Tuesday, 10 December 2019

NaMo YET TO HAPPEN!

Updated: May 29, 2015 11:46 pm

One year of NDA government is over and the performance bell of Modi government is ringing loud. The sweet dream of Achche Din is yet to be realised for the common man. Narendra Modi as leader has become more prominent in Indian politics and to some extent in international arena. But the performance of the government as a whole is yet to fulfil the so-called ‘huge expectations’. The BJP is a cadre-based party and it is very important to take care of the ideological family, which is also waiting to happen. But yes the government has adhered to the ideological moorings of the party. Rising price of essential commodities is still a nightmare that is haunting the government. Reforms that were expected in different fields from this government are still in pipeline. Let the social media shout loudly for the Big Modi, but majority sections are yet to happen. For the first time, the Congress played a decisive role as an Opposition party and their message to the government is clear that ‘Modi means business’ was a political stunt. Here, let me emphasise the fact that central to our idea of India is the affirmation of its diversity. The bedrock of the Indian republic is the promise that all its citizens can find space, in which they live freely, confident that all their basic necessities will be taken care of, and they will be equally protected by the law of the land. When Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister last year, the pseudo-secular brigade expressed grave worries that this new government would be driven by another idea of India, an idea of majoritarian domination, which is alien to the social and political philosophy on which this country was built and consolidated. They feared that what this other idea of India could lead to is riots, polarisation, the pulling back of the state from public expenditure on health, education and nutrition in favour of large subsidies to the private sector, weakening of labour and the theft of natural resources in the name of development. But after one year, they have been proven thoroughly incorrect and this is substantiated by PM Modi’s total commitment to all-round development of the country. His commitment can be gauged by the fact that during the last one year, he never took a leave from his work. In fact, after his return from the recent foreign visit to three countries on May 19th evening, he attended the high-level core group meeting of the ministers next day at 8 am. It cannot be gainsaid that under his stewardship, India seems to be better integrated with the world and is slowly earning confidence of international investors as a favoured investment destination. Already there has been 40 per cent increase in FDI in the country after the Modi government came to power. Once Modi’s visits start translating into investment, the country would witness unprecedented successes. Modi knows things are not easy. The states that failed to work on creating better infrastructures may fail to attract investment in the short run. This explains why Maharashtra and Gujarat scored in his recent visit to China. Furthermore, in the first year of the government, the macro indicator has turned green, growth-inflation mix improved, the current account deficit is in check, which is a result of good policies, and one of the major gains is on the inflation front, which has eased. The government has also fast-tracked the decision-making process, improved ease of doing business, energised bureaucracy and taken some steps to raise growth potential of the economy.

In fact, during the last one year, Modi has presented himself not just as the head of the government at the centre, but as a motivational political leader of the government who was constantly seeking to inject self-confidence and inner belief among people at large. No surprise, a government that has been dubbed by critics to be working for the corporate, has a brilliant track record of working for the poor. For the first time, the government has launched many innovative schemes. These would provide some form of social security to the poor at a very reasonable cost and thus the government sent an impression that the government cares for the poor. The Modi government eased the compensation norms for famers by reducing the clause of 50 per cent crop loss to 33 per cent and enhanced compensation by one and a half times for loss of crop due to bad weather. However, there are many things the government needs to do. As for example it has to come clean on the promises it made to people on the issue of retrieving black-money, providing employment to youths and bring in a system that would make winning or losing justifiable. During 2014-15, Gross Domestic Product, despite best efforts by the government, could reach at only 5.6 per cent. Although a section of media and intelligentsia, based on their sample surveys, paints the Modi government’s achievements to be a mirage, it is a matter of serious debate whether the common man is happy with the government or not. For, prices of essential commodities are hitting through the roof, and that of petro products are continuously rising; youths seems to be disenchanted as there is no employment opportunities for them. But one cannot deny the fact that Modi has taken several initiatives, the outcomes of which will be seen only in the medium-to-long term. Initiatives such as developing affordable residential projects, robust infrastructure, financial inclusion of the low income segment into the banking sector, etc., are important initiatives but require time to fructify. Hence, critical evaluation of success at this stage may be premature.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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