In a display of unity on the world stage, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has paid a compliment to previous governments, including the Congress party, by acknowledging their efforts to build India.
She also showcased the demonetisation and the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) as successes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Outlining the contrasting trajectories of India and Pakistan during her address to the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on Saturday, she said: “There have been many governments under many parties during 70 years of Indian freedom, for we have been a sustained democracy. Every government has done its bit for India’s development.”
“We have marched ahead, consistently, without pause, in education, health and across the range of human welfare,” she said, setting aside the rancorous debates at home.
“We established scientific and technical institutions which are the pride of the world.”
“We produced scholars, doctors, engineers,” she said recognising the contributions of governments that preceded Modi’s election three years ago.
“Today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world.”
The Congress party ruled India close to 60 years of independent India’s 70 years.
“Doctors save people from death, terrorists send them to death,” she said contrasting the achievements of the two neighbours birthed a day part in 1947. “Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror.”
While presenting a report card of domestic achievements, she showcased the demonetisation and and the GST among the BJP government’s achievements.
“Demonetisation was a courageous decision to challenge one of the by-products of corruption, the ‘black money’ that disappeared from circulation,” she said.
GST introduced “one-tax across the country, without the untidy and punishing system of multiple taxes under differing categories in different parts of the country,” she said.
Among social programmes, she said the “Save the girl, Educate the girl'” campaign is reducing gender inequality, while the Swach Bharat — Clean India — programme is generating “a revolutionary change in social attitudes and habits.”
The scope of the Jan Dhan programme of opening bank accounts for 300 million people – about the size of the United States population – made it “the world’s largest financial inclusion scheme,” she said.