It’s been almost 5 months since Modi was sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India, and while a few months is too small a timeframe to judge a government which has won the mandate to rule India for 5 years, it is clear that certain decisions and policies undertaken by them are nothing short of satisfactory. The massive victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi shows a monumental shift in both the political scenario as well as in the mindset of the “aam janta”. People wanted a change. The 10 years of Congress led UPA rule made the common-people frustrated and angry at the rising corruption, scams, economic turmoil and a hundred other problems and thus left them desperate for an alternative. The alternative was found in the Modi-led BJP party with its exuberant promises of “acche din”, and also the fact that Modi used Gujarat as a blueprint for the kind of development people could expect to happen all over the nation. A man of his words, Modi has since launched quite a few policies and undertaken certain decisions which show that Modi indeed means business. Below is a list of 5 policies launched by the Modi government which proves that the “good days” might not be that far away:
1. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the government’s first big social welfare programme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, on 28th august, 2014. He gave a call for eradicating what he termed as “financial untouchability” of the poor by opening at least one bank account for every family in the country in less than six months.
This essentially means opening a whopping 7.5 crore bank accounts, the process for which was kick-started with 1.5 crore accounts – 50 lakh over the intended target, on the inaugural day. As per government figures, around 10 crore families do not have a bank account. The Jan Dhan Yojana provides for a free zero-balance bank account with a debit card, Rs 1 lakh accidental insurance policy and Rs 30,000 free medical insurance cover for those who enroll before January 26. Depending on the performance of the accounts in the first six months, banks will later extend a Rs 5,000 overdraft facility, thereby turning the debit card into a kind of credit card.
The policy aims at decreasing the discrepancy between the poor and the rich, and given the right amount of time and importance, the policy might become a game changer in the economic scenario of India.
2. ‘Clean-India’ movement: This campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself wielded a broom and cleaned the road. This campaign is India’s biggest ever cleanliness drive and 3 million government employees and students participated in this event.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs has approved the Swachh Bharat Mission for a period of five years. The urban component of the mission will be implemented in 4,041 towns. The total cost of the urban campaign will be Rs 62,009 crore, of which the union government will contribute Rs 14,620 crore and the rest will be mobilized from other sources, including non-state entities. The ministry of drinking water and sanitation will spend an amount of Rs 1.34 trillion for the construction of 111.1 million toilets across the country. The cabinet had last month also merged the ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan’, a campaign for rural sanitation, with the Swachh Bharat Mission.
3. Make in India: Make in India is an international marketing campaigning slogan coined by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on September 25, 2014 to attract businesses from around the world to invest and manufacture in India. This campaign basically gives hope to the unemployed to find a decent job, if not big jobs, as manufacturing leads to creation of lot of service sector activity. It also aims at making India a manufacturing hub and creating an economic transformation while eliminating the unnecessary laws and regulations, making bureaucratic processes easier and shorter, and thereby making the government more transparent, responsive and accountable.
4. Tackling black money: A special investigation team (SIT) headed by Justice (retired) MB Shah to unearth black money has been set up. The SIT headed by Shah, as ordered by the court, will include the revenue secretary, directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing and the Enforcement Directorate, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, and a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India. The SIT has already prepared a comprehensive action plan, including creation of an institutional structure that could enable India to fight the battle against black money.
People of India have long waited for an effective and constructive government. Narendra Modi and his cabinet have laid the foundation and the ground rules for a better and brighter India. It will take time and not everything we want this government to do will be done at the end of five years. But the most important thing is that Narendra Modi has taken an initiative and started his journey, and by the looks of it, the journey is off to a great start. A few months is a very short time to predict the work of a Government and hence, we need to be patient and provide constant support and sometime even criticism to make sure that India’s real growth story takes shape in the days to come.