By Neeraj Bajpai
The Intertiol Yoga day was marked on June 21 worldwide and the Rajpath show created two Guinness Book records- largest Yoga lesson involving 35,985 participants and maximum number of tiolities ( 84) taking part in a single Yoga session. Now plans are afoot to popularise it more in coming years.
In the department of fertilisers, the highest ever urea production of 245 LMT was achieved in 2015-16 and timely supply was ensured across the country. The New Urea policy was also notified last year besides ensuring production of neem coated urea.
Officials say steps were taken to control drug prices and the drug price control order was notified two months back to fix prices of various drugs. Many incentives, like cluster development programme for the pharma sector, are being pursued in addition to concentration on the medical devices sector.
In the aviation sector, official sources say a growth of 21.6 per cent has been clocked in the air passenger traffic this year with 851.98 lakh passengers between March’15 to March’16 in comparison to previous figure of 700.84 lakh passengers. Officials say Air India has started making monthly operating profits after a gap of 10 years.
In the once scam tainted coal mines allocations, the Government officials say so far 74 coal mines have been allocated through transparent process to regulated sector power (48) and non regulated sectors like iron, steel, cement and captive power (26) both in private and public sector. The auction and allotment proceeds from 73 coal mines (31 coal blocks through auction and 42 blocks through allotment) have been estimated at more than Rs 3.44 lakh crore over the life of mine lease period. The coal sector has seen many other initiatives and production has also soared.
According to sources in the Commerce and Industry ministry, Make in India has made a mark and over two dozen thrust areas were identified and much has been accomplished. The most striking indicator of progress was the opening of key sectors like Railways, Insurance, Defence, and Medical devices. This has resulted into inflow of FDI in a big way.
FDI inflow, sources say, increased by 44 per cent from June 2014 to February 2016. During last 21 months, FDI has increased to USD 63.16 billion from USD 43.87 billion over the preceding period. Substantial investment has come in electronics, automobiles, food processing, textiles, garments, solar energy, renewable energy, construction sector etc. 100 per cent FDI was allowed under the automatic route in the rail infrastructure sector.
Other flagship programme was Start up India, launched by PM in January this year to build a strong eco system to nurture innovations and start ups. A slew of incentives were announced for new projects.
On the Infrastructure front, a network of industrial corridors is coming up. It includes Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Cheni-Bengaluru industrial corridor, Bengaluru-Mumabi Economic corridor, Amrisar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor and Cheni-Vizag industrial corridor.
The government, official sources say, has taken an initiative to connect coastal and border areas through new road network. Known as Bharatmala program, it is an umbrella scheme at an estimated cost of Rs 2,67,200 crore for development of state roads along coastal areas/ border areas, including connectivity of non-major ports; backward areas, religious and tourist destitions. Sethubharatam Pariyoja is for construction of about 1,500 major bridges and 200 road overbridges/underbridges for Rs 30,000 crore and District headquarter connectivity scheme for development of about 9,000 km newly declared highways for Rs 60,000 crore. The programme is targeted for completion by 2022.
The Centre has, similarly, started developing about 1177 km of tiol Highways and 4276 km of state roads in the left-wing extremist-affected areas as a special project with an estimated cost of about Rs 7,300 crore. Equally laudable is the special accelerated road development program for the north-eastern region. This would be of immense help to the far flung areas of the north-eastern region which always feels neglected.
On healthcare, the Modi Government started on a very positive note. Last year, the dispensation declared that it wants to make healthcare a fundamental right and ensure that its denial is punishable by law. It wants to make health a fundamental right just as the UPA government made education a fundamental right in 2009. Among other programmes that the health ministry is giving attention to include Mission Indradhanush which aims at increasing the immunization coverage to children like the hugely successful pulse polio program. (To be continued)