his promise, PM Modi spoke for over 54 minutes, which made this Independence Day speech his shortest since 2014. He spoke for over 65 minutes in 2014, 86 minutes in 2015, and 94 minutes in 2016.

Here are the highlights of PM Modi's Independence Day 2017 speech:

1) Referring to the recent Gorakhpur tragedy, PM Modi said that a few days back, many innocent children had died in a hospital.

2) Calling upon the youth of the nation, PM Modi said that January 1, 2018, would not be an ordinary day — those born in this century would start turning 18. They are the Bhagya Vidhatas of our nation, added PM Modi.

3) PM Modi said that Indians have to leave the 'Badal Sakta Hai' — this attitude would help us as a nation, 

4) Speaking on the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime that came into effect on July 1 this year, PM Modi said that the removal of check posts after the implementation of GST had cut the time for transporting goods by 30 per cent. 

5) Referring to his government's demonetisation drive, PM Modi said that those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today. Further, PM Modi said that Rs 1.25 lakh crore of black money has been detected. He added that Rs 3 lakh crore has come into the banking system after demonetisation, an amount of over Rs 1.75 lakh crore was under scrutiny, and Rs 2 lakh crore of black money has reached the banks. Modi also said that after demonetisation, 300,000 shell companies were detected, 175,000 of which have been shut.

6) Stressing on his government's drive to hunt down illegitimate wealth, the PM said that as a result of the fight against black money, the number of new tax payers (filing returns) has more than doubled to 5.6 million this year. Last year, this number stood at 2.2 million.

7) Speaking on his government's push for a less-cash economy, PM Modi said that India had seen a 34 per cent increase in digital payments in the past one year.

8) Referring to petitions against practices like 'Triple Talaq' and polygamy in the Supreme Court, PM Modi said he admired the courage of the women who have suffered due to such practices and are fighting against them. "We are with them in their struggles," added PM Modi.

9) Speaking on the ongoing militancy in Kashmir, the PM said the situation could not be solved by either bullets or by hurling abuses. In stead, PM Modi said that the situation in Kashmir could only be solved by embracing every Kashmiri.

10) PM Modi said that together we will create a new India where farmers will sleep peacefully at night and will earn twice as much as they do today; where the poor will have a house, access to electricity and utilities; where the youth and women will be provided with ample opportunities to fulfil their dreams; where people will not suffer due to terrorism, communalism, and casteism; and where corruption and nepotism will not be tolerated. PM Modi said we would together create a clean, healthy India, which would fulfil the dream of 'swarajya'.

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