Modi Moots Growth of India's Small Cities

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the vital role that hundreds of small cities play in achieving India’s goal of becoming a developed nation by 2047. He stated that the government is actively enhancing basic facilities in these urban centres to improve the quality of life.

During the ongoing Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, where the Prime Minister interacted with beneficiaries of central schemes, he expressed the government’s commitment to helping urban families save money. Initiatives like Ayushman Bharat health insurance and housing for all are designed to assist citizens in their financial well-being.

The Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, a mega outreach exercise, was flagged off by the Prime Minister, covering states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram. Launched on November 15 in Jharkhand, the yatra has reached 2.5 crore people across villages and cities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the need to ensure that government scheme benefits reach every individual, particularly in villages and slum clusters. “Whatever development took place for a long time after Independence, its scope was limited to some big cities of the country. But today we are focusing on the development of Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities,” he said.

“Hundreds of small cities of the country are going to strengthen the grand edifice ofdeveloped India,” Modi said. He highlighted the significance of small cities in India’s development, mentioning initiatives such as the AMRUT Mission and Smart City Mission that are upgrading basic facilities in these areas.

“These upgrades are directly impacting ease of living, ease of travel and ease of doing business. Poor, neo-middle class, middle class or rich people, all are getting the benefit of these enhanced facilities,” he said.

The Prime Minister urged people to enroll in government pension schemes, providing assurance and support through the outreach vans involved in the yatra. He highlighted the success of schemes like PM SVANidhi Yojna, Atal Pension Scheme, and PM Suraksha Bima Yojana. Modi stressed the government's commitment to saving money for urban families through measures like income-tax exemptions and affordable healthcare.

The inclusion of urban poor in the Ayushman Bharat initiative has reportedly saved around Rs 1 lakh crore on medical expenses. Additionally, Jan Aushadhi Kendras provide medicines at an 80 per cent discount, resulting in savings exceeding Rs 25,000 crore for the poor and middle class in cities.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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