- In the months of April & May 2019, General elections are going to be conducted. And hence everyone is discussing about the 5 years of Modi government.
Things that deserve applause :–
- Modi government is very active unlike the previous governments which were lethargic. This government took steps to improve the interaction between government and public. It is active in social media as well. As a result of these steps, grievance redressal and the transparency of the government have improved.
- ‘Swachh Bharat’, which was launched in 2014 highlighted the need for cleanliness. Under this mission, government constructed 10 crore toilets as of 2018 and 5 lakh villages are declared as open defecation free. Now, many people are taking steps to keep their surroundings clean.
- Modi government has brought the biggest tax reform since independence – Goods & Services Tax (GST) in July 2017. Though the GST revenue is below the estimated revenue, it is increasing. In the year 2018-19, the average gross collection has been Rs 97,555 crore as compared to Rs 89,885 crore in the previous year.
- Despite implementing biggest change of tax reform (GST), inflation was kept under control, which is not an easy task.
- Modi government has brought ‘Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC)‘ in 2016 to recover Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). This is highly successful as it helped in recovering 3 lakh crore rupees of NPAs.
- As a part of “Make in India” initiative which was launched in 2014, government took steps to improve the ease of doing business in India. It reduced a lot of paper work and removed bottlenecks in starting and maintaining businesses in India. As a consequence of this, India is ranked 77th out of 190 economies in the ‘Ease of doing business index’ – 2018. In 2014, when Modi government assumed power, India’s rank in the ease of doing business was 134. And among South Asian countries, India ranks 1st in the ease of doing business in 2018. In 2014, India’s rank was 6. As a result of improving ease of doing business, many are interested in investing and doing business in India.
- ‘Startup India – Standup India’ can be termed as successful because now India is the third largest startup base in the world only behind US & UK. Modi government encouraged startups by tax exemptions, less paperwork etc.
- Under ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana’, 12.9 crore rupees were issued as loans to people who wanted to start small or micro enterprises. Banks do not ask collateral to issue to loans under this scheme and hence it helped many.
- A lot of youngsters are being trained under ‘Skill India’ program which was launched in 2015, which aims to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022. This program is implemented under various initiatives such as ‘National Skill Development Mission’, ‘National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015’, ‘Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana’.
- ‘Digital India’, which was launched in 2015 helped in connecting 1.16 lakh village panchayats to e-government services with optical fibre. And around 40,000 village panchayats have also been provided with WiFi hotspots. In 2014, only 59 village panchayat have access to e-government services. Under ‘Digital India’ campaign, government is taking steps to increase the digital literacy rate in India.
- Investment in infrastructure has gone up to almost 3 fold in the past 4 years. Road & Rail connectivity has improved under Modi government.
- Modi government announced in 2018 that it achieved 100% village electrification through ‘Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana’ which was launched in 2015. Though many people in villages still have no electricity, power cables reached every village now. It is now easier because government did a good job in providing access to electricity to every village.
- In 2018-19 budget, government has promised to double the farmers’ income by 2022. As a part of that in the interim budget 2019, government introduced income support program for farmers under which farmers who own less than 2 hectares of land will get Rs. 6000 per annum. This is very helpful for farmers because farmers who own small plots of land do not get much profit in general.
- Modi government gave relief to middle class people by giving full tax rebate to those who are earning upto Rs. 5 lakh per annum.
- In the interim budget 2019’s speech, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said that around 10 lakh people have benefitted from ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme as of 2019. Ayushman Bharat Yojana which was launched in 2018 provided 5 lakh insurance cover to poor families.
- For the first time, people of informal sector are provided beneficial programs such as ‘Atal Pension Yojana’ (APY), ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan’ ( PMSYM).
- ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan dhan Yojana’ encouraged many people to utilize banking services. This is helping in achieving financial inclusion.
- Modi government took steps to end the discrimination of girl children by launching ‘Beti Bachao – Beti Padavo’ & Sukanya Samrudhi schemes. Though the ‘Beti bachao – Beti Padavo’ program is not fully successful, at least it worked towards ending the discrimination of child children.
- Under Modi government, India has improved it’s relations with other countries. Better relations with other countries have a lot of benefits including trade benefits and hence a plus for economy.
- NITI Ayog has replaced Planning Commission in 2015. This is very helpful for the country because it opted for bottom up approach instead of Planning Commission’s top down approach. NITI Ayog made states as members and hence upheld the democracy.
- The One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme which was pending for decades was passed by Modi government.
- India’s rank in Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) of World Economic Forum is jumped to 40th position globally as of 2017. In 2014, India’s rank was 68.
- Modi government reduced subsidies and thereby reduced the government’s expenditure. It also encouraged people to give up subsidies voluntereely.
- Under Modi government, fiscal deficit is decreased from 4.4% in 2013-14 to 3.4% in 2018-19.
Valid points of opposition :–
- Intolerance has increased in the past 5 years. Questioning religious extremism is being termed as anti-nationalistic. People who are in power are imposing their own ideologies on what is nationalism. Now theatres have to play national anthem, and people are forced to stand up while it is played.
- Hate speeches on minorities are now a common thing because of the lenient behaviour of government towards those who are opting for religious extremism. Several innocents were killed in the name of cows. We witnessed a dangerous phenomenon of mob lynching. Several incidents caused insecurity in Dalits & Muslims.
- Demonetization was implemented to retrieve back money. But the implementation was not proper and it caused suffering for common people. And it couldn’t even retrieve the black money, as 99% of the old notes were returned to banks as per RBI report. Demonetization affected people as well as businesses. As a result, GDP growth decreased and hence affected Indian economy.
- Even though the crimes on women are increasing day by day, no proper action plan has been setup to ensure the safety of women.
- Modi government couldn’t reform agricultural sector, instead it opted for band-aid solutions.
- Government couldn’t keep the promise of increasing employment opportunities.
- Education system has not improved to bridge the gap between the present education system and the industrial standards.
- Modi government has failed to reduce poverty.
- Though ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’ was started with a noble initiative of opening bank account for everyone in India, this scheme was neglected by government roughly after a year. Now there are many people who are forced to travel to nearby areas to withdraw money that was transferred to their accounts under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). And about 1/5th of the Jan dhan accounts are dormant.
- ‘Citizenship amendment bill‘ is widely criticised especially in north eastern states. The bill is now lapsed in Rajya Sabha.
- Indian startup Eco system was badly hit by Angel tax.
- Though IBC is effectively tackling the NPA’s issue, gross NPAs of the public sector banks, which stood at 4.3% at the end of 2014, is now at 14.5% by March 31, 2018. Banking fraud is also increased during the last five years. As a result of these things, Banking sector is in crisis.
- Modi government is criticised for trying to overpower Reserve Bank of India (RBI). RBI vs Government conflict made a negative impression on Modi government.
In these 5 years, Modi government has been doing well on the economic front. However, it is also facing so much criticism on it’s lenient attitude towards the majoritarian politics. The coming general elections will tell about whether the common people are happy with the Modi government or not.
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Pic Credits : Narendra Modi via Flickr under CC 2.0
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