One year is just 20% of the total stretch, so it’s too early to judge the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government on substantial issues. It takes one year just to lay the foundations for growth and create blue prints for governance, to diagnose the various problems afflicting the country. It is only in the second year that the benefits begin to show. So, isn’t it madness to expect results within the first year? India cannot catapult into high growth in just 365 days!
Congress, a party that governed India for over five decades and still couldn’t make a difference, is on a confrontational path. Leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Manish Tiwary are relentlessly discrediting the Government and its policies on TV shows. Healthy criticism has given way to hostile attacks and according to them, the Modi Government gets zero out of ten… It’s a wonder Congress didn’t get into negative marking.
But this is not about the Congress party and its desperate attempts. This is about measuring the performance of the NDA Government under Narendra Modi; this is about analysing his achievements and failures.
Constitution is my bible, welfare for all my only prayer!
During the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the popular sentiment among people was that of fear. There was a perception of threat propagated by the Congress that if the BJP came to power, there would be a deliberate attempt to divide the society on religious lines. The minorities feared crackdown and exclusion. Nothing of that sort happened. He did not commit the deeds that many had predicted.
In fact, Modi has denounced all communal activities and has repeatedly said that the constitution is the only holy book and welfare for all the only prayer. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a clear message for the religious bigots: the government will not allow any religious group to incite hatred, overtly or covertly. The PM also warned right-wing fringe elements like Sakshi Maharaj and Yogi Adityanath, saying there is no place for people who incite violence and hatred.
In a society with over 1.2 billion people, there are bound to be incidents of violence based on religion, but these are just unacceptable aberrations. It is not a norm.
Building a woefully under-developed economy – a legacy of the Congress!
India’s macroeconomic muscle has enhanced over the past year. Inflation is under control and the investor confidence and transparency have been accomplished with the successful completion of auction of coal blocks and spectrum, raking in over Rs 3 lakh crore for the Centre and States. India’s growth rate could potentially outshine China this year and if things move as planned, India could be riding a 7.4% growth rate.
The Organisation for Economic Development has clearly stated that India is snapping at China’s heels and by 2016, could be at par with the Chinese. Of course, for that to happen, India must take courageous economic steps -building world-class transport systems, restructuring the power sector, improving connectivity, making land available for setting up manufacturing facilities, reforming tax laws, and making labour laws more industry friendly.
India’s economy was destined for a complete meltdown in the UPA regime. Today, it headed towards the eight percent growth, a development that could equip Narendra Modi with the thrust he requires to trigger more reforms.
Come, make in India!
Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, aimed at making India a manufacturing hub, is already witnessing a large inflow of capital. High growth and creation of jobs are the direct benefits India’s young population can derive. It is ambitious and rewarding. The Government is already working on facilitating ‘Make in India’ through Single-window clearances, minimal procedures & cutting out of any red-tapism!
Modi’s external affairs!
This is one area where Prime Minister Modi faced heavy criticism. He was accused of wasting tax payers’ money and focussing more on the international, rather than the domestic. The argument couldn’t be more flawed!
Narendra Modi has taken to foreign policy like duck to water. He galvanised the Indian Diaspora, hung out with world leaders and the selfie generation and came back home with goodies that promises a turnaround of the Indian economy. How?
The United States announced 4 billion dollars in investment and lending deals. US investors have pledged to pump in 41 billion dollars. Modi successfully broke the nuclear deal logjam and evoked interest to help develop smart cities – Allahabad, Ajmer, and Vizag.
Japan committed 35 billion dollars in public and private investment. France has entered into historic deal with India where 36 Rafale fighter planes will add muscle to the Indian Air Force.
China and India have signed 26 deals worth 22 billion dollars and for the first time in decades, China was forced to acknowledge India’s complaints with regard to border dispute.
Modi paid special attention to immediate neighbours who were for long ignored. His visit to Nepal was the first by an Indian PM in 17 years. The approval of the 41-year-old India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement provides a template for settling contentious issues. Modi also consolidated ties with Russia, Germany, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and South Korea.
The Indian army, under the NDA Government, has played a crucial role in saving human lives on foreign shores. 3,500 Indians trapped in Yemen were daringly rescued and brought back home. 26 countries sought India’s help in various evacuation efforts involving multiple countries.
Nepal’s earthquake brought out the big brother in India and it wasted no time in conducting relief and rescue operations. An army of doctors, engineers and other personnel were deployed on the ground in Nepal to help restore normalcy.
There is no policy paralysis, no big-ticket corruption scandal, the Government is decisive and there is a radical shift from everything that happened in the UPA regime. We are not seeing any backlog of decisions, Long term investment is lining up and the global profile of India has changed.
Aimed at widening the process of financial inclusion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has initiated various schemes – The “Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana” (accident insurance), “Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana” (life insurance) and “Atal Pension Yojana”. Prior to this, nearly 80-90 per cent of the Indians had no insurance or pension schemes.
Due to the ‘Jan Dhan Yojna’, close to 95 per cent of the country’s population now have a bank account. Nearly 120 million bank accounts are now getting direct subsidy for gas cylinders.
The immediate challenge lies in dealing with the agrarian crisis with concerns of less than normal monsoon and the damage done by unseasonal rains in February-March. Through the Land Acquisition Bill, the Government is trying to change the fortunes of the famers but the opposition in Rajya Sabha is playing spoilsport. Unless there is consensus on the issue of farmers, suicides will continue to take place.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has relentlessly implored the Congress to help pass the bill so that the benefits can reach the farmers at the earliest, but to no avail. Still reeling from the painful defeat in the elections, Congress has so far failed to act in the interest of India.
….. The NDA government has also given more autonomy to the States to design their own local schemes, welfare programmes etc. There is more independence to take decisions without seeking Government’s approval.
Modi deserves credit for what has overall been a good year. There are four more years to go and judging by the speed at which reforms are being framed and executed, India could soon find itself rubbing shoulders with global giants!