TRIPURAINFO

Seven Years of Modi Regime

VK Bahuguna

June 9, 2021, 08:35:51   

(The writer is Chairman of Centre for Resource Management and Environment)

On 26th May the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) government led by the Prime Minister Modi completed its seven years in power. For the first time since 1984 a single political party won absolute majority in 2014. The BJP won 282 seats 11 seats more than the halfway mark and along with its NDA allies won 336 seats a comfortable majority. The BJP improved its tally in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and captured 303 seats and along with NDA partners won 353 seats. However, now the Shiv Sena and Akali Dal are no longer in the NDA. The BJP on 26th May celebrated the 'service day' to mark the completion of 7 seven years of Modi government in power. This is the longest but a tumultuous period of a stable government in power. What does this 'service day' means for the common man of the country? Let us examine it from the point of an independent analyst. 

Modi government have some solid achievements during the first term which got him solid support in Uttar Pradesh and other North Indian states including West Bengal. One of the initiatives of far reaching importance which was continued from previous regime was the linking of Aadhar card to Mobile and bank accounts. One of the key decisions was to open 38.35 crore 'Jan Dhan' accounts for the poor and linking them with banking process. The digitization of government departments and banks helped in checking grass root corruption as money of more than 300 schemes is transferred directly in the accounts of the beneficiaries'. So far more than 15.5 lakh core rupees have been transferred directly in the accounts of the beneficiaries'. The government had also saved around 1.5 lakh crore rupees which otherwise would have leaked out due to corruption. The use of online tendering and purchase has reduced corruption to a large extent. 

The scheme of eradicating open defecation by sanctioning toilets which along with 'Swatch Bharat Scheme' is estimated to have prevented three lakh deaths from the water born diseases and "Ujjawala Scheme" under which a massive eight crore households were provided the gas connections really won the hearts of rural people particularly the women. Making kitchen smoke and pollution free and enjoying the luxury of a toilet at home won the hearts of women voters. It drastically cut the political base of caste based opposition parties in the Hindi heartland the scheme directly helped the most neglected sections of the society.

The poor people of the country in rural areas are exploited by the quacks and poor health facilities is the most significant factors for large scale mortality of children and women and old people. Under the new health policy the 'Ayushman Bharat' scheme under which 50 crore population will be covered is one of the largest government sponsored health programme in the world. Besides this fifteen more All India Institutes of Medical Sciences were created and 157 Medical Colleges were opened thereby increasing the medical seats by 35,000. The government also started National Digital Health Mission for telemedicine and so far more than 12 lakh people have registered for it. During corona pandemic despite criticism the government created unprecedented medical infrastructure including the vaccination production though it could have been better planned by the bureaucracy.

The government had promised housing to 2 crore slum dwellers and so far 48 lakh houses had been constructed and more than 1 crore are under construction. The Mudra schme was launched to promote the young entrepreneurs to start their own ventures and so far more than 28 crore loans worth 14.9 lakh crore rupees were sanctioned according to the figures of Finance Ministry creating 1.12 crore jobs. 

The Goods and Services tax (GST) reforms were in talk since 1999 during the then NDA government and; initiated in the UPA regime were implemented from 1st July 2017 by this government. GST is the biggest tax reforms since independence and is now paying dividend. The reform is being welcomed by all though the small businessmen resented the paper work initially but the reform process is still on. The government had ended the inspector raj by amending the labour laws which had increased the standing of the country in the world for investment potential. 

Yet another epoch making reform was making triple Talaq to Muslim women as illegal though it was opposed by the opposition but now widely accepted by the Muslim women. The one rank one pension was a long festering wound as veteran soldiers were agitating for long and it was solved in September 2015 after the government came to power in 2014. One of the best decisions taken by the Prime Minister Modi after returning to power in 2019 was to start Jal Jeevan Mission. Water is the basic need for life and agriculture as well as Industry. Out of the 18 crore households in the country now 7.50 crore houses have been provided tap water and 3.23 crore houses were covered only in the year 20-21.

Now on those promises which could not b completed. The unemployment is still around 11 thanks to covid-19 pandemic. The doubling of farmers 'income is still nowhere near the target and the situation was compounded by the stalemate caused by the farmers' agitation against the three well intentioned Acts passed by the government. It would appropriate to leave the implementation to the states and as the farmers start getting benefits the politics in the reforms will fizzle out. 

The Government must learn some lesson from the covid crisis. In the past civilizations perished for neglecting the nature. The government first must concentrate on gradual but serious systemic changes to ensure holistic long lasting reforms. This require deep thought and careful planning and focus on professionalizing the decision making process. The second is to make drastic changes in the health sector and move to universal health care like the one in Britain. A new comprehensive Act for the health sector need to be enacted so that health infrastructure is modernized, monitored and is people friendly. Third, we need to provide best education to children by substantial increase in Navodaya type schools and creating infrastructure in government schools at par with public schools. The health and education sector would need big infusion of funds and resources. Last but not the least, is to control the population of the country so that fruits of development are not neutralized. 
   (Tripurainfo)

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