Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a post-budget webinar on ‘Ease of Living Using Technology’. It is the fifth in a series of 12 post-budget webinars organized by the government to seek ideas and suggestions for effective implementation of the initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2023.
In his address to the gathering, the Prime Minister said that 21st century India is constantly empowering its citizens with the use of technology. He underlined that every budget in the past few years has emphasized the ease of people’s lives with the help of technology. In this year’s budget, the Prime Minister emphasized, priority is given to technology and the human touch.
Highlighting the contradictions in the priorities of the previous governments, the prime minister recalled how a certain part of the people always sought government intervention and expected it to do good for the people. However, the prime minister said that their entire lives have passed in the absence of these facilities. He also highlighted another section of people who wanted to move forward but were pulled back by the pressure and obstacles created by government intervention. The Prime Minister noted the changes that have taken place and said that the policies and their positive effects have been observed in situations where it is most needed, while simplifying life and enhancing the ease of living. He also emphasized that government intervention has decreased and citizens do not consider the government an obstacle. Instead, the prime minister said citizens see government as a catalyst where technology plays a huge role.
The Prime Minister elaborated on the role of technology in this by giving examples of One Nation One Ration card and JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile) trinity, Arogya Setu and CoWin app, railway reservation and joint service centres. With these decisions, the Prime Minister said that the Government increased the ease of living of the citizens.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the popular feeling of easy communication with the government as dialogue has become easy and people get quick solutions. He gave examples of impersonal redressal of grievances related to the income tax system. “Now there is no person between your complaints and the correction, only technology,” he said. The Prime Minister asked various departments to collectively think about using technology to solve their problems and achieve world standards. “Going a step further, we can identify areas where dialogue with the government can be further facilitated,” he added.
The Prime Minister referred to the Karmiogi mission and informed that government officials are being trained to become more civic-minded. He also emphasized the need for constant updating of the training process and pointed out that with modifications based on feedback from citizens, significant improvement can be observed. The Prime Minister proposed to create a system where feedback can be easily submitted to improve training.
The Prime Minister emphasized the equal opportunities that technology gives to everyone and said that the Government is investing a lot in technology. Along with creating a modern digital infrastructure, the government is making sure that the benefits of digital infrastructure reach everyone equally. He illustrated this by talking about the GeM portal that gives presence to small businessmen and even street vendors in government procurement. Similarly, e-NAM enables farmers to connect with buyers at different places.
Referring to 5G and artificial intelligence and their impact on industry, medicine, education and agriculture, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to set several goals. He asked about the ways in which these technologies can be applied for the welfare of ordinary citizens and focus sectors. “Can we identify 10 such problems of society that can be solved by artificial intelligence,” he said.
Giving examples of the use of technology in government, the prime minister referred to Digilocker’s services for entities where companies and organizations can store their documents and share them with government agencies. He suggested exploring ways to expand these services so that more people can benefit from them.
In the last few years, the Prime Minister informed that several significant steps have been taken to support MSMEs and emphasized the need for brainstorming and identifying the obstacles faced by MSMEs. Noting that time is money in business terms, the Prime Minister pointed to the Government’s efforts to reduce compliance costs for small businesses which will reduce time. He indicated that this is the right time to make a list of unnecessary compliances as the government has terminated more than forty thousand devices in the past.
“The lack of trust between the government and the people is the result of a slavish way of thinking,” the prime minister noted, pointing out that the government has restored the trust of citizens by decriminalizing minor offenses and becoming a loan guarantor. MSME. He also emphasized learning from best practices around the world for the work being done in other countries to build trust between government and citizens.
Highlighting the role of technology, the Prime Minister indicated that technology can help create a finished product that can help conquer the world market. He suggested that they should not be limited to the internet and digital technology. Concluding the address, the Prime Minister emphasized that the success of the budget or any government policy depends on how well it is prepared, but he also emphasized the importance of cooperation between people. He referred to India’s talented youth, skilled workforce and willingness to adopt technology in the countryside and suggested finding ways to make the most of it. You have to discuss how to get the most out of the budget,” concluded the Prime Minister.