Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the townhall in New Delhi on Wednesday. (BJP/Twitter)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged IT professionals and tech-enthusiasts to volunteer for social causes while interacting with them through video conferencing during a townhall meeting in New Delhi. Speaking with IT professionals from across the country, Modi also said the future lies in technology which should be used to develop solutions for issues facing the world's fastest growing economy.
Here are some glimpses from today's Town Hall. Always a joy to interact with energetic IT professionals from across India. They are doing exceptional work in furthering education, digital literacy, agriculture welfare and cleanliness as a part of several volunteering initiatives. pic.twitter.com/Ck4mDYYoDG— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 24, 2018
“I am seeing that India’s youngsters are leveraging the power of technology wonderfully. They are using technology not only for themselves but also for the welfare of others. I see this as a wonderful sign,” Modi said, adding that the new start-ups in the social sector will further empower the youngsters.
While speaking on the tax filing, the Prime Minister said more people under his government are paying taxes because they have faith that their money is being used properly, but pitched for a 'tax-plus one' system where citizens do a little more towards society besides honestly paying taxes.
I applaud the IT sector for institutionalising and strengthening CSR initiatives. All over India, wonderful things are happening thanks to volunteering by professionals, towards bringing a qualitative difference in the lives of others. #Self4Society pic.twitter.com/gfccvoSrkJ— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 24, 2018
"Paying tax is 'prakriti' (natural), not paying tax is 'vikriti' (deformity). But paying tax plus doing more is 'sanskriti' (culture)," he said.
According to the Finance Ministry, during 2017-18 fiscal the direct tax to GDP ratio at 5.98 per cent is the best in the last 10 years. There is a growth of more than 80 per cent in the number of returns filed in the last four financial years from 3.79 crore in FY 2013-14 (base year) to 6.85 crore in FY 2017-18.
"We have a culture where we like to only criticise business and industry. This is not a line of thought I agree with," Modi said.
Modi also touched upon the Swachh Bharat Mission, saying that by participating in campaign people are fulfilling Bapu's (Mahatma Gandhi) vision.
"On many occasions, what sarkar (government) can't do, sanskar (culture) can do. Let us make cleanliness a part of our value systems," he said as he exhorted citizens to think of 'we first' rather than 'I first'.
Modi said he wants domestic entrepreneurs to develop low cost, affordable battery and charging system to quickly charge cars run on electricity as fuel prices are going north.
India imports 83 per cent of its oil needs and a spurt in international oil prices had sent retail prices of petrol, diesel and LPG to record highs earlier this month.
(With PTI inputs)