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PM Modi Announces Setting Up of Panel on ‘One Nation, One Election’

New Delhi: On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that a committee would be formed to study the diverse aspects of conducting Lok Sabha elections as well as all the State Assembly elections once in every five years. This was as a result of the apprehensions expressed at an all-party meeting called for the purpose. The panel will need to provide suggestions in a certain timeframe.

In the ‘One Nation, One Election’ meeting called by the government, the heads of the 21 political parties were in attendance. However, 12 major opposition parties did not attend it. Congress President Rahul Gandhi mentioned some earlier commitments, while BSP Chief Mayawati cited she would have come if the EVMs’ agenda was discussed.

Also, the representatives of SP (Samajwadi Party), DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), AAP (Aam Aadmi Party), TMC (Trinamool Congress), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Janata Dal (JD – Secular), AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front), TDP (Telugu Desam Party), JMM (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha), and IUML (Indian Union Muslim League) were also not present in the meeting. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) had sent Tamil Nadu Law Minister CV Shanmughan, but he was informed that only party heads could attend it. Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray also could not attend the meet since he was busy with his party’s foundation day celebrations.

PM Modi Announces Setting Up of Panel on ‘One Nation, One Election’

The heads who attended included BJD (Biju Janata Dal) Chief Naveen Patnaik who was in support of simultaneous polls. And YSRCP (Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party) Chief Jaganmohan Reddy asked for his concerns to be addressed before the idea gets implemented. The NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) raised questions on the feasibility of the idea and possibility of frequent central rule in states. The Communist Party of India (CPM and CPI) leaders expressed disagreement on the proposal. The opposition parties said that simultaneous elections might result in ‘encroachment’ on federal rights because dissolving assemblies before the tenure ends is ‘anti-democratic’ and President’s rule of enforcing syncing of polls is not fair.

A government source stated-

“Several parties were of the view that all aspects of the proposal need to be examined carefully. Shri Modi noted that this is not the agenda of one party, but an issue of national importance and views of all parties would be considered and given due importance.”

PM Modi declared that a panel would soon be formed for examining the issue and submitting a report.

Patnaik held the same opinion as that of PM Modi, saying that frequent elections would influence the development pace and shake the cooperative federalism’s spirit. He added-

“BJD will fully support the idea of one nation, one election. There has to be a ‘give and take’ attitude in the larger interest of the country.”

Moreover, Patnaik had dissolved the Odisha Assembly about a year before the schedule in 2004 for synchronization of the state elections with the Lok Sabha polls. So, the state has been holding simultaneous polls since then. Patnaik also proposed that the commitment to “Ahimsa (non-violence) be enshrined in the Constitution’s preamble.”

All the parties agreed to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and improve the productivity of Parliament, among the other issues on the agenda.

A few of the opposition heads insisted that when the development of the 115 backward districts is being discussed, the concerned state governments must be actively involved to achieve effective outcomes. PM Modi supported the view, saying that all the state governments must maintain coordination with the Centre to put the most backward districts on the best level.

NITI Aayog to set the priorities of the govt ahead of Union Budget

PM Begins Pre-Budget Meets with Key Secretaries to Finalize Agenda

Ahead of the Union Budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set up an array of meetings for the days to come, starting yesterday that is Tuesday. PM started meeting the top bureaucrats in key ministries for finalizing the government’s priorities. Like a few days ago, two ministerial panels were constituted to boost economic growth and create jobs; the focus is on the same said the officials.

 

The PM would be interacting with bankers, economists, bankers, and sectoral experts in the upcoming week for brainstorming on matters like reforms, agriculture, and effective implementation of schemes and projects.

The yesterday’s meeting at PM Modi’s residence was attended by all the secretaries in the finance ministry as well as top officials of other economic ministries and NITI Aayog. A 5-year vision plan, as sought by PM Modi to the ministries a few days back, were discussed at the meeting. The Modi government is looking to make India a $5-trillion economy by 2024. Moreover, the other points of discussion were the future course of PM’s key projects such as PM-Kisan, doubling farmers’ income, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, electricity for all, and piped water for all.

The major focus of the meeting was outlining a roadmap for reforms across departments and result in the ease of doing business and economic growth. The GDP growth was also discussed, which has recently been a moot point because of questions raised over government data. As per the sources, increasing government revenues and making reforms to push GDP growth that hit a 5-year low of 6.8% in 2018-19 was also discussed in the interaction.

