Snap­shot of Three Years of Modi Govern­ment

Libertatem Magazine - - Contents - Vaib­hav Sharma

The his­toric elec­toral vic­tory of NDA Govern­ment or MODI (The vic­tory in the 2014 elec­tions was un­doubt­edly as­cribed to Naren­dra Modi alone as a de­ci­sive man­date to up­root cor­rup­tion and make In­dia a devel­op­ment-ori­ented na­tion) in 2014 elec­tions was a clear sign of hopes peo­ple re­posed in him and by ex­ten­sion in the po­lit­i­cal party he rep­re­sents. The man­date was un­equiv­o­cal and un­prece­dented with a thump­ing ma­jor­ity. The last three years have seen ma­jor break­throughs and trans­for­ma­tions that seem to be game-changer for both the In­dian econ­omy as well as as­pi­ra­tions of 1.3 bil­lion In­di­ans. When the Naren­dra Modi govern­ment as­sumed of­fice, the po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment was ran­cid with mas­sive UPA cor­rup­tion scan­dals and al­le­ga­tions of mas­sive black money plagu­ing the sys­tem. Thus, an ob­jec­tive lit­mus test of the achieve­ments and lim­i­ta­tions of the present govern­ment re­mains apt to eval­u­ate the per­for­mance of the Modi govern­ment. The ar­ti­cle will pe­ruse the high­lights of ma­jor sec­tors in or­der to bring out the per­for­mance.

Agri­cul­ture Sec­tor

Agri­cul­ture is the back­bone of the In­dian econ­omy which still pro­vides em­ploy­ment to about 60% of the pop­u­la­tion, need­less to men­tion about how quin­tes­sen­tial the growth of this sec­tor is for the over­all devel­op­ment of the na­tion. The Modi govern­ment has given due em­pha­sis for the bet­ter­ment of this sec­tor. The crop in­sur­ance scheme namely Prad­han Mantri Fasal Bima Yo­jana launched in 2016 has helped achieve record pro­duc­tion in the cur­rent Kharif sea­son. It has relieved lakhs of small and mar­ginal farm­ers from the risk of crop fail­ure

Fo­cus has also been made for Direct Ben­e­fit Trans­fer (DBT) of the sub­si­dies in or­der to re­duce the leak­ages and to weed out false ben­e­fi­cia­ries. It has led to sav­ings to the tune of thou­sands of crore ru­pees for the of­fi­cial ex­che­quer be­sides en­sur­ing tar­geted de­liv­ery of the ben­e­fits.

An­other ini­tia­tive ‘Elec­tronic Na­tional Agri­cul­tural Mar­ket’ (ENAM) has led to in­sti­tu­tion­al­i­sa­tion of agri­cul­tural mar­ket in an elec­tronic for­mat to help the farm­ers de­cide the best price for their crops and the sci­en­tific prac­tices to re­alise the dream of ‘One na­tion, one mar­ket’.

Ru­ral sec­tor

The agri­cul­tural sec­tor in In­dia is mainly lim­ited to ru­ral In­dia. The con­struc­tion of the road un­der the Prad­han Mantri Gramin Sadak Yo­jana is an at­tempt to con­nect ru­ral and ur­ban In­dia. It has been go­ing on war foot­ing. The pace of the daily road devel­op­ment for the high­ways to con­nect the far flung ru­ral ar­eas with the cities has been an im­pres­sive 133 km/day from the abysmal 74 km/day un­der the UPA regime. The Prad­han Mantri Ujwala Yo­jana (PMUY) has been an­other suc­cess story for the ru­ral In­dia with more than 2 crore BPL house­holds al­ready been pro­vided LPG cylin­der gas con­nec­tions for cook­ing. It will also re­sult in im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life for mil­lions of women work­ing in toxic smoke-filled fu­el­wood kitchens. The scheme is said to have played a piv­otal role in elec­toral vic­tory in Ut­tar Pradesh for the BJP. The govern­ment has also in­creased the fi­nan­cial pen­e­tra­tion for the ru­ral ar­eas through Prad­han Mna­tri Jan Dhan Yo­jana (PMJDY) which saw an un­prece­dented 28.76 crore ben­e­fi­cia­ries at­tain­ing piv­otal fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion to the bank­ing sec­tor.

