Speaking at the 74th Session of United Nations General Assembly, General Debate of the Second Committee, Mr. Siddharth Malik (First Secretary) put forth certain points on economic and financial development of India in recent times.
India has embarked on the journey towards achievement of Agenda 2030 adopted four years ago. India has crossed some of the initial milestones on the path charted for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). India is on the right trajectory to achieve the SDGs and implement the 2030 Agenda.
The developmental vision endorsed by the international community under the SDGs has been mirrored in India’s national development. India has crystallized the SDGs in its flagship programs launched in the last five years. India’s efforts in implementing the 2030 agenda will be an important contribution to our collective success.
Under the National Mission on Financial Inclusion, a record number of over 370 million new bank accounts have been opened for the poor in the last five years. India has leveraged these bank accounts with the power of a biometric identity system and mobile phone, to deliver subsidies and services. This has helped India in saving more than US$ 20 billion by checking corruption.
Under the issue of Water and Sanitation, India has successfully implemented the world’s biggest sanitation campaign within the Clean India Mission, building over 110 million toilets in just 5 years. India has launched a mass campaign across the entire country to make India free of single use plastic.
In order to comprehensively address all water-related issues and provide tap water to all households by 2024, India has recently established a new Ministry for Water Conservation and Management (Jal Shakti). India has launched the Ayushman Bharat, a cashless health insurance scheme which aims to cover more than 500 million beneficiaries and provide coverage of Rs 500,000 per family per year. Since the launch of the scheme in the last one year more than 4 million people have been benefited.
India envisions of becoming a leader in renewable energy and has introduced several new initiatives for clean and green energy. By 2022, India plans to produce 175 GW of renewable energy that will include 100 Giga-Watt of solar power. Beyond that time frame, India is working towards achieving the target of 450 Giga-watt of renewable energy. India has also installed solar panels on the roof of UN headquarters in New York.
India remains committed to fully embracing the Sendai Framework and Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in June, 2016 released the National Disaster Management Plan. Last month, India launched a Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure with a supporting Secretariat based in Delhi. The Coalition will act as a mechanism to assist countries to upgrade their capacities and practices, with regard to infrastructure development.
India has taken several steps to implement the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). India organized the COP-14 of UNCCD from 2-13 September in New Delhi, which saw adoption of an ambitious Delhi declaration. At the Conference, India decided to increase the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status from the earlier target of 21 Million Hectares to 26 Million Hectares between now and 2030.
India has introduced flagship programs such as ‘Startup India’ and ‘Digital India’. Today, India is the world's third largest start-up nation. India has the cheapest rates of data services in the world. In just last three years, the online instant payment transactions have grown from mere 100,000 to 920 million amounting to Rs 1.2 trillion in August, 2019.
The BAPA+40 Conference that took place in Buenos Aires in March 2019, resulted in adoption of an ambitious outcome document on South-South cooperation and its role in implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Here at the UN, in 2017, India established the India-UN Development Partnership Fund to work with fellow developing countries in the spirit of South-South cooperation by providing support to projects that aim to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. A sum of US$ 150 million has been committed for the next decade focusing on developmental projects in LDC, LLDC and SIDS. In just about two years, the Fund has been able to develop 38 projects in 36 partnering countries. 29 Projects are already under initiation and implementation stage with many nearing completion.
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