As the farm sector is going through a tough phase, PM Modi had last week laid stress on the need for structural reforms in agriculture for boosting private investment, strengthening logistics, and providing ample market support to the farmers.

On Thursday, the PM is anticipated to interact with senior finance ministry officials for discussing issues relevant to the Union Budget that would be presented on July 5.

Besides reform announcements that would be made in the Budget, the government’s revenue position, fiscal consolidation roadmap, and expenditure commitments would be discussed at the meeting.

The possible attendees of the Thursday meeting are Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, DIPAM Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Expenditure Secretary Girish Chandra Murmu, and Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian.

Also, the meeting on Friday would call upon industry leaders, including heads of state-owned banks. On Saturday, PM would be interacting with economists and policy experts. Niti Aayog is organizing these two meetings, as reported by the sources.

PM Modi & 320 MPs Take Oath in the Inaugural Session of 17th Lok Sabha

PM Modi & 320 MPs Take Oath in the Inaugural Session of 17th Lok Sabha

On Monday, the maiden session of the 17th Lok Sabha began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ceremony was witnessed by BJP Chief Amit Shah and Congress President Rahul Gandhi among the 320 of the 542 MPs along with PM Modi. During the first day of the two-day long swearing-in ceremony, they took an oath, which is marked by some controversy, slip-ups, and slogan shouting.

With the oath being taken in different languages, linguistic diversity was in full play. Also, many newly-elected members donned colorful attire, traditional headgears, and shawls; similarly, a section carried a saffron look.

Modi set the tone for the business in the House, addressing the media outside parliament before the commencement of Parliament session. He said that the opposition need not “bother about their numbers” as their every statement is “valuable” to the government.

He urged all the MPs to address issues related to the larger interest of the nation and to be impartial in the House.

He said,

“When we come to Parliament, we should forget paksh (treasury) and vipaksh (opposition). We should think about issues with a nishpaksh (impartial) spirit and work in the larger interest of the nation.”

For greeting the prime minister, members from the ruling NDA thumped the desk with slogans such as “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Modi-Modi” when Modi’s name was called out by the Secretary-General for taking the oath.

Moreover, members from 23 states and union territories, the union ministers who were elected to the Lok Sabha, including Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, and Bihar took the oath. According to a Lok Sabha bulletin, 320 MPs took the oath, in all.

Another 222 members will take oath on Tuesday (today).

Among the three sessions of parliament, a full-fledged Union Budget will be presented on July 5 in the Monsoon session. And the session concludes on July 26.

At present, the Lok Sabha has 542 elected members.

Moreover, the Election Commission canceled the Elections of Vellore seat in Tamil Nadu as they found that excessive money power was being used to lure voters in that constituency. Hence, a fresh date is yet to be declared.

Modi stated that he hoped for a fruitful budget session during which the government will present the Union budget and propose various key bills while speaking before the start of the Budget Session. BJP’s Virendra Kumar was sworn-in as the Pro-tem speaker before the session’s commencement and will lead the elections for the Speaker of the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

According to some officials, Om Birla, two-time MP from Rajasthan’s Kota will be the Speaker for the 17th Lok Sabha. By swearing in as speaker, Mr. Om Birla will be replacing Sumitra Mahajan, previous Lok Sabha Speaker who did not contest the Lok Sabha elections this year. As the National Democratic Alliance has a clear majority in the House, Birla, who won from Kota-Bundi parliamentary seat in Rajasthan, will easily become the speaker.

However, the election for the post may be held on Wednesday, if necessary. And, Virendra Kumar’s role will cease to exist, once the new Speaker is appointed.

After the ceremony, PM Modi took to his official Twitter handle and shared the clip of him taking the oath with the caption,

“Took oath as a Member of Parliament.

It is an honour to serve in Parliament and I look forward to healthy deliberations with fellow MPs.”

PM Narendra Modi Calls First All-Party Meet After Elections

PM Narendra Modi Calls First All-Party Meet After Elections

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the first all-party meeting after the victory in elections. The meeting was to endure “One Nation, One Election” idea of leaders of political parties.

By thanking leaders for their valuable suggestions after conducting an all-party meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to the Opposition, just a day before the first Parliament session.

