DOHA, June 5 - Vowing to root out corruption in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he has �faced problems� by depriving the �sweets of many� and saved over Rs 36,000 crore annually by stopping leakage and theft in government schemes.
Addressing the Indian diaspora at the end of his two-day visit to Qatar, Modi said, �We have only cleaned up the surface (on corruption) and a detailed clean-up remains.�
�We have stopped the sweets of many and in doing so, I have also faced problems. But I get the strength to face these problems from the love received from 125 crore Indians,� he said, likening criticism of the government�s action to a child getting angry on being deprived of a sweet by his mother.
Modi, who was repeatedly cheered by the Indian community members, said efforts to ensure financial transparency, discipline and efficiency have started yielding good results.
�Can you imagine? We have saved Rs 36,000 crore per year by stopping leakage and theft in various government schemes,� he said.
Modi said 1.62 crore fake ration cards have been detected and saved crores through subsidised wheat, rice, kerosene and LPG.
�Corruption has made our country hollow, eating into its vitals like termite,� he said.
In a veiled attack on the earlier Congress regimes, Modi said: �Today across the world, India�s image has been enhanced and the country is being viewed respectably. Everyone is being attracted to India. You would have noticed the change when people from other countries meet Indians.�
The Prime Minister said that despite India facing drought for two consecutive years, it has achieved 7.9 per cent GDP in the last quarter of the fiscal gone by.
�World�s economy is in doldrums and the best of the countries are also facing an economic downturn.
�(But) India is moving ahead at a fast pace despite a lot of difficulties,� he said, adding that all the credit rating agencies, World Bank and the IMF were unanimous in recognising India as the world�s fastest growing economy.
�Despite the problems, the 7.9 per cent growth is testimony to the fact that the country is moving fast,� he said. � PTI