'I'm looking at a figure much higher than what we had last time. A figure I have been saying is 350 because this one is about the delivery of goods and services. This one is about delivering tangibles,' Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said
Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said he is "supremely optimistic" that the BJP will retain power in the 2019 general elections.
"On 2019, I am supremely optimistic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is delivering goods and services at a scale which is unprecedented," Puri told PTI in a recent interview here.
The minister was in the city last week to attend the UN High-Level Political Forum, which is reviewing progress towards several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Puri said his party is going to do "very well" in the next Lok Sabha elections.
"I'm looking at a figure much higher than what we had last time. A figure I have been saying is 350 because this one is about delivery of goods and services. This one is about delivering tangibles," he said, referring to the number of Lok Sabha seats he is confident the party and its alliance can win.
"You contrast this with what," he said, asking what the "narrative" is "on the other side - a certain desperation to get into power?"
Puri listed India's massive urbanization programme, the number of toilets constructed under the Clean India Mission, access to health insurance and other infrastructure development undertaken in the country as he highlighted the NDA government's performance.
India hopes to complete the building of 11 million homes by 2019 in what is the world's largest affordable housing program. Puri has stressed that this new urban infrastructure will be green and resilient. He added it will be hard to comprehend that these developments would have been possible without growth or without employment generation. The Prime Minister's economic management team is also focussed on ensuring that the country's growth catapults from the current about 7.7 per cent to 10 per cent plus, he said.
Answering a question about concerns over the slow pace of job creation, Puri said there is a problem in measuring data in the informal sector. "The measurement was wrong earlier and the measurement is wrong now because you need a mechanism which captures the growth of jobs" in areas such as agriculture and construction, he said.
Puri added that in sectors such as agriculture and construction, people are often employed on a short-term basis and there is need to be able to capture this employment. "I have no doubt that in so far as the employment scenario is concerned, we can always do more things but in the short run we must know how to measure the employment generation in the informal sector," he said.
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Last Updated Jul 22, 2018, 11:22 AM IST