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Haven’t Learnt Poverty from Books, I Lived it by Selling Tea on Railway Platform, Says PM Modi

Narendra Modi said constructing toilets and opening bank accounts have empowered the poor in India and have given them a sense of dignity.

News18.com

Updated:October 30, 2019, 8:35 AM IST
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Haven’t Learnt Poverty from Books, I Lived it by Selling Tea on Railway Platform, Says PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, October 29, 2019. (PTI)

Riyadh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said that he is not from any "political family", sold tea on a railway platform as part of his life journey and experienced poverty first-hand.

"My background is not that of any big political family. I have not learnt about poverty from the books but I have lived it. I have reached here by selling tea on the railway platform," said Prime Minister Modi during a question-answer session at the Addressing a session at the Future Investment Initiative 2019 in Riyadh.

Modi said India will be successful in eradicating poverty in the next few years. “My fight against poverty is by empowering poor. Poor need dignity. When a poor person says that he will himself end his poverty, then there is no greater satisfaction. All we need is to provide him with dignity and empower him," he said.

He said that constructing toilets and opening bank accounts have empowered the poor in India and have given them a sense of dignity.

As Modi sought investment from oil kingpin Saudi Arabia and other nations to boost supplies on Tuesday, he announced that India will invest a massive $100 billion in oil and gas infrastructure to meet energy needs of an economy that is being targeted to nearly double in five years.

Promising stable, predictable and transparent policy regime to catalyse foreign investments, the Prime Minister said, "India is investing heavily in oil and gas infrastructure.

He added that as much as $100 billion will be spent by 2024 to create additional oil-refining capacity, laying new pipelines and building gas import terminals.

The world's third-largest energy consumer is 83% dependent on imports to meet its oil needs and about half of its gas needs are shipped from abroad. Its per capita energy consumption is a fraction of the global average and it is now investing heavily in physical infrastructure as well as city distribution to boost availability in a growing economy.

Saudi Arabia is India's second-largest supplier of crude oil and New Delhi is keen to expand this partnership beyond the buyer-seller relationship into a strategic one with cross investments.

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