Will keep inflation in check, stay away from populism: Modi

New Delhi, Vowing to keep inflation under control, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he has tried to stay away from populism which the past regimes practiced to get recognition while "emptying the exchequer".

Giving the 'reform, perform and transform' slogan in his third Independence Day address, Modi said the government has to be sensitive, responsible, accountable, transparent and efficient to complete the journey from 'Swarajya' (self-governance) to 'Suraj' (good overnance).

"It has been a tradition in this country for governments to make populist announcements and emptying the exchequer to get recognition. I have tried to stay away from resorting to this kind of populism," he said from the ramparts of the Red Fort. 

He said he wishes to focus not on the work done by the government, but on its work-culture.

Stating that his government's moto was transparent and accountable good governance, he said steps are being taken with a view to 'reform, perform and transform'.

He cited online registration in major hospitals, promptness in income tax refunds, speeding up of the process of passport delivery, faster company registrations, and ending interviews for Group C and Group D positions in the government as examples of the change taking place in the country.

Stating that the speed of delivery in vital areas had increased, he said the pace of construction of rural roads has gone up from 70-75 km per day to 100 km a day.

There has been quantum jump in construction of renewable energy projects both in wind and solar energy, he said, adding that transmission lines needed to take electricity to consumption centres are being laid at 50,000-km a year speed as against 30,000-35,000 km previously.

Also, cooking gas connections have gone up by 4 crore in 60 months as against 14 crore connections released in 60 years, he said, adding that 21 crore bank accounts have been opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana, 2 crore toilets built in rural areas, and 10,000 electrified villages electrified in a short span of time.

Modi said his government has not allowed the rate of price rise to cross 6 per cent as opposed to the double digit inflation during previous government.

"We have made a lot of efforts to contain price rise," he said. "I will do all it takes to ensure that the poor man's food plate does not become expensive."

Prime Minister said the just passed legislation on Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will replace a raft of different central and state levies, will strengthen growth efforts and make economy more predictable.