Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to modernize the world’s largest democracy with the building of factories, bank networks and toilets and the abolition of the planning commission that has guided the economy for more than 60 years, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
In his first Independence Day speech at the 17th-century Red Fort in New Delhi, Modi called on the world to invest in the country’s manufacturing asector and training of its workforce. “We have the skills, we have the strength, we have the people,” he said.
Modi lamented female feticide, violence against women and the unsanitary practice of defecating in the open in a country where fewer than half of the inhabitants use toilets, and pledged sanitation for all in 10 years, the report said.
He also announced a program to bring bank accounts to all Indians and another scheme aimed at teaching people technical and entrepreneurial skills so that they could find jobs and help build the country.
The Planning Commission, which used to publish five-year plans for the economy, would be replaced by a new institution that gave more weight to India’s 29 states, he said.
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