Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Modi 2.0: Most balanced cabinet

By Ravi Mishra
Updated: June 22, 2019 4:03 pm

If the verdict of 2014 general election was for hope, this verdict of 2019 election is for implementation. This is a fact that no government can implement each and every idea within 5 years of period.  Between 2014-2019, Narendra Modi led government took various bold decisions so that the Indian market could compete with World’s superpowers like the US and China. And those decisions taken by Narendra Modi led government were appreciated by everyone across the globe. However, this is a fact that people have huge expectations from Prime Minister Narendra Modi this time.

PM Modi is also aware of this. And it could be easily seen in the new cabinet of BJP led NDA government. By inducting strong people like Amit Shah as Home Minister, S Jayshankar as Foreign Minister and Rajnath Singh as defence minister, PM Modi has categorically pointed out that he would not take any risk this time.

Since Amit Shah was appointed as BJP President in 2014, the party won a record number of state assembly elections. Even it formed government in the most complicated north-east region as it was known as ‘Hindi-heartland’ party.  In recently concluded Lok Sabha election, BJP won record 303 seats and formed the government on its own. Under the guidance of Amit Shah, the party which had almost little presence in Bengal won a record number of 18 seats and got almost 41 per cent vote in this Lok Sabha election. Here it is worth mentioning that this happened due to Home minister Amit Shah’s vast understanding of every state and therefore inducting him as the Home Minister is probably one of the best decisions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The induction of Former Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh as a Defence Minister is pointing out the focus of PM Modi on the defence sector. It is confirming the fact that PM wanted the most trustworthy and strong person for this job. Because there will be huge modernisation in defence sector where various deals are expected to happen in the next 5 years and therefore PM Narendra don’t want any unnecessary controversy like happened before in Rafale deal.  It is also true that India is pushing itself to become self-dependent in this sector through ‘Make in India’. So defence will be the biggest priority for India in future.

One of the surprises in the formation of the new cabinet is the induction of former foreign secretary, S Jaishankar who is the new minister of external affairs. This surprise pick by  Narendra Modi led government is somewhere emphasizing the fact that the Prime Minister is really concerned about the ongoing global turmoil and He needed someone with a clear understanding of the US and China. And it is said that Dr S Jaishankar is the most competent person. He is the expert of both countries.  It is important to mention that in 2018, Tata group appointed Dr S Jaishankar as the president of its global corporate affairs. So it is clear that Jaishankar will help this government to fight against ongoing trade war between the US & China and the US’s sanction on Iran which has destabilised the world’s energy market and also created a geopolitical problem for India.

Job creation is not a new issue. It is from the beginning because of  unprecedented growth in population. But this is also true that almost 50 per cent of the population is under 25. Therefore the demand for jobs has increased more in the last 10 years. In this regard, it is vital to mention that in a country like India whose population is 130 crore, it is almost impossible to provide jobs in government sector.  Hence, Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) and self-employment through Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) would be the only solution to tackle this issue. It cannot be gainsaid that this government in its previous five year tenure tried its best to skill the unskilled workforces, So that they themselves could create their livelihood with the help of the government’s loan. If one looks at China, the number of SMEs is 44 million there, which create 60 per cent of GDP, and provide nearly 80% of urban jobs. In China, small and medium enterprises create nearly 65% of the original invention of the whole country.

Seeing this issue, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) has been given to the most performing minister Nitin Gadkari who has demonstrated his capability by constructing a record 31.87 kilometres per day average of the national highway. Having said that, the decision of PM Modi to give this ministry to Nitin Gadkari is the best decision and he is capable in turning around this sector which will be the most important for Narendra Modi government in next five years.

The new cabinet formation also shows that Narendra Modi is very concerned about the farmers. Therefore, this time he has taken a bold step and Inducted Narendra Singh Tomar as both minister of Rural Development and Minister of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare. Narendra Modi has understood from his previous tenure that Rural development is a subsidiary of Agriculture sector. This is also accurate that there are many initiatives in Rural development which is essential for the agriculture sector. The biggest challenge of the present government would be to provide employment in rural areas. And this will be possible only through the agro-based economy and maximum start-ups in rural India.

It’s worth mentioning that after the formation of the new cabinet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first meeting approved a number of schemes aimed at the rural sector and traders. It cleared the extension of benefits of the PM Kisan scheme to all landholding farmers, providing them Rs 6,000 per year.

The fact of the matter is that the next five years will be most challenging for the PM Narendra Modi & co, but the cabinet formation shows that he is prepared for that.

By Ravi Mishra

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