Fact checking: The claims PM Modi made in his Independence Day speech

ABP News has done a fact check of the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech.

Fact checking the claims that PM Modi made in his Independence Day speech
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PIB
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 15 Aug 2018 04:54 PM
NEW DELHI: In his last Independence Day address of the current term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the historic Red Fort showcased achievements of his government in last four years. Presenting the report card of his government in his over an hour-long speech, five crore people, he said, have been brought out of poverty in the last two years. He said the Swachh Bharat Mission had saved the lives of three lakh poor children.

Modi also claimed six crore fake beneficiaries, "who were never born", of various government welfare schemes had been knocked out. Listing measures that have brought the untaxed in the tax net, Modi said the number of income taxpayers has increased to 6.75 crore from 3.5-4 crore before 2014.

ABP News has done a fact check of the claims made by Modi during his Independence Day speech. Here is what we have found:

On eliminating bogus beneficiaries

Modi's claim: The government has eliminated middlemen and bogus beneficiaries by transferring government benefits to those who actually deserve them. This has led to the elimination of 6 crore bogus beneficiaries who previously cornered subsidised cooking gas LPG, pension, and scholarships, saving Rs 90,000 crore for the exchequer. "There were 6 crore people who were not even born, and government benefits were being taken in their name," Modi said.

Fact check: Number of bogus ration card deleted – 2,44,24,126 (2.44 crore), time period – 2014 to 2017. This enables ‘rightful targeting’ of food subsidies of about Rs. 17,500 Crore per annum. (Source: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution).
Fake LPG connections deleted: 3.56 crore such connections were identified by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). Money saved – Rs. 37,241 crore. (Sources: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas)

On Swachh Bharat Mission

Modi's claim: The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that three lakh children were saved from dying because of the government's emphasis on sanitation schemes.

Fact check: WHO report released on August 4, 2018 - It is estimated that Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) - Grameen will result in averting more than 300,000 deaths (diarrhoea and protein-energy malnutrition) between 2014 and October 2019.
Unsafe sanitation caused an estimated 199 million cases of diarrhoea annually before the start of the SBM in 2014. These have been gradually reducing, and will almost be eliminated when the universal use of safe sanitation facilities is achieved by October 2019.

On closure of shell companies

Modi's claim: Around three lakh shell companies have been shut for evading taxes. The government has strengthened actions against tax evaders.

Fact check: After demonetisation, the Registrars of Companies (RoCs) has identified 2.97 lakh companies during 2017-18 which were not filing their Financial Statements or Annual Returns for a continuous period of two or more financial years and, prima facie, were not conducting any business or in operation.

On increase in numbers of Income Tax payers

Modi's claim: The number of income taxpayers has increased to 6.75 crore from 3.5-4 crore before 2014.

Fact check: Number of income tax returns filed in 2013-14: 3,60,75,691 (3.61 crore). Number of income tax returns filed in 2016-17: 6.84 crore

On poverty

Modi's claim: In the last two years, five crore people have been lifted out of poverty.

Fact check: 44 Indians pulled out of poverty every minute, as per Brookings Report released in June 2018. Two Years (number of minutes): 10,51,200 (10 lakh minutes). So, people lifted out of poverty: 4,62,52,800 (4.62 crore).

On Naxals affected districts

Modi's claim: From 126, Left Wing Extremism is now restricted to 90 districts.

Fact check: Earlier number of Naxal-hit districts was 126, now it's 90 as per Home Ministry. Naxal affected districts: 19 in Jharkhand, 16 in Bihar, 15 in Odisha, 14 in Chhattisgarh, 8 in Telangana, 6 in Andhra Pradesh, 3 in Maharashtra, 3 in Kerala, 3 in Uttar Pradesh, 2 in Madhya Pradesh and 1 in West Bengal.

On sanction of Mudra Loan

Modi's claim: MUDRA loans have been sanctioned to more than 13 crore people, of which 4 crore people are first-time borrowers.

Fact check - Over 13.47 crore loans amounting to more than Rs. 6.37 lakh crore have been sanctioned under PMMY as on August 3, 2018, since the inception of the scheme. (Source: Ministry of Finance

On the sale of Khadi

Modi's claim: Khadi sale has been doubled.

Fact check: Sale of khadi in 2013-14 was Rs. 1081 crore while it 2017-18 it was Rs. 2196 crore. (Source: Ministry of Micro, small and medium enterprises).