The NDA Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has completed two years in the office. It is time to review the promises it made, the priorities set and the steps that are taken to convert into performance. In this special focus we have tried to analyse the turnaround decisions taken by certain key ministries. The economy is getting stronger and the relations with the foreign countries are scripting new chapter of cooperation. There is sufficient support not only to farmers and farming but also the soldiers guarding the borders. The fundamentals are set right still there is a long way to go in achieving target…..
Both the ruling NDA and the Opposition parties have braced themselves for the war of words post May 26 when the Modi government completes two years in the office. The MPs and Ministers of NDA would visit their constituencies and interact with the people informing them about the measures and schemes instituted by the government. On the other hand, the Opposition would point to the shortcomings of the government. Both will go to the people to convey their point of views.The massive victory in Assam and in roads in states like West Bengal and Kerala wuld certainly add up to the two years celebrations of the government
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However, in the midst of this achievements and failures, the common man seems to be more interested in assessing the performance of the government to whom he had handed over the key of governance two years ago reposing full faith in the leadership. He wants to know what the government has done for his welfare and betterment. He wants to know whether the ‘achhe din’ dream kindled by Narendra Modi in the hearts of common man would be a reality in the coming years.
In view of the current global economy, the Indian economy too has been affected. There is a fall in the growth rate and this downfall has a direct bearing on all the related fields. The indifferent monsoon in these couple of years has put the government in difficulty. The setbacks in the Rajya Sabha have created hurdles for the government in its fulfillment of promises it had made to the voters. In such a situation, it would be worth seeing whatever the government did for the people, with all the honesty and transparency.
Economic stagnation has become a handy tool for the Opposition parties that are marginalised in the states also to use against the Modi government. They are also targeting the shortfalls in related fields in their battle against the government.
Deputy leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha and former Minister Anand Sharma while criticising the government said on May 13, “They have failed miserably when you look at the state of economy, loss of jobs, loss of employment, jobs are not being created and jobs are being lost in India. As per the Government's own numbers that they have created 35,000 jobs, the numbers of jobs are lost in millions; it does not require much research.”
Ignoring all criticism BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi cites socio-economic climate of hopelessness and a catastrophic spiral into economic gloom that it inherited in May 2014. “The successive governments in the past facilitated an import-driven regime to meet domestic consumption. Such a policy framework not only depleted our foreign exchange reserves but took away manufacturing and agricultural activity abroad. It is a no brain to say that when we import less, then domestic economic activity gets the fair share of new jobs and business opportunities. It, therefore, took some time to deal with a governance architecture, which simply needed drastic make-over resulting in a corruption free, efficient and a development driven executive. Reforms is a relatively slow but effective process wherein all stakeholders participate in a constructive framework of blending skills, capital and regulatory mechanisms to create jobs and businesses that propel economic prosperity. The 3 Ds of Demand, Democracy and Demography are in favour of India,” she says. The negative politcs of Opposition to halt the reforms process on the basis majority in Rajya Sabha is seen by the people. It can be proved to be advantageous for the ruling dispensation.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also connects the questions raised over the economic conditions to the global circumstances. Replying to the questions raised by Opposition members during the Budget Session he said the economy world over is in a poor state and it may be in poorer condition in the days to come. About the global recession he said nobody in the world can predict how long and in which direction the recession will continue. He said the Indian economy is the fastest growing economy in the world. He hopes Indian economy would perform better this year.
Among the many development driven initiatives the key has been the Banking sector reforms. With exceptions though, Banking sector was more or less a tool for crony capitalists and anti-national forces to loot tax payers money. Over ten lakh crore of Non-Performing Assets and bad loans exist on the books. Credit was accessible only to the selective few. For the first time in the history of Independent India the Banks are held accountable for their deeds. Wilful defaulters and corrupt bankers are on the run. The bankruptcy bill has strengthened the process of credit off take and efficient usage of taxpayers money in the banks. The Jan Dhan Yojana saw opening of over 20 crore bank accounts. Never before in the economic history would 15 million bank accounts were opened in a single day.
Smt Lekhi says the Banks have a greater role in country’s economy because they support the economy for the development of the country. Bank lendings are necessary for growth and they have to support growth. The issue of NPA is a matter of concern for the banks but the government is committed to bring the banks out of this and for this the government would fully support the banks.
Prof Ramanuj Singh, assistant professor at a Degree College in Sonbhadra District of UP while commenting on two years of Modi government, says, “There is no denying the fact that economy has improved in these two years of the Modi government. But there is a need to take more steps on job front. Jan Dhan Yojana is a good beginning.” The policies of financial inclusion like Jan Dhan and MUDRA are significant in sending positive message to the youth and rural sector.
Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed criticises Modi government’s foreign policy, especially towards Pakistan. However world over the opinion is that India has gained fame and prestige in international diplomacy under Modi government. While the larger perception is, PM Modi is successful in conveying his point of view in the United Nations for the consecutive years. Bharat’s call for reforming United Nations on the basis of texts prepared by the reforms committee is accepted by all. The unanimous acceptance of International Yoga Day is also seen as the major achievement. Bharat has acquired prominent position in multilateral forums like G-20, SAARC, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation etc. By organising the Bharat-Africa Summit, Bharat has successfully regained the confidence of African countries.
A few weeks ago, a leading Malayalam news channel posted a news regarding the health condition of Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on their Facebook page. As usual, it drew the attention and comments of many, mostly NRIs working in West Asia. Among them a comment stands out for its honesty: “Don't sensationalise the news of our Honourable Minister Sushma Swaraj, the only refuge of the hapless NRIs like me who are toiling hard abroad. I may be polar opposite to the politics of her party, but still she deserves our love and honour because of her commitment and adherence to duty.” The unprecedented missions of our Foreign Ministry to save the lives of Indian citizens from war-ridden countries make us feel safe and secure here. This story is explainatory enough for stating the mark of Modi government on the front of foreign policy.
On the economic front the Make in India Programme is seen as a successful initiative to attract foreign investment and employment generation. Meenakshi Lekhi says in this respect, “The programme seeks to transform India into a global manufacturing powerhouse.” The government has given some concessions and relaxations to accomplish its successful implementation.
The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was up 18% to $26.51 billion during January-September period in 2015. The country had witnessed FDI inflows to $28.78 billion in 2014 against $22 billion in 2013.
“FDI will grow by 40-45% in 2016 despite the global slowdown. The government has taken vast number of policy measures this year,” Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Amitabh Kant told PTI. These are certainly indicators of consolidation of baisc parametres of Indian economy. That is why even international agencies are considering India as a shining star amidst slowdown.
It would be pertinent to discuss about the initiatives and reforms in agriculture field. The crop insurance scheme and e-auction in Mandis are sure to benefit the farmers. NITI Ayog Deputy Chairman Arvind Panagariya says, “Government has done well to accord priority to rural sector as it houses 80 per cent of the population.” On condition of anonymity a source says, “The schemes like crop insurance or e-Mandi were in vogue during the UPA rule. But Modi government implemented them purging them of all the shortcomings and defects. Though the actual results of these schemes are awaited, they could be considered as better initiative to improve the status The group was discussing on the working style of Delhi government and Modi government. Hearing their arguments, one senior fellow traveller commented, “The policies of Modi government are made keeping in view their long term implementation. In the beginning people may not see any positive results, but in the long run their results will be most beneficial for common people”. While assessing the two years of NDA government perhaps these wise words are the testing parametre we should follow.