PM Modi's Red Fort speech comes as Congress’ quotes CAG to allege 7 scams in BJP rule.
NEW DELHI, Aug 15 (The CONNECT) - The Prime Minister Narendra Modi today strongly called for fighting three evils of corruption, nepotism and appeasement.
Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 77th Independence Day, Modi said “If the dreams are to be fulfilled, the resolutions are to be achieved, then it is the need of the hour to fight the three evils of corruption, nepotism and appeasement”.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shinate uploaded a satirical comment - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ND-Y22eM1A -on the alleged scams in the BJP rule and quoted seven irregularities as pointed out by the Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) of India. The irregularities that CAG pointed out are: Bharatmala Rs 7.5 lk cr, Dwaraka Expressway (cost oer km goes up to rs 250 cr against sanctioned Rs 18 cr) Ayushman Bharat (7.5 lakh registrations under one phone number and sanction of compensation in the names of dead persons), Ayodhya Development Project (Rs 20 cr gibbled by contractors who were not even scrutinised), NHAI (collection of Rs 154 cr by way of wrong toll charges for unfinished roads), HAL (Rs 159 cr loss doe to design-production issues) and Rural development department (diversion of pension funds for publicity), Shinate said.
As the PM said, the first evil is corruption that is at the root of all the problems of our country. “Freedom from corruption, fight against corruption in every area and in every sector is the need of the hour. And countrymen, my dear family members, this is Modi’s commitment; it is my personal commitment that I will continue to fight against corruption”, Modi said.
“We must create an atmosphere of aversion towards corruption. There can be no bigger filth than this in public life.” The Prime Minister talked about using technology to combat corruption. He informed how 10 crore fake beneficiaries were removed from various schemes and also the confiscation of the 20 times worth of property of financial absconders.
Here is a sample of CAG report on the financial disconnect in Bharatmala
Upto 31 March 2023, when only 75.62 per cent of CCEA approved length has been awarded, 158.24 per cent of CCEA approved financial outlay has already been sanctioned. Significant changes made in the scope of projects and cost estimates as well as richer project specifications adopted have pushed up the sanctioned cost of projects awarded under BPP-I.
This has resulted in sanctioned civil cost being Rs 23.89 crore per km as against the CCEA approved cost of Rs13.98 crore per km and sanctioned pre-construction cost being Rs 8.28 crore per km as against the CCEA approved cost of Rs 1.39 crore per km.
There was variation from the approved modal mix of NHAI, as out of total national highways length of 23,268 km awarded, a meagre national highways length of 1.75 per cent was being developed under BOT (Toll) mode (as against 10 per cent approved for this mode of construction) whereas 48.35 per cent and 49.90 per cent of national highways length were being constructed under EPC and HAM mode respectively (as against 30 per cent and 60 per cent approved respectively for these mode of construction).
Pic from CAG files.
Besides increase in requirement of BPP-I funds, the funds approved for other schemes (i.e., `Rs 1,57,324 crore) were being utilised to report BPP-I achievement, as observed in NHIDCL whereby 78 such projects (1,752 km) approved in other schemes, were being reported as achievements of BPP-I as on 31 March 2023. NHAI alone projected, in May 2019, financial outlay of Rs10,55,268 crore for meeting its BPP-I targets against CCEA approved financial outlay of ` 5,35,000 crore for BPP-I as a whole.
The total borrowings realised by NHAI for BPP-I, up to 2021-22, was Rs 3,00,349 crore as against the borrowing approved by CCEA of Rs 2,09,279 crore as source of funding for BPP-I as a whole.
The excess borrowing of Rs 91,070 crore was being utilised for meeting the higher fund requirements due to time and cost overrun in development of BPP-I projects.
Thus, there was disconnect among the financial outlay approved by CCEA, financial plans for BPP-I approved by MoRTH & its implementing agencies and realisation of the plans thereof.
Considering material changes in the physical and financial targets approved by CCEA, affecting the resource requirements for BPP-I in future, CAG recommended that MoRTH should consider approaching CCEA again after detailed analysis and discussion with relevant stakeholders including its implementing agencies viz., NHAI and NHIDCL.
Furthermore, in accordance with sound financial management principles and to establish responsibility centres, there should be a mapping of the scheme wise funds released to ensure that funds meant for one scheme are not diverted for other schemes. MoRTH should also ensure choosing most optimal mode of construction as it affects the funding requirement from Government & borrowings and also has implications on the viability of the project.
Secondly, he said, dynastic politics has destroyed the country. He lamented that dynastic political parties are of the family, by the family and for the family and this kills talent. “It is imperative that democracy gets rid of this evil, " he said.
The third evil, Modi emphasized, is appeasement. “This appeasement has also stained the basic thinking of the country, our harmonious national character. These people destroyed everything. And therefore, we must fight against these three evils with all our might. Corruption, nepotism and appeasement; these challenges have flourished which suppressed the aspirations of the people of our country.”
Similarly, appeasement has damaged social justice a great deal. “This thinking and politics of appeasement, method of government schemes for appeasement, has killed social justice. And that's why we find appeasement and corruption are the biggest enemies of development. If the country wants development and wants to fulfil the dream of developed India by 2047, then it is necessary for us that we do not tolerate corruption in the country under any circumstances, we should move forward with this mood”, Modi said.
These evils, he said, rob our country of whatever abilities some people have. “These are the things that put a question mark on the hopes and aspirations of our people. Be it the poor, or backward or Dalit, the Muslim backward Pasmanda communities, or tribals “we all have to get rid of these three evils for their rights”, he said.