Modi government's second anniversary: A perspective
By Neeraj Bajpai
Amid positive projections regarding India’s economic growth by United tions and intertiol rating agencies and the BJP-led NDA dispensation’s poll victory in the North-Eastern state of Assam, the rendra Modi Government marks its second anniversary in office, side-stepping critics who nurse suspicions regarding successful completion of a plethora of schemes – more than 50 launched during last two years.
A critical assessment of the Government’s performance is underway by various quarters-common man, executive, opposition parties, wizards of various disciplines for the ground reality check up on rratives of promises and deliveries. Common refrain among growth drivers is massive development will be both palpable and visual soon as they have now riveted eyes on ground for time bound implementation of plans rather than unveiling new plans.
War of perception is being waged on the government’s performance and both the ruling side law makers and army of officials say results show that it is “happening India” .Their critics are equally vociferous and dub promises of the development as mere mirage, lacing their doubts with price rise of essential commodities.
The perception is that it is a scam free government so far and if two straight droughts would not have been there, the situation would have been brighter with check on the food prices and inflation. The Government is buoyed by forecast of good monsoon this year. Many in power corridors say that the price rise of agro produce, too, would be contained with bounty of monsoon. It will give boost to the agro economy in more ways than one.
Union Fince Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the Indian economy is estimated to register 7.6% growth in 2015-16, notwithstanding contraction of global exports and two consecutive years of shortfall in monsoon. Amid weaker outlook across the globe, he said that India’s experience of strong economic growth, comfortable price situation, low Current Account Deficit (CAD), and adherence to path of fiscal recovery have projected it as an outpost of opportunity for global investors.
The United tions, too, has said India’s economy is slowly gaining momentum and it is projected to grow by 7.3 per cent this year .The World Bank situation and prospect report in its mid-2016 update envisions 7.5 per cent GDP growth in 2017. It has pointed out some delays in domestic policy reforms and enduring fragilities in the banking system. The investment demand is supported by the rising FDI, infrastructure development and public-private partnership, the report has said.
Ever since the Modi government stormed to power in 2014, a large number of schemes were launched. More than 50 schemes are underway and periodic review is being taken to take stock of the situation. Many say it is a mixed bag of success and failures but overall perception gaining currency is that barring a few disturbing statements by some MLAs and MPs and social tensions due to various reasons, the government is marching ahead with the agenda but much is to be accomplished vis-a-vis leaping ambitions of common man.
India has established good rapport across the world including with Pakistan, inked historic land boundary agreement with Bangladesh to solve border disputes, increased FDI, launched Swachch Bharat Mission, Smart cities, Aadhaar linked transactions to bridle corruption, Skill India development, Start ups and Stand up India among other schemes.
The Government hopes to get the most talked-about and stalled Goods and Services Tax Bill passed in coming Parliament session in the wake of a possible increase of its strength in the upper house of Parliament post Assam polls. Fall of oil prices in the intertiol markets, slowdown in Chi’s economy, speeded up infrastructure development, more highways and roads, building tempo of Make in India has provided ample opportunities. Many say banking system must be firmed up to tighten noose around defaulters, inspector raj is to be contained and more efficient ways be adopted for magement of water scarcity. Prime Minister rendra Modi, in his latest Maan-ki-baat on AIR, has also highlighted these factors.
Schemes being implemented include Jan Dhan Yoj, Awas Yoj, Sukaya Samridhi Yoj, Mudra Yoj, Jeev Jyoti, Atal Pension Yoj, Suraksha Beema Yoj, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yoj, Fasal Bima Yoj, Soil Health Card, Gram Seechayee Yoj, Jan Aushhadhi Yaoj, Make in India, Swachch Bharat. Other plans also comprise Digital India, Skill India, Beti Bachao Beti Padao, Gram Jyoti Yoj, Mission Indradhaush, Smart City, AMRUT Yoj, Swadesh Darshan Yoj, Uddan scheme, Gold Monetisation, Start up and stand up India, Rashtriya Gokul Mission, PAHAL, NITI ayog, mai Gange, Rea Estate Bill, Aaadhar Bill, Clean my coach scheme and Ujjwala yoja.
The focus of the present Government is on areas such as non-conventiol power generation, the country wide sanitation campaign, rural electrification. In most the departments, a plethora of plans were unveiled during last two years. Aadhaar enrolment & applications shot up to over 101.11 crores in May 2016, as against 63.22 crores in June 2014. More than 37.89 crore Aadhaar cards have been issued in the last two years.
Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yoj (PMJDY), more than 21 crore new bank accounts were opened and out of this 61 per cent were in rural areas. It has a deposit of more than Rs. 34 ,000 crore. Similarly, in PM Suraksha Bima Yoja, policies worth Rs 9.40 crore have been enrolled till last month. In the Atal pension Yoj, 20 lakh subscribers are there now after its launch in Kolkata last year .
Likewise, an amount of Rs 1,17,517.77 crore has been sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yoj, for non corporate and small businesses as on March 31, this year. Introduction of Gold Coin, tiol Infrastructure Investment fund, are other major initiatives.
Another scheme, Stand up India, was also launched to promote entrepreneurship mainly among women, SC/ST with a provision for loans upto Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 100 lakhs.
Humming beat by beat latest theme song that “India is transforming”, officials unload stacks of data to back their claims of work done during last two years, but detractors suspect that the figures might be fudged. Officials say given the growing transparency in transactions, prevalent RTI culture, hawk eyed sleuths around and various other factors leave nil scope of data manipulation.
Over 26.11 crore Bank Accounts were linked with Aadhaar till May 2016 as against 6.7 crore in June 2014. More than 19 crore Bank accounts got linked in last two years. There were over 167 crore Authentication transactions in May 2016 against 8.8 crore in June 2014. More than 158 crore Authentication transactions were effected in last two years. As many as 42 central schemes have been included under Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme.
Many big ticket plans included Crop Insurance scheme –Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yoj. It is to be implemented from Kharif Season in 2016, A sum of Rs 5,500 crore -73 per cent increase since last year, has been provided in the budget this year.
Satellite monitoring of crop damage, soil health card, Irrigation plans, Neem coated Urea, tiol agriculture market, animal husbandry improvement were some of the schemes launched in the agro sector. Now, India is number one in milk production with achievement of 137.61 million tonnes output in 2013-14 and 160 million tonnes (projected) in 2014-15. It is projected to increase by nine per cent this year. For Blue revolution, for Fisheries sector, a sum of Rs 3,000 crore has been earmarked.
In civil nuclear deal with US, much progress, official sources say, has been done. Commercial negotiations between NPCIL and Westinghouse for construction of six of the AP-1000 reactors at Mithivirdi, Gujarat, are on course for filisation this year. Long term contract for purchase of Uranium was signed with Kazakhstan in July last year and similarly long term supply contract was inked with Cada. Many deals were also signed with other countries. In foreign relations, PM himself took lead and toured across the world and inked many mutual beneficial pacts. The Home Ministry and HRD also stole the limelight for various plans. (To be continued)