Prime Minister Modi has laid the ground for the ‘Amrit Kaal’ and his era would be remembered for putting the country in the fast lane
The ninth anniversary of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is an occasion to celebrate the successes of statecraft passionately demonstrated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in action with visible and verifiable impacts on the ground. PM Modi has also shown that decisive mandates deliver decisive governments. Political pundits must examine the achievements of the Modi government by dropping their coloured lenses to codify the messages for all the political parties in the larger interests of the country.
Memory will certainly not fail to recall the days of 2012-14 when a maverick activist held a kangaroo court at Jantar Mantar to accuse and abuse each and everyone in politics. The Arvind Kejriwal tribe attacked the very institution of democracy by raising doubts in the minds of the people about the political class. He poured a truckload of muck on the participants of Indian democracy.
The first task of PM Modi was to restore the trust of the people in the Indian democracy. This was done in record time, as the Jantar Mantar tribe shut their shops and also joined politics. The record turnout of the voters in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections demonstrates that PM Modi has restored the trust of the people in the Indian democracy fully. Now, no one abuses Indian democracy. Taking inspiration from PM Modi, youngsters are quitting even high-paying jobs to join politics.
The greatest tribute to the nine years of PM Modi’s achievements as head of the government will be on the count of financial inclusion of over 48 crore people in the banking system of the country. The over one-third population of the country was not seen as worthy to be part of the formal economy by the Congress-led UPA government.
These 48 crore people were pushed into the informal economy and also at the risk of losing their hard-earned money to chit funds and other financial fraudsters while also being vulnerable to the moneylenders. For the economists of the Congress pedigree, these 48 crore people were not deserving of being part of the economy.
When they joined the Indian financial system on the call of PM Modi for their inclusion, they brought a whopping Rs1.90 lakh crores in deposits to the banking system. The Modi model of the economy must be studied by all, as the gains of financial inclusions were not limited to the beneficiaries of the Jan Dhan Scheme but even the banks, which have been reporting record profits while also meeting all norms of healthy banking norms.
PM Modi brought empathy for the poor, women and the people at large in his caring statecraft. He brought the policy attention to areas that were never paid attention to. His first term addressed the dignity of women in the country, who had for ages been going in the darkness for toilet needs. According to the topmost priority to making India a defecation-free country, more than 11 crore toilets have been built in the country.
By sanctioning over four crores of houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the Modi government has brought unprecedented changes for the better in the life of the people. Shelter and sanitation have been the hallmark of the Modi model of statecraft with empathy for the vulnerable sections of society. It should be examined why the Congress-led governments never thought of addressing the basic issues that concerned the well-being of the rural and the poor people.
BY ensuring sanitary napkins for Rs 1, the Modi statecraft showed that the well-being of the people is at the core of the governance. This was again seen when once in a century pandemic struck the country. PM Modi first ensured that none in the country slept hungrily. His intervention to protect the people from hunger saw the launch of the Pradhan MantriGaribKalyan Anna Yojna for 80 crore people free of cost, and 1121 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains were made available to the population so that they could meet the hardships caused by Covid-19 outbreak. Access to potable water is needed to safeguard the health of the people and save them from water-borne diseases. It will be a task for the economists to measure the savings for the people on their out-of-pocket expenses due to the expanding coverage of tap water in homes.
Har Ghar Jal (Jal Jeevan Mission) is another example of the Modi government thinking of the well-being of the people, as more than eight crore rural households with more than 40 crore people have benefitted under the programme.
Har Ghar Bijli (SaubhagyaYojana) also saw close to three crore households getting electrified under the scheme, covering over 99.9 per cent of the total households in the country. By March 2023, over nine crores of LPG connections were sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, fulfilling the promise of a ‘HarGhar Gas Cylinder’. This again bears the Modi model of economy’s concerns that the policies should think of the wellbeing of the people, as it served to protect the women from kitchen smoke. Once more the women in the country because of the policy intervention of the Modi government were protected from ailments due to exposure to kitchen smoke.
Under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), close to 41 crore loans have been sanctioned since the launch of the scheme. Also, there has been a growth of more than 200 per cent in digital payment volume during the last four years since 2018-19. UPI transactions alone have grown eight times in the last three years, which is 50 times in the last four years.
With over 41 crore people in India exiting poverty between 2005-06 and 2019-20 due to the committed efforts of the Modi government, we are today on track to eliminate extreme poverty by 2024.
If the social sector gains from the caring touch of the Modi model of governance, the economy has to lie on firm legs to run the ground full steam to attain the $5 trillion tag in the next few years and also claim the status of the fourth largest economy. The economy is making good use of the extraordinary expansion of infrastructure, spanning roads, ports, waterways and airports, which hastened the making of a well-knit Indian economy with faster movements of goods.
On the security front, the Modi government has an unparalleled track record of almost terrorism-free track record. Also, India has made its border infrastructure robust with accelerated developments in states with long border regions. North-eastern states are well-connected with all parts of India. Now, there is no reason in the country, which is without being connected with major cities in the country. This has been shown to the delegates who are taking part in several meetings of the G20 all across the country.
By committing Rs 2.50 lakh crore for the railway infrastructure, the Modi government has brought much-needed energy and capacity to the national transporter, which carries the size of the population of Australia daily. It must be underlined that the Modi Era has laid the grounds for the ‘Amrit Kaal’ for India.
(The author is a policy analyst)