About the meeting, PM Modi took to Twitter and wrote,

“We had a fruitful all-party meeting today, the first one after the election results and before the start of the Monsoon Session. Thankful to the leaders for their valuable suggestions. We all agreed on the smooth running of Parliament so that we can fulfil people’s aspirations.”

From June 17 to July 26, the first session of the newly-constituted 17th Lok Sabha will be held.

The Modi government is aiming to garner Opposition’s support in Rajya Sabha, with key bills, like the Triple Talaq (instant divorce) to be re-introduced in the Parliament session, where it has only 102 members out of the total 245.

Even though the opposition has been down after a serious drubbing in the recently concluded 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it continues to comment on the ruling government.

Apart from Triple Talaq, the opposition demanded discussions on various issues at Sunday’s meeting. That includes farmers distress, drought, as well as unemployment.

Congress party also raised the issue of conducting Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, asserting “deliberately targeting of states is unacceptable,” the opposition also raised concerns over the weakening of federalism.

Leader of Trinamool Congress (TMC) Mamata Banerjee continued with its fiery mood and accused the Centre of interfering in state-related issues.

While accusing the Centre of interfering in state matters, Derek O’Brien, TMC’s parliamentary party leader in Rajya Sabha, further raised the issue of “strengthening of the federal structure.”

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh also raised similar concerns. He stated,

“PM Modi addressed party leaders stating that it is not about NDA or UPA, we are concerned about the country. But, we are concerned about the federal structure of the country and there is a need to strengthen it.”

After the meeting, while speaking to media persons, Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also stated some remarks on it.

He said,

“We congratulated the government. But with that, we also told them that this is a fight of ideologies, it was a fight of ideologies and it will remain a fight of ideologies.”

PM Modi further wrote,

“BJP is grateful for people’s blessings.

We assure our fellow Indians that we will be at the forefront of pro-people governance & facilitating legislation that manifests the spirit of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas.’
Sharing pictures from the parliamentary party meet.”

He further wrote,

“We, the NDA family look forward to fulfilling the dreams of 130 crore Indians, who have reposed unparalleled faith in our alliance. We shall fulfil regional aspirations and work untiringly for national progress.

Here are glimpses from the NDA meet in New Delhi.”

The all-party meeting was attended by many bigwigs such as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi and his junior Arjun Ram Meghwal, National Conference (NC) patriarch Farooq Abdullah, and Sudeep Bandopadhyay and Derek O’ Brien of the TMC.

PM Addresses at Inauguration of India-Kyrgyz Business Forum Meeting

PM Addresses at Inauguration of India-Kyrgyz Business Forum Meeting

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the gathering at the inauguration of India-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum meeting.

While speaking there, he said that the world economy was transforming fast and growth of a big economy like India and its technological progress was a big factor for stability and hope in the world.

Further, PM Modi said that there were three catalysts to promote investment and trade: business-to-business exchange, connectivity, and the right atmosphere.

He said,

“The world economy is transforming fast and growth of a big economy like India and its technological progress is a big factor for stability and hope in the world. India is no doubt a big market. Our youth and enthusiastic innovators will play an important role in making India a five-trillion-dollar economy.”

Further, he said his government gave a final shape to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. He also said that the bilateral trade between India and the Kyrgyz Republic was far below potential and was actively working on a bilateral investment treaty.

He added,

“I will like to say that to create conducive atmosphere, we have given final shape to Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. We are also actively talking on a bilateral investment treaty. These will give a strong foundation for investment. We have created a five-year roadmap to boost bilateral trade. Kyrgyz Republic is a member of Eurasian Economic Union. We are also working on a Preferential Trade Agreement with Eurasian Economic Union to boost trade.”

He said that to ease trade, connectivity was important, and Chabahar port has emerged as a new link between Afghanistan and India.

He said,

“We will have to give more attention to connectivity between Central Asia and India.”

Later PM Modi mentioned that Kyrgyzstan offers opportunities for Indian investors and traders in areas such as medicine, railways, textiles, hydropower, minerals, mining, and tourism.

The Prime Minister also said that Kyrgyzstan and India have close cultural and economic ties and there was immense potential in the bilateral partnership.

The PM Modi also called for a “global conference to combat the scourge of terrorism” while addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit here.

Referring to one of the sites of the devastating Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people in Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister said,

“During my visit to Sri Lanka last Sunday, I visited the St Anthony’s church, where I witnessed the ugly face of terrorism which claims the lives of innocents anywhere.”

