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Modi proposes Asia-Africa Growth Corridor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday proposed an Asia-Africa growth corridor supported by Japan and India. He also said India is working with the US and Japan to support development in Africa. The move comes days after China launched its ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.

Speaking after declaring the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the African Development Bank Group open, which is being held for the first time in the country, at Mahatma Mandir here, Modi said, “India is working with Japan to support development in Africa. I recall my conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when I was in Tokyo last year. In our joint declaration, we mentioned about Asia-Africa growth corridor and proposed further conversation with our brothers and sisters of Africa.”

Modi also told the gathering of 5,000 delegates from 80 countries that he has made Africa a top priority for India’s foreign and economic policy after becoming Prime Minister. He added India is the fifth largest investor in Africa and has invested $54 billion in the continent in the last 20 years. “Africa-India trade touched $72 billion in 2014-15,” he said.

Modi also announced on the occasion that every village of India will access electricity by 2018, a year ahead of government’s own target, P.

“By next year, no village in India left without electricity, ” PM Modi said.

Narendra Modi-led NDA government came to power with the numbers of promises, including electrification of whole country ,on May 26, 2014. In mid 2014, more than 18000 villages have had no electricity. Number has come down in last three years and now only 4 thousand villages left without electricity.

“Our aim is that India must be an engine of growth as well as an example in climate friendly development in the years to come.” PM said in his inaugural speech.

More than 60 percent of India’s total power production is based on Coal and 30 percent from renewable energy like wind and solar. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set a goal to achieve 175 GW – 60 GW from wind power, 100 GW from solar power, 10 GW from biomass power and 5 GW from small hydro power- by 2022. Currently, India attains the 4th position in global wind power installed capacity.

PM highlighted the achievements of his three years rule of central government.”In the last three years, improved on all macro-economic indicators. The fiscal deficit, balance of payments deficit, and inflation are down. The GDP growth rate, foreign exchange reserves and public capital investment are up. At the same time, we have made big strides in development.”

PM emphasised how the Direct Benfit Transfer scheme (DBT) has saved the government revenue lickages.

“By paying subsidies diretly to the poor rather than indirectly through price concessions, we have achieved large fiscal savings. In cooking gas alone we have saved over 4 billion dollars in three years” PM said.

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