FACT CHECK: PM Modi's claims made in London bogus?
IndiaToday.in has done a fact check of the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath programme at the iconic Central Hall Westminster in London yesterday. Here is a look at some of the claims made by Modi:
Narendra Modi: We are building about three times more roads than what was being constructed earlier. Today the volume of work that is being done every day is three times of what was done previously.
Fact: As per data available with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the daily highway construction was about 13 km between 2011-12 and 2013-14 (three years). In comparison, average daily highway construction during the first three years of the Modi government (2014-15 to 2016-17) was 17 km.
The Modi government came to power in May 2014. A year prior to that, 2013-14, a total of 4,216-km highway was constructed. It grew to 4,410 km in 2014-15, 6,061 km in 2016-17 and 8,142 km in 2017-18 (targeted).
The highway construction has not gone up three times as PM Modi claimed.
Narendra Modi: After forming the government, I launched a campaign to construct toilets. Can you imagine that the government could have done that? The previous government could build 5,000 toilets, Modi's would build 10,000. Would that have been enough? People got involved and the job was done.
In February this year, Union Minister for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav said that a total of six crore toilets had been built in the past four years. "Our target is to build (another) two crore toilets by the next financial year." This means the job has not yet been done.
Fact: Swachh Bharat Mission website says that 82.38 per cent households have toilets. According to a WaterAid report last year, India has the highest number of people, 732 million, without access to toilets. However, it's a fact that India has taken giant steps.
Narendra Modi: I said before India gets to know, we should call Pakistan and tell them. We were calling them since 11 am but they were scared to come on phone, at 12 we spoke to them and then told the Indian media.
Fact: A special team of commandos carried out surgical strike by crossing the Line of Control on September 29, 2016. It was said to have been carried out in response to terror strike at military camp in Uri.
Interestingly, responding to PM Modi's statement, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal today said that the claims about "surgical strike were false and baseless" adding, "Repeating a lie doesn't turn it into the truth."
However, the international community believed what India claimed in 2016 and PM Modi revealed another part of the development in London yesterday. The claim seems to be true.
100 per cent electrification
Narendra Modi: I announced from Lal Qila that we would electrify 18,000 villages where electricity had not reached. I announced from Lal Qila that I want to finish the task in 1,000 days. The target to electrify 18,000 villages are almost complete. Perhaps 150 to 175 villages are left now. The work is in progress.
Fact: According to Saubhagya data, 12.2 per cent or 44.87 lakh households have been electrified while 3.23 crore households remain to be electrified. Country's most populous state Uttar Pradesh has about 45 per cent households yet to be electrified.
Narendra Modi: Even the world's most developed nations are not so generous with maternity leave as our government in India. People in the UK will be happy to know that keeping in mind the health of a new-born child and the mother, maternity leave has been extended to 26 weeks.
Fact: In UK, women are entitled to statutory maternity leave for 52 weeks, of these first 26 weeks are ordinary maternity leave and the rest are additional maternity leave. The statutory maternity pay (SMP) is paid for 39 weeks--one gets 90 per cent of average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first six weeks, and 90 per cent of average weekly earnings or £145.18 (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.
India, however, is ahead of most countries in paid maternity leave such as Switzerland where women are entitled to 14 weeks or 98 days and get 80 per cent of their wages in the form of a daily allowance.
Narendra Modi: Without setting up any new factory (and by focusing on more efficiency and transparency), we ensured urea production went up by 20 lakh tonne.
Fact: The indigenous production of urea in 2013-14 was 227 lakh tonnes. In the next financial year 2014-15, the urea production stood at 225 lakh tonne. In April 2016, then Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers Hansraj Ahir said that for the year 2015-16, India produced a record 245 lakh tonne of indigenous urea.
From 2013-14 to 2015-16, the indigenous urea production in the country has gone up by 18 lakh tonne, close to the 20 lakh tonne claim made by the Prime Minister.