Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a Post Budget Webinar on the topic of ‘Ease of Living using Technology’. This event marked the fifth of a series of 12 post-budget webinars arranged by the Indian government to receive ideas and suggestions for the efficient implementation of initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2023.
Prioritizing Technology and Human Touch
The Prime Minister spoke about how India is continually empowering its citizens with technology in the 21st century. He underlined the significance of technology in the previous budgets that aimed to make people’s lives easier. He emphasized the priority given to technology and human touch in this year’s budget.
Reduced Government Intervention and the Role of Technology
PM Modi highlighted the contradictions in priorities of past governments. One section of people always looked for government intervention and expected it to do good for the people, but they never had access to such facilities. Another section wanted to move ahead but were dragged down by pressure and obstacles created by government intervention. He emphasized that the policies and their positive effects have been observed in situations where they are most necessary while making lives simpler and enhancing the ease of living. He noted the reduction in government intervention, and citizens no longer consider the government to be an obstacle, but a catalyst where technology plays a massive role.
Role of Technology in Enhancing Ease of Living
The Prime Minister elaborated on the role of technology in enhancing ease of living by citing examples such as One Nation One Ration Card, JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile) trinity, Arogya Setu and CoWin App, railway reservation, and Common Service Centers. He noted that technology has enabled citizens to communicate with the government easily, leading to quick resolutions. He asked various departments to collectively think about using technology to solve their problems and reach global standards.
Mission Karmyogi and Training of Government Employees
PM Modi touched upon Mission Karmyogi and informed the gathering that the government employees are being trained to become more citizen-centric. He emphasized the need to keep updating the training process and highlighted that modifications based on the feedback from citizens could result in significant improvement.
Equal Opportunities Provided by Technology
The Prime Minister highlighted that technology is providing equal opportunities to everyone, and the government is investing heavily in technology. Along with creating modern digital infrastructure, the government is ensuring that the benefits of digital infrastructure reach everyone equally. He illustrated this by talking about the GeM portal that is giving a presence to small businessmen and even street vendors in government procurement. Similarly, e-NAM is allowing farmers to get linked with buyers at different places.
Deployment of 5G and AI for the Welfare of Citizens
PM Modi emphasized the need to set targets for the deployment of 5G and AI for the welfare of common citizens. He asked about the ways through which these technologies can be used to solve the problems of society, and the sectors that need to be focused on. He suggested identifying ten such problems that can be solved by AI.
Support for MSMEs
The Prime Minister informed the gathering that several significant steps have been taken to support MSMEs in the last few years. He stressed the need to brainstorm and identify the obstacles faced by MSMEs, pointing out that the government has put an end to over forty thousand compliances.
Building Trust between Government and Citizens
PM Modi remarked that the lack of trust between the government and the people is the result of a mindset of slavery. He pointed out that the government has won back the trust of citizens by decriminalizing petty offenses and becoming a loan guarantor for MSMEs. He emphasized the importance of gaining experience from best practices around the world about building trust between the government and citizens.