Further, in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan Prime Minister Khan, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Iran President Hassan Rouhani among others, PM Modi said,

“To combat the menace of terrorism, countries will have to come out of their narrow purview to unite against it.”

He added,

“Countries sponsoring, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable.”

Before addressing there, PM Modi also had three bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Bishkek.

Watch PM Modi Addressing India-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum Here:

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Holds Three Bilateral Meetings in Bishkek

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Holds Three Bilateral Meetings in Bishkek

On the sidelines of the 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Prime Minister Narendra Modi held three bilateral meetings in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic on Thursday. After resuming office for the second time, SCO is Prime Minister Modi’s first multilateral meeting.

At first, he had a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, where both sides centered on how to take the ties forward. Also, PM Modi discussed the issue of Pakistan with the Chinese president and applauded China’s role in getting Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar designated.

After the meeting, while interviewing to media, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said,

“There was a brief discussion on Pakistan. PM Modi recalled his efforts, which he said were derailed. PM Modi said that Pakistan needs to create atmosphere free of terror and at this stage we do not see this happening.

We expect it to take concrete action.”

Gokhale added,

“The major highlight was the fact that Sino-India relations cannot be looked at through the prism of Pakistan. Therefore, there is a need to take more confidence in building measures.

Prime minister noted what had improved between two sides is strategic communication and in that context, we have been able to resolve long pending issues like opening of Bank of China branch in India and issue related to the listing of Masood Azhar.”

According to reports in the Chinese media, Chinese President Xi Jinping pushed for closer development partnership between the two sides.

Also, President Xi Jinping congratulated PM Modi in person on his re-election as India’s Prime Minister during the meeting. However, he had already sent a congratulatory letter to the PM Modi just after BJP’s victory.

To ensure peace, prosperity, and stability in Asia and the wider world, both sides emphasized the necessity for cooperation.

Also, the Chinese President has taken India’s invitation to visit India for the second informal summit as a gesture of reciprocity to the Wuhan Informal Summit. However, the venue and date are yet to be fixed up.

After the conversation, PM Modi took to Twitter and wrote,

“Had an extremely fruitful meeting with President Xi Jinping. Our talks included the full spectrum of India-China relations.

We shall continue working together to improve economic and cultural ties between our nations.”

After meeting with Chinese President, PM Modi held the second bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both sides focused on the importance of cooperation between the two sides. And, Gokhale confirmed that there was no specific discussion on the S-400 missile defense system.

Further, during the meeting, PM Modi praised Vladimir Putin for the “support for the rifle manufacturing unit in Amethi.”

After the meeting, Gokhale confirmed that PM Modi would attend the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), in September this year, which will be held in Vladivostok. Since 2014, around 27 meetings have taken place between Modi and Putin, of which 14 were part of multilateral meetings, and 13 were bilateral meetings.

Gokhale said,

“There would be the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral on the margins of the G-20 summit.”

Then, PM took to Twitter and wrote,

“The meeting with President Putin was excellent. We had wide-ranging discussions on ways to further boost the India-Russia strategic relationship.

We look forward to increased trade and people-to-people linkages with Russia. @KremlinRussia_E”

Lastly, after dinner and the gala concert, PM Modi met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. In the meeting, both sides exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan. Also, security issues were discussed in the meeting.

According to some officials, the Afghan president did the most of talking. President Ghani stated that India needs to see drugs and terrorism through a single prism.

Ghani said,

“One is fueling the other he said according to sources.”

After the meeting, PM Modi took to Twitter and wrote,

“President @ashrafghani and I had a wonderful meeting in Bishkek.

We discussed ways to further cement India-Afghanistan friendship.

India fully supports Afghanistan in its endeavours towards peace and prosperity for its citizens.”

#CycloneVayu: PM Urges All to Follow Real-Time Info to Stay Safe

#CycloneVayu: PM Urges All to Follow Real-Time Info to Stay Safe

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked all people in Gujarat to stay safe as Cyclone Vayu proceeds towards Saurashtra and Kutch regions of Gujarat. He advised people to follow real-time information being provided by local agencies to stay safe.

