Government working with more alacrity to scale new heights
By Prakash Javadekar
Works accomplished and initiatives taken in the first 50 days of the Modi 2.0 government show a clear road map and a vision for taking India to a next echelon. Pace in decision making and scale of work are unparalleled because in the 50 days, hundreds of decisions have been taken by the Union Cabinet and the government. So the message is loud and clear that it is a ‘no-nonsense’ government driven by the principle of “Less Government, More Governance’’. It also shows vision of the government to achieve definite targets set for 2022 and also for 2024 – the two landmark years. The year 2022 happens to be the 75th year of independence while 2024 is the last year of the five-year tenure for which this government has got mandate. Decisions and initiatives taken so far also conform to the BJP Sankalp Patra that envisages every section of society to become partners in the progress and opportunities.
So these 50 days have shown that the main objective of this government is to empower poor, farmers, labourers and creating employment opportunities for youths besides ensuring social security. The government of the day is here to provide excellent law and order, better ease of living for middle class, traders, more emphasis on investments, achieve new target of making India a $5 trillion economy and having more footprint in the world politics.
Now, all the 14-crore farmers will be covered in the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, in which every farmer will get Rs 6000 per annum as an aid for inputs. All farmers will be eligible for pension scheme. The main demand of farmers used to be, and remained for forty years, that they must get remunerative prices for their produce. Remunerative prices are defined by M.S. Swaminathan Committee as cost of production plus 50 per cent. The Modi government has ensured this in the last two years and 24 crops are now being given MSP which is 50 per cent more than the cost. Now, the percentage return to farmers over their cost of production is 85 per cent for Bajra, 64 per cent for Urad and 60 per cent for Tur. To ensure economies of scale for farmers, 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organisations will be setup in the next five years. Besides, there is also a renewed emphasis on the fisheries sector. All these measures will help farmers to double their income by 2022.
Another major thrust area of this government for the next five years will be “Jal Shakti” with assured potable water supply to every home. This is a humongous challenge and requires massive investment. A separate Jal Shakti Ministry has been set up to implement vision of the government. Inter-State Water Dispute Resolution Mechanism has also been revisited. A new authority is to be formed and Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, wants “Jal Shakti” to become a social and people’s movement.
For 40 crore unorganized sector workers, four codes are to be created by subsuming many labour related Acts. The thrust of this reform is to provide wage and social security. It will ensure issue of appointment letters and timely payment of wages to every worker in the unorganised sector. The employees’ and employers’ contribution for Employees State Insurance (ESI) Scheme has been reduced to give relief. For the first time, the Modi government has approved a new scheme that offers pension to small shopkeepers and traders. For the middle class, the Interim Budget had provided big tax relief as no tax is payable by any individual tax payer having income up to Rs 5 Lakh. Goods and Services Tax (GST) on home construction has also been reduced and there are many concessions announced in the Budget on loan repayment and interest subvention for home buyers.
For students, National Medical Commission Bill is a landmark decision which provides for one common entrance ‘NEET’ exam and one exit exam and also ensures fee regulation even in the private colleges.
For making India a $5-trillion economy, you need investments. The government has taken many such decisions in the first 50 days to enhance the flow of foreign and domestic investments; has revamped Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC); recapitalized public sector banks with Rs 70,000 crore; and undertaken disinvestment and closer of some sick units. The Modi government has decided to have huge investment of Rs 100 lakh crore in five years in all kinds of infrastructure — road, rail, port, airport, industrial corridors, freight corridors, Jal Marg Vikas, Udaan and Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Phase III, which will help laying good roads up to the last destinations.
India’s standing in the world has gone up considerably during the Modi regime. On the occasion of his second swearing in ceremony all BIMSTEC Leaders were present. Modiji played a lead role in G20 narrative. His visits to Maldives and Sri Lanka have reinforced India’s strong ties with them. The success of Chandrayaan-2 and plan of Gaganyan in 2022 have made India the fourth country in the world to have this space capability.
Actions against terrorism and corruption are being taken swiftly and effectively. In Jammu and Kashmir, the connection of funding to the separatist movement has been severed effectively. Separatists have been jailed and tough measures have been taken against terrorism. Winning hearts of people of Jammu and Kashmir is on the agenda. Forty thousand local representatives were elected in Panchayat Elections for the first time. In the crusade against corruption, 27 senior officers were summarily removed of the services because of corruption charges and a strong action has been initiated against their benami property as well. Concerted efforts are being made to bring back fugitives; jail has been ensured for some fugitives in the foreign countries; and deportation of many other fugitives is on cards.
For middle class, LPG rates are reduced by Rs 100 per cylinder and Consumer Rights Bill is proposed to be passed in Parliament. The International Solar Alliance is working fine and the fifth edition of International Yoga Day was also celebrated all across the world. Some 58 obsolete laws have been repealed taking the total number of repealed laws to over thousand. The ambit of the Prime Minister Scholarship Scheme under the National Defence Fund has been extended to the children of state police personnel, who were martyred during terror attacks or naxal attacks. Also many officers of Armed Forces have been given non-functional financial upgradation.
Thus, the first 50 days have shown a new promise for the people that this government will work with more alacrity and scale new heights in these five years.
(Author is Union Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change
And Information & Broadcasting)