Agenda 2019: Modi Hai To Mumkin Hai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has demonstrated during the last five years his indefatigability by literally working round the clock. Not only has he proved to be a quick learner, adapting easily to foreign policy, economic and strategic issues, his clarity and determination have facilitated quick decisions making even in complicated matters. On policy issues, he sits for hours together with his team, Ministers and officers of various departments of the Government and takes decision in relation to important matters. He sets targets only to beat them. His image as a doer is now recognised by most Indians. Many India observers across the world have marvelled with India’s pace of taking decisions and implementing them. The BJP, therefore, has chosen an effective slogan for the forthcoming elections “Modi Hai to Mumkin Hai” – ‘Modi makes it possible’.
Some of the important landmarks in this direction could be summed up below:
- For the first time in history, for five years in a row, India has been the fastest growing major economy in the world – a ‘sweet spot’ in the global economy.
- For the last five years, neither direct nor indirect tax rates were increased. On the contrary, they were reduced. Those with a net income of upto rupees five lakhs have been exempted from income-tax. Before every meeting of the GST Council, the nation speculates as to which taxes are going to be reduced. Small businesses upto a turnover of Rs.40 lakhs are GST exempted. Those with a turnover upto Rs.1.5 crore can pay one percent GST. Affordable housing is now taxed at one percent. While reducing the burden of taxes, the tax base has expanded and the collections have grown exponentially.
- In a period of twenty months, the smoothest implementation of the Goods and Services Tax has taken place. The Constitution amendment, the taxation laws subordinate to it, the regulations and the tariffs have all been decided unanimously by Parliament and the GST Council respectively. Nobody imagined that India would reduce the rate of taxation and increase the tax collections.
- In 2014, seven kilometres of Highways were built everyday. Today that figure is thirty kilometres per day i.e. more than ten thousand kilometres a year. India has become the largest Highway developer in the world.
- In 2014, only 38 percent rural homes were connected with sanitation. Today 99 percent rural homes are connected with sanitation.
- Ninety-one percent of all villages are connected with rural roads. The expenditure on rural roads has been increased three times.
- Fifty crore of the poorest people in India have been assured hospital treatment upto Rs. 5 lakh a year per family under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. The Scheme was implemented on 23rd September, 2018 and as of yesterday 15.27 lakh patients have been treated on a cashless basis.
- Eight crore households of the poorest BPL households are being provided with cooking gas stoves and cylinders. India’s poor have graduated from the ancient system of cooking to an ecologically friendly and a more modern system.
- All willing households (100 percent) in India have been electrified.
- About thirty-five crore bank accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana have been opened connecting every household to the banking system. This is the largest ever financial inclusion scheme in the world.
- More than sixteen crore loans under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana have been given to encourage self-employment and job creation. 54% of the beneficiaries are SC/ST/OBC/ Minorities. 72% of the beneficiaries are women.
- In 2014, India had 65 functional airports with commercial flights. Today there are 101 airports with commercial flights. This figure is likely to increase by another 50 very soon.
- Indian Railways have now entered the era of superfast 160 km per hour train and locomotives which are domestically manufactured. Very soon the dream of bullet train will be realised. The quality facilitates in rail travel have improved significantly.
- The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code (IBC) has changed the pattern of creditor-debtor relationship. It has now become possible for the creditors, banks and financial institutions to throw the defaulting management out of control and eventually realise their debts.
- The Aadhaar – the Unique Identity Number, has made it possible that the benefits given by the State to all weaker sections reach them directly and instantaneously without any pilferage.
- In addition to building rural infrastructure, farmers for 22 crops have been assured an MSP of cost plus 50%. Besides a subsidised Crop Insurance Scheme, 12 crore small and medium farmers will get an annual Rs.6000/- as an income support. As of yesterday, 2.77 crore farmers have received the first instalment.
- In addition to a Rs.75,000 crore income support to farmers, Rs.60,000 crore is being spent on MNREGA. This transmits resources to the rural economy.
- Cheap and subsidised food-grain is being provided to the extent of Rs.1.84 lakh crores. No Indian will sleep hungry.
- Every BPL family in rural India will have a house by 2022. Fifty lakh houses are built every year.
- The unorganised sector labour, including farmers will, now be entitled to Rs.3000 pension under a scheme where the Government contributes 50%. This will benefit ten crore families.
- Inflation, which was 10.4 percent during the UPA Government, is down to less than 2.5 percent today.
- The Prime Minister and the Government have shown to the world that it is possible in India to run an honest Government in India.
- For the first time in history, a 10 percent reservation for the economically weaker sections of the non-reserved categories has been given in public employment and educational institutions.
- India has demonstrated, both through the Surgical Strikes of 2016 and Air Strikes of 2019 that rather than merely dealing with terrorism within the country will not suffice. It is willing to adopt unconventional methods of attacking terror at the point of its origin.
The above are only an illustrative list of the kinds of strides India is making. Has any Government done more? It was the same Governmental machinery, the same political system, the same implementation instruments that the Government had at its disposal. It is both the motivation and the leadership which made the vital difference. It is precisely for this reason that India will witness an election where the people will get an opportunity to endorse Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, decisiveness, integrity and performance. Indeed he makes it possible.
By Arun Jaitley
(Union Finance Minister of India)