Ur­ban In­fra­struc­ture, So­cial Sec­tor

The main mis­sion of ur­ban devel­op­ment has been the ‘Smart City Mis­sion’ to de­velop 100 cities across the na­tion. It will be im­ple­mented in three phases with govern­ment pro­vid­ing essen­tial funds for es­tab­lish­ing world class in­fra­struc­ture for the cities. It will help in solv­ing the prob­lems of waste management, tran­sit sys­tem and ur­ban gov­er­nance. The cyno­sure of the present govern­ment has been the ‘Swatch Bharat Mis­sion’ which aims to mark a sea change in the garbage dis­posal habits of the peo­ple. It has been a re­sound­ing suc­cess with celebri­ties, sports­men, cabi­net min­is­ters along with the com­mon peo­ple ush­er­ing in new be­havioural changes for a cleaner na­tion. It has also cul­mi­nated in con­struc­tion of toi­lets in ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas for erad­i­cat­ing the men­ace of open defe­ca­tion. The mis­sion has borne re­sults with three states namely Hi­machal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ker­ala al­ready be­ing de­clared as Open Defe­ca­tion Free (ODF). The trust has also been given to the Beti Bachao and Beti Pad­hao Yo­jana for high­light­ing the im­por­tance of the girl child in the so­ci­ety. The govern­ment has also tried to rec­tify the prob­lems of the med­i­cal sec­tor by en­act­ing the Men­tal Health Bill, 2016 for call­ing upon the var­i­ous stake­hold­ers to ac­cept their re­spon­si­bil­ity in im­prov­ing the sec­tor. The govern­ment has also launched the In­dradanush Scheme to en­sure Uni­ver­sal Im­mu­ni­sa­tion Pro­gramme (UIP) for the com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases for the chil­dren till the age of 14 years. The In­dian Med­i­cal Sys­tems (IMS) un­der the AYUSH Min­istry is also be­ing pro­moted to boost em­ploy­ment and to pro­vide med­i­cal ac­cess to the com­mon folks. The in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ence of the PM Naren­dra Modi has been in­stru­men­tal in pro­mot­ing Yoga at the global stage. The world has come to recog­nise this cul­tural her­itage of In­dia with the United Na­tions declar­ing 21st June as the In­ter­na­tional Yoga Day. The govern­ment is also work­ing on skill devel­op­ment for the youth to in­crease em­ploy­ment. It has started var­i­ous schemes to pro­vide skill cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and vo­ca­tional train­ing to the peo­ple to in­crease their em­ploy­a­bil­ity.

Fi­nan­cial Sec­tor

To in­crease the ef­fi­ciency of this sec­tor, among other ini­tia­tives; one of the most im­por­tant is mak­ing In­dia Dig­i­tal. The Modi govern­ment has been suc­cess­ful in pro­mot­ing the ‘Dig­i­tal In­dia’ in or­der to boost the dig­i­tal ser­vices cul­ture in the na­tion. It has tried to link the pub­lic ser­vices with the Ad­haar Card of the peo­ple to de­velop na­tional data­base for im­prov­ing the qual­ity of the fa­cil­i­ties. The thrust to the Dig­i­tal In­dia is ex­pected to aid the na­tional (?) to about 1.5% of the GDP an­nu­ally. It will also curb the use of black money and the fake cur­rency to pu­trefy the sys­tem in­ter­nally. The us­age of the Uni­fied Pay­ment In­ter­face (UPI) and the new BHIM ap­pli­ca­tion for the dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions is be­ing pur­sued. Ear­lier the growth of dig­i­tal­iza­tion was slow but with the his­toric de­ci­sion of 8th Novem­ber, 2016 to de­mon­e­tise the cur­rency notes of de­nom­i­na­tions Rs.500 and Rs.1000 it led to the ex­po­nen­tial us­age of dig­i­tal means. The de­ci­sion has proved to be the sur­gi­cal strike against the hoard­ers of black money by mak­ing their un­scrupu­lous cash worth­less. The peo­ple of the na­tion sup­ported the govern­ment whole­heart­edly by suf­fer­ing in long hours of queues and dis­rup­tions in an ef­fort to purge black money. De­mon­eti­sa­tion has

pre­ceded with the In­come Dec­la­ra­tion Scheme of the govern­ment to de­clare the un­ac­counted cash by pay­ing penalty for the same. The de­mon­eti­sa­tion has proved to be most piv­otal pol­icy de­ci­sion in decades with the pub­lic and bank­ing of­fi­cials sup­port­ing the govern­ment in spite of poor management and plan­ning on part of the govern­ment. How­ever, the fight against black money has also not been able to reach a con­clu­sive des­ti­na­tion with no at­tempt be­ing made to bring back the cash stashed abroad in the for­eign banks and also the ma­jor­ity cash be­ing de­posited is con­fus­ing. There were also nu­mer­ous cases of indulgence of of­fi­cers and cor­rup­tion. The govern­ment is to be cred­ited with the pass­ing of the Goods and Ser­vice Tax (GST) law which is be­ing seen as the great­est tax re­form for the na­tion. It will re­place the present com­plex and flawed sys­tem of in­di­rect tax­a­tion with a stream­lined and trans­par­ent regime. It will also elim­i­nate the re­gional dis­par­i­ties in the tax rates and will boost the investment by in­creas­ing ac­count­abil­ity in the sys­tem. The novel regime will com­mence from 1st July, 2017 and is set to rev­o­lu­tionise the In­dian tax­a­tion sys­tem. The Jan Dhan, Ad­haar and Mo­bile (JAM) trin­ity is ex­pected to di­vert the na­tion to a path of eco­nomic pros­per­ity in the com­ing years.

Prob­lem Ar­eas

The present govern­ment has un­doubt­edly achieved tremen­dous feats in the three years of work­ing, but the same has also been dot­ted with many prob­lems which need to be cor­rected in the com­ing days. The govern­ment has not been able to de­ci­pher the mystery to the Maoist prob­lem with the re­cent days wit­ness­ing an es­ca­la­tion in the hos­til­i­ties by the in­sur­gents.

The state of Jammu and Kash­mir has also been re­port­ing un­rest for want of a per­ma­nent po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion. The govern­ment has woe­fully failed to rec­tify the re­la­tion with China. The dragon na­tion has been con­sis­tently block­ing In­dia’s mem­ber­ship to the Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group (NSG) and In­dia’s UN res­o­lu­tion on ter­ror­ism. The up­com­ing Maritime Silk Road and One Belt, One Road (OBOR) ini­tia­tive of China is de­signed to cir­cum­vent West Asia to emerge as the global su­per­power is bound to dis­turb the govern­ment in the near fu­ture.

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