An official said that the cyclone is likely to affect Kutch, Jamnagar, Morbi, Junagadh, Porbandar, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Rajkot, Bhavnagar,  Amreli, and Gir-Somnath districts.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote,

“Praying for the safety and well-being of all those affected by Cyclone Vayu.

The Government and local agencies are providing real-time information, which I urge those in affected areas to closely follow.”

Earlier he tweeted,

“The Central Government is closely monitoring the situation due to Cyclone Vayu in Gujarat and other parts of India.

I have been constantly in touch with State Governments.

NDRF and other agencies are working round the clock to provide all possible assistance.”

Also, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated,

“Cyclone Vayu has turned into a very severe cyclonic storm. It would cause gusty winds to blow at a speed of 145 kmph to 170 kmph by Thursday morning.”

Further, an IAF official said that the teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) began landing in Gujarat with the help of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to undertake the precautionary shifting of people living on the west coast.

Also, colleges and schools across ten districts in Gujarat will remain closed on June 12 and 13 as a prudent measure.

According to the IMD statement, the Arabian Sea has turned turbulent and bigger waves of the cyclonic storm are advancing towards coastal areas.

To shift about three lakh people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions, the state government has launched a massive evacuation exercise.

According to the Meteorological department, the Cyclone Vayu will not weaken after landfall.

On Wednesday, the National Crisis Management Committee met in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by the advisor to the administrator of Diu, and Gujarat chief secretary among others and it was chaired by Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba.

The Indian Navy said that Western Naval Command has deployed its ships, helicopters, and aircraft for relief and rescue operations and to alert the fishermen at sea about the impending cyclone. IL aircraft and Naval Long Range Surveillance Aircraft P8I are on standby to undertake SAR missions as needed.

Around 52 companies of the National Disaster Response Force— that means about 100 personnel per company— have been gone to Gujarat already. Apart from them, around ten companies of the Indian Army have been kept on stand-by.

Medical facilities, as well as teams at Indian Naval Hospital Asvini in Mumbai, are being kept ready.

Well, the Somnath Temple remains open despite the alert issued regarding Cyclone Vayu.

Gujarat Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said,

“Temples can’t be closed. We have requested tourists not to visit, but ‘aarti’ being performed since many years can’t be stopped.”

Also, there was an announcement from Western Railway on Wednesday, that all the trains passing through the coastal areas have either been short-terminated or canceled for two days from 6 pm.

PM Modi Reappoints Two Bureaucrats in PMO, Given Cabinet Rank

PM Modi Reappoints Two Bureaucrats in PMO, Given Cabinet Rank

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government reappointed top two bureaucrats in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Nripendra Misra is appointed as Principal Secretary and P.K. Mishra is appointed as Additional Principal Secretary. Both will resume in their positions in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which sees no significant administrative reform at the top-most administrative level.

Headed by PM Modi, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) issued their reappointments in their posts but assigned them the status of Cabinet Minister.

Earlier, Ajit Kumar Doval, National Security Adviser, was also reappointed and given Cabinet rank.

Before these reappointments, there was a prediction that PM Modi might bring in a new face in the top post in the PMO. But PM Modi has put to rest all speculations regarding any reshuffle in the PMO with the reappointment of all the three top bureaucratic positions in the PMO.

Until further orders, their appointment is co-terminus with that of the Prime Minister, as per the notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Following the BJP’s landslide victory in the general election, both were appointed in the PMO in 2014 when PM Modi took over.

In the PMO, additional Principal Secretary, P.K. Mishra looks after the crucial task of appointments in the administration, while as Principal Secretary, Nripendra Misra looks after the policy related matters and coordinates with various departments and ministries.

Earlier, Mr. Nripendra Misra has served as Secretary in the government. He was subsequently made Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and was also with the RSS-linked Vivekananda Foundation, before his appointment in the PMO. Dr. P.K. Mishra served as Chairman of the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission and then retired as Union Agriculture Secretary in 2008.

Moreover, when PM Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat, Dr. P.K. Mishra had served as Principal Secretary to him. Further, from 2001 to 2004, before PM Modi proceeded on Central deputation, Dr. P.K. Mishra was also his Principal Secretary.

In a bid to give continuity in the administration, the Prime Minister granted an extension of three months each to Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra after winning the election. The two-year tenure of the Defence Secretary was to end on May 31 but was given extension till August.

