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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 29th May, said the Centre is contemplating to lay optical fibre cables in all border areas to mitigate the connectivity problems faced by the defence personnel and the civilians.

“We will soon start work on extension of optical fibre cable in the border areas. The Union Cabinet had discussed the issue and sanctioned the additional fund only 10 days before,” stated Sitharaman, who flanked by Arunachal IPR Minister Bamang Felix, was addressing a press conference at Dorjee Khandu Convention Centre highlighting the achievements of the Narendra Modi Government on completion of its four years in office.

“Soon all the border areas along the Indo-China border will be connected with OFC which will greatly improve the mobile and telephone connectivity besides improvement in radio frequency,” added the Defence Minister.

She was told during a recent visit to Kibithoo, the last border village in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh, that the people of the area could not access All India Radio due to poor frequency. They could access only Chinese radio frequency and the area had poor mobile network.

Asked about the Centre’ stand on reported mining activities by China near Arunachal border, Sitharaman said, “I have to get the details of it. I too saw the report in media but I cannot comment based on that at this point of time.”

According to the Defence Minister, the country had notched up remarkable achievements during last four years under the leadership of PM Modi.

She mentioned, in a historic first India carried out surgical strike against Pakistan in 2016, fulfilled long pending demand of one rank – one pension for defence personnel, and modernization of defence forces is going on at full pace.

Highlighting the Modi Govt’s achievements during last 48 months through a power-point presentation titled “Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas” (clean intent, right development), Sitharaman said 31.51 crore Jan Dhan accounts have been opened in the country towards ensuring better life for all. She added, according to the World Bank Findex report, India accounts for 55% of new bank accounts opened globally between 2014 and 2017.

Stating that Swachh Bharat Mission has brought about a sanitation revolution in the country, she informed, over 3.6 lakh villages spread over 17 states/UTs have been declared open defecation free (ODF) villages, while 83% sanitation coverage was achieved in 2018 as against 38% in 2014.

The Govt also ensured food security for more than 80 crore people in all the 36 states and union territories of the country as against just 11 states during 2014, she said.

Under the Direct Bank Transfer (DBT) scheme, touted as the world’s largest cash transfer programme, with over 20.14 crore beneficiaries, Rs 3,65,996 crore has been directly transferred to their bank accounts under 431 schemes, thereby removing the middlemen, she informed.

Further claiming that India became ‘global growth engine’, she said India’s GDP in current prices increased by 31 per cent between 2013 and 2017 while global GDP increased by only 4 per cent.

She also highlighted the Govt’s multi-faced focus on doubling farmers’ incomes 2022 by helping them get the right price through the e-NAM platform, enhanced budgetary allocations, and its initiatives towards harnessing Yuva Shakti (youth power), among others.

She further highlighted Govt’s focus from women development to women-led development, securing women against violence, and initiatives taken for the development of SC/ST communities.