Published On: Tue, Aug 15th, 2017

Neither ‘goli’ nor ‘gaali’ can solve the Kashmir issue: Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of nations’s 71st Independence Day said that “Neither bullets nor brickbats will solve the Kashmir issue, only love will.”

Those who own “benami” properties were facing difficult times

He added that while “there is no question of being soft on terrorism”, any “violence in the name of faith cannot be condoned”.

He also spoke about the recent death of 60 children in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and the floods in various states, saying that the “people of India stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected due to natural disasters and tragedy”.

In what was his fourth Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the PM spoke for almost an hour, touching on not just Kashmir and sectarian violence, but also on terrorism, development, technology, corruption and the responsibility of citizens towards a vibrant democracy.

The PM though did make a special reference to Kashmir, he said “Na goli se, na gaali se Kashmir ki samasya hal hogi (Neither bullets nor brickbats will solve the Kashmir issue)”, the PM said, adding, “it will only be solved by love and by embracing all Kashmiris.”

“I want to tell the youth of Kashmir and I’ve said this time and time again, come into the mainstream, you have a right to speak in a democracy,” the PM said.

He that his government was taking the nation on a new track of development and was moving ahead with speed.

He also said the government was devoting significant attention to the eastern states including Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha and the Northeast, noting that “these parts have to grow further”.

Listing the achievements of the NDA government in curbing black money, including demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that authorities had confiscated black money worth over Rs 1 lakh crore and around Rs 3 lakh crore had been brought into the banking system.

“In the last three years, more than Rs 1,25,000 crore of black money has been caught…the culprits have been forced to surrender this money,” Modi said in his speech here on the occasion of Independence Day.

“Moreover, the demonetisation drive has achieved much has brought out black money,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the demonetisation of high-value currency in November had returned a lot of black money into the formal economy.

“Research has established that after the note ban measure, more than Rs 3 lakh crore, which was outside the banking system, has come into the formal economy,” Modi said.

“Scrutiny of money deposited in banks after demonetisation has revealed Rs 1,75,000 crore of suspicious money. Besides, Rs 2 lakh crore deposits have been forced to provide explanation for the money,” he said.

Modi also said that demonetisation had increased the income tax base of the country.

“Till the 5th of August this year, 56 lakh people had filed income tax returns (ITRs), as compared to 22 lakh last year..the number has more than doubled,” he said.

He said the in the period following the note ban 18 lakh assessees had been identified with assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

“Of these, 4.5 lakh have owned up to tax misdemeanours and are trying to regularise their affairs by paying penal tax. Around 1.1 lakh people had no notion of income tax earlier,” the Prime Minister said.

More than three lakh “shell companies” set up to facilitate generation of black money have been unearthed by the government, said the Prime Minister.

“The drive against black money has led to the discovery of many shell companies. Following demonetisation, over three lakh companies have been found which are nothing but shell companies,” Modi said.

“Of these, the registrations of 175,000 companies have been cancelled,” he said.

Highlighting the enormity of the black money menace, Modi said up to 400 bogus firms were found to be operating from a single address.

Last week, stock markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) imposed trade restrictions on 331 firms suspected of being shell companies.

These securities were placed in suspended animation, implying that trade in these stocks will be permitted only once a month.

Prime Minister said that those who have looted the nation and the poor are now not able to sleep peacefully.

He also said that those who own “benami” properties were facing difficult times.

“Soon after the Benami Act was implemented, the government has seized benami properties worth Rs 800 crore,” he said.

He said his government had implemented the demand for One Rank One Pension (OROP) for military personnel after it had been kept pending for 30-40 years.

He said that many countries are actively helping India in the war against terror and thanked these countries but did not name them.

“India’s stature in the world is rising. The world is with us in fighting the menace of terrorism. I thank all the countries actively helping us,” he said.

Prime Minister praised women battling the system of Triple Talaq and said the entire country supports them.

“I pay my respects to those women who had to lead miserable lives due to Triple Talaq and then started a movement which created an environment in the whole nation against the practice,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said he respected all these women. “I want to tell them that they will succeed as the whole country supports them in this significant step towards women’s empowerment.”



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