Similarly, Mr. P.K. Sinha was appointed Cabinet Secretary in 2015 for two years, but he has been given extension by the government. And then again his tenure got extended for three months, making him the largest serving top bureaucrat in the country.

Modi Asks Ministries to Prepare Five-Year Plans With Impactful Decisions

Modi Asks Ministries to Prepare Five-Year Plans With Impactful Decisions

Today morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a task to his government. According to officials, PM Modi asked all top bureaucrats to make a five-year plan for each ministry. He said that the plan should contain well-defined targets and milestones in sync with the people’s mandate in the election to enhance the status quo and living condition.

Officials added that the Prime Minister said in a meeting with secretaries of all ministries that each ministry must come out with an “impactful decision” for which approvals will have to be taken within 100 days.

The Prime Minister said that the government must focus on ensuring ease of living as people were yearning for a better life and also asked the officials to start work on making India a five-trillion dollar economy country.

A government statement said,

“Modi said that the huge expectations of the people should not be viewed as a challenge, but an opportunity. He said the mandate reflects the will and aspirations of the people to change the status quo, and seek a better life for themselves.”

Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Jitendra Singh, Amit Shah, and Nirmala Sitharaman also attended the meeting.

The statement added,

“The prime minister said that the Indian voter has outlined a vision for the next five years, and this is now an opportunity before us.”

While discussing the demographic dividend, PM Modi stated that it was necessary to use the demographics efficiently.

Further, while speaking, the Prime Minister touched upon the importance of the ‘Make in India’ initiative and stated that there is a necessity to make tangible progress towards this end.

PM Modi added that each ministry should focus on India’s progress in ease of doing business. He said that it should reflect in greater facilitation for small entrepreneurs as well as businesses.

The statement said,

“The prime minister said water, fisheries, and animal husbandry, will also be important areas for the government.”

Further, during the interaction, he said that he has seen that secretaries have a vision, energy, and commitment to take the country forward.

He added in the statement,

“Modi said he is proud of the team. He urged everyone to use technology to improve outcomes and efficiency in each department.”

Later PM Modi said that all departments must attempt to power the upcoming milestone of 75 years of independence that may inspire people to contribute to the improvement in the country.

Also, PM Modi requested everyone to fulfill the aspirations of the people by making several decisions.

The Cabinet Secretary Mr. P K Sinha initiated the discussion at the meeting.

Sinha recalled few things about the previous tenure of the government that how the Prime Minister has interacted directly with all officers up to director/deputy secretary level.

PM Modi also recalled his first such interaction with the secretaries in June 2014 in the meeting. As per the statement-

“He said the recent General Elections have been marked by pro-incumbency, for which credit must go to the entire team of officials, which worked hard, conceived schemes, and delivered excellent results on the ground, over the last five years.”

PM Modi to Pay Visit to Maldives & Sri Lanka on June 8 & 9

PM Modi to Pay Visit to Maldives & Sri Lanka on June 8 & 9

New Delhi: In his first overseas trip after being re-elected as the PM, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be visiting Sri Lanka and the Maldives later this week on June 8 and 9. It suggests that the country’s immediate neighbors are the prime focus when it comes to India’s foreign policy and strengthening the bilateral ties.

Also, the External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will be on a 2-day visit to Bhutan,
which begins on Friday.

The upcoming foreign trips imply that rather than focusing on South Asia (that it did in the first term), Modi government is now looking to consolidate ties with smaller neighbors like Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Bhutan in its second term.

India’s relations with one other South Asian immediate neighboring nation Pakistan are at present complex and largely hostile and are unlikely to become cordial soon. The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said that he is not aware of any meeting planned between PM Modi and PM of Pakistan Imran Khan in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan next week on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit.

During the two-day trip that begins on Saturday, PM Modi would first visit the Maldives as told by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

In the eight years, it is an Indian PM’s first visit to Male at a bilateral level; the last one was by the Former PM Manmohan Singh in 2011.

Last year, PM Modi had paid a visit to Male in November for a short period to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

On Thursday, Gokhale told reporters in New Delhi-

“The prime minister’s visit is focused on three objectives —firstly to maintain contacts at the highest level, secondly we want to assist the Maldives as their development partner in the revival and development of their economy and thirdly is of course to strengthen the people to people relations.”

Gokhale also said that PM Modi would extend a message of solidarity to the citizens of Sri Lanka who were recently hit by serial bomb blasts on 21 April.