Varanasi, Jan 23 (IECurrentAffairs) Close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi making a strong pitch for the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme vis-a-vis his crusade against corruption, an Indian origin Kenyan Minister Sunjeev Kaur Birdi has hailed the government’s move.
Ms Birdi also said that when she returns to Kenya, her message for Kenyan citizens will be that – “India has changed and that they must visit the country to see a Badla Hua India”.
Answering questions on Prime Minister Modi’s speech at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention on Tuesday, the Environment Minister in Kenya, Ms Birdi, told UNI : “I was very impressed when Mr Modi spoke about the issue of corruption because corruption is a world-wide phenomenon”.
Birdi is a former United Republican Party (URP) nominated lawmaker in Nairobi.
She said what impressed her most was Prime Minister Modi’s observation that the DBT scheme has helped the government to save a staggeringly high amount of Rs 4.9 lakh crore.
The reference was to Mr Modi’s speech that nearly 85 per cent of government money used to go wasted due to pilferage and corruption menace as was stated by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi; but the NDA regime’s initiatives and use of technology has helped curb the menace.
Mr Modi also had said that during last four-and-a-half years, the government has disbursed Rs 5,78,000 crore directly to bank accounts of beneficiaries for various schemes. The Prime Minister also had mentioned that seven crore fraudulent beneficiaries who existed only on papers but contributed immensely in nation’s infamous corruption tale. These fake claimants have been identified by his government, Mr Modi said.
The Prime Minister in his speech on Tuesday also had said that though former PM Rajiv Gandhi could identify the malady, even subsequent Congress regimes under P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh had done nothing to fight the graft menace from the Indian system of governance and welfarism.
The Kenyan politician maintained she was impressed with Modi’s observation on corruption chiefly because the government led by PM Modi has “implemented something that was required” to fight corruption.
She said in the process, a huge amount of public funds, disbursed by government for identified beneficiaries, could be saved and the money went to the genuine beneficiaries.
To another question, Ms Birdi said the Prime Minister mentioning about NRIs role to get at least five families to visit India had a positive message and intent.
“I brought four individuals on my own. They are from different families and therefore I can say I am on the right track,” she said.
Several other participants attending the PBD have said that in the image of ‘changing India’ during last four-and-a-half years, the Modi government’s fight against corruption has been impressive.
“I hail from Maharashtra, and overseas, I used to hear stories about corruption in India….even the houses earmarked for war widows were allegedly given to politicians in Mumbai (Adarsh Housing scam). That used to put us on backfoot overseas. But that image has changed today as news stories come about things getting cleaned in India and big shots facing trials,” said Neelanjan Pendherkar, now residing for last two decades in Malaysia.