By Jhalak Agarwal:
One month is too short a period to evaluate anyone’s performance, especially when the person being talked about is the Prime Minister of our country. But the past one month hasn’t given us any encouraging signs for our future under him. If we take a glimpse at his performance in the last month, it seems quite disappointing. ItÂ might be too soon to judge as most of his promises like cleaning the river Ganga are a long term affair. These promises mayÂ be fulfilled in the long term but the present situation makes us doubt his abilities.
Firstly, after our country adopted liberalization, our economy has been totally based on market forces by the interplay of demand and supply. The stability of prices is not under the control of the government. While the earlier government was highly condemned for the high prices, the new government doesn’t seem any different as the rail and diesel fares have already been increased and there is speculation about the increase in the petrol and gas prices as well. Thus, even the present government has no control over the prices.
Secondly, the recent hike in the rail passenger fares by 14.2% and freight rates by 6.5% with effect from 25 June puts an additional burden on the poor and the middle class people who are already facing the brunt of high inflation. Although the BJP government believes that this is a “bitter medicine” required to revive the economy but it will prove to be really tough on the people of our country. Whole Price Index inflation because of the hike in the railway prices is likely to see a marginally larger impact as the cost of transporting goods such as coal, cement, oil, steel and food grains will rise. However, some believe that the hikes will improve the profitability of the railways and hence they are a move in the right direction. This might turn out to be false.
Another move taken by the new government to ease restrictions on sales of fruits and vegetables had no immediate impact on prices. It has given power to the farmers to directly sell fruits and vegetables anywhere they wish rather than only in state-controlled markets. But the farmers are extremely inexperienced when it comes to selling directly to the consumers. This has been done to try to eliminate middlemen at produce markets who are blamed for hoarding and stoking inflation. But these are just temporary measures and do not seem to have any long term impact. This does not seem to be an effective method to curb the prices.
One of the positive steps taken by the new Prime Minister has been the order that no MP or Minister is allowed to select their personal staff themselves anymore. This is a very encouraging step as ministers select their relatives as their personal staff and this gives rise to corruption within the government. In this way, the Prime Minister is trying to lessen the corruption in our country which is highly required at present.
It might be too soon to form an opinion about the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. It has just been a month and he still has a long way to go. Eventually, the hike in prices could lead to a revival in the economy. But the truth is that the people believe in the results. They demand that all the promises made to them before the election be converted into reality. The people voted for Mr. Narendra Modi because they believed that he will try to improve the condition of this country unlike the previous governments. They deserve the fulfillment of each and every promise. But more than his efficiency, it will depend on the capabilities of his ministry. The work of his ministry will largely impact his work as well. Therefore, only time will tell us if Mr. Narendra Modi will deliver as he has promised or not.