On May 16th 2014, Bhartiya Janta Party-led alliance won a landslide victory in the Union elections claiming absolute majority over the ruling Congress-led UPA alliance, which was marred with allegations of corruption, runaway inflation, inability to deliver on economic and foreign policies and lack of right governance and trust of common man.
On the historic day of 26th May 2014, Shri Narendra Modi took oath as the 15th Prime Minister of India. In the runup to the elections, he had travelled more than 3,00,000 kms and presided 437 rallies. His message during the campaign ‘development for all’ struck the right chord with common man, who rested their precious vote on his ability to lead the country. After the oath, he reiterated his good governance stance by saying “The people of this country have given their verdict. This verdict says we have to make the dreams of 1.25 billion people come true. I must work hard.”
Modiji’s Cabinet, a pack of energized and highly focussed ministers, had a big task in hand to either deliver or perish as the entire country had loads of expectations from them as they were frustrated by the short comings of the previous regime. Immediately, Shri Modi declared his intentions by categorically stating to the all the government functionaries “We are not here for position, but for responsibility”.
As a keen follower of politics with indepth understanding of good governance, I would like to boldly state that the government led by Prime Minister Modi has been on its foot ever since it assumed power. They are making all efforts to live upto the expectations of the people by focussing on holistic development of India with schemes, initiative and policies related to social transformation, leveraging digital innovation, strengthening foreign policy, increasing India’s ranking in Ease of Doing Business, promoting entrepreneurship and Make in India, integrating all the regions of India especially North-East Region, which has been ignored for a long time, and many more. Two key infrastructure projects, namely Chenani-Nashri tunnel, Asia’s longest two-way tunnel connecting Jammu to Srinagar and Dhola-Sadiya bridge, built over Lohit river – a tributary of Brahmaputra links Dhola in Assam to Sadiya in Arunachal Pradesh, have been dedicated to the nation.
The government started with bang, unleashing a series of initiatives such as Swach Bharat, Jan-Dhