100 Days Report Card: 100 Days of Modi Government
Modi’s decisions, Sensex indicate positive days ahead
Intro: In a survey done by CNN-IBN along with Today's Chanakya showed that a majority of Indians were satisfied with the NDA government's performance. A massive 66 per cent respondents said they were happy with the performance of Narendra Modi led NDA government at the Centre. Just 19 per cent said they are not satisfied with the government's performance while 8 per cent replied as don't know and 7 per cent said 'can't say'.
If Sensex, by any definition is the barometer to gauge financial health and performance of a market, then the Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s 100 days can be termed ‘good’, as the Sensex crossed 27,00 mark on September 12. It recorded its fourth-fastest 100-point gain in six years.
Probably, the market responded positive to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement from Japan on Indo-Japan relation – “Yeh Fevicol se bhi zyada mazboot jod hai” (This bond is stronger than that of Fevicol). The PM managed from Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pledge $35 billion Japanese investment over next five years for infrastructure projects including 100 smart cities and clean Ganga project in India.
Backed by industrial activity and a better agri performance, the economic growth was recorded at a rate of 5.7% in the quarter ended June – fastest in the last two-and-half years. According to the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) data, the manufacturing output was up 3.5% in the first quarter this fiscal as against a contraction of 1.2% a year ago. The farm output was up by 3.8%, which was more than expected.
India’s GDP growth in April-June 2014 was 5.7% -highest in two-and-half years—shows the revival from the sub-5% growth in last two years. As per (National Council of Applied Economic Research) NCAER, there is 13% rise in quarterly Business Confidence in June.
In his first 100 days, Modi has left no one in doubt about who calls the shots, and his measured and determined approach to governance shows that a significant change would come.
The PM’s Independence Day speech from Red Fort sounded bold reformist intent. His innovation and change have become buzzwords in power corridors. Moving towards reforms, the union budget laid special emphasis on infrastructure projects, funding norms have been eased, FDI has been liberalised and “Make in India” in the manufacturing sector has become the new mantra.
“If you work 12 hours, I will work 13. If you work 14 hours, I will work 15 hours, because I am not Pradhan Mantri (Prime Minister) I am the Pradhan Sewak (prime servant).”
“If we want to get rid of poverty, we need to get rid of financial untouchability. – (Launch of the Jan Dhan Yojana to help provide bank accounts to all Indians)”
“The mantra of our country's youth should be to at least make one product that we import. Don't compromise in manufacturing. Stress on zero defect, zero effect.”
“From ramparts of the Red Fort, I would like to call people of the world to 'come, make in India'. Come here and manufacture in India. Sell the products anywhere in the world but manufacture here. “
Modi has given a clear signal towards discipline and punctuality in running day to day affairs. In keeping with his motto-“Minimum government, maximum governance”, 17 departments and ministries have been clubbed into seven categories. With ‘no-nonsense attitude’, the PM took tough decision by calling off the foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan.
At strategic level, the Modi government has eased green norms to bring development, increase security across the border and Maoist-hit areas. Announcements have been made for construction of 80 new roads along China border, building of hospitals, and schools within 100 km of Line of Actual Control; construction of roads, police stations, schools and medical facilities in 117 ‘Red Districts’.
Giving no opportunity to the opposition to level allegations against the government’s intention of transparency, the PM has given the lokpal search a free hand to shortlist candidates for members of the watch dog.
The government showed boldness by announcing to replace the Planning Commission, with a new contemporary body. Modi’s foreign policy in these 100 days has been marked by warmth and close engagement with smaller South Asian neighbours, reconciliation followed by a tougher stance vis-à-vis Pakistan.
Modi has specifically been particular on his pre-poll promises. He opened a branch of PMO in Varanasi, announced clean Ganga project, paid special attention to North East with an outlay of Rs 53,706 crore in the budget and announced a sports university in Manipur, and Rs 100 crore for organic farming.
But, as usual no government in any country can be free from controversies or blame game. In the first 100 days, issues like Smriti Irani’s education qualification, judges’ appointment, Gopal Subramanium vs government, tussle over Leader of Opposition status and UPSC storm courted controversies. But, Modi as an astute administrator moved ahead with a missionary zeal.
“100 days of Modi Sarkar” has become a catch line for the media and the opposition to incisively analyse and criticise Narendra Modi, and thereby to judge his capabilities and efficiency as a PM. It’s needless to say that even for a common man; it takes more than 100 days to settle down properly, if one gets transferred to a new city along with his family.
So, is 100-day period enough to judge a new government, headed by a new PM, that too, when its predecessor was Congress-led UPA government that was in power for past 10 years? It’s the same decade that witnessed major scams, sky-rocketing of prices of essential commodities and inflation. To deliver positive results, the Modi-government shall have to undertake cleansing operation of the existing system similar to clean Ganga project – which is a herculean task anyway. While, time will tell what’s in store for the nation, but till then Narendra Modi has managed to get a good score in his first 100-day period – be it on domestic front or abroad.
Debobrat Ghose (The writer is a Delhi-based journalist, who writes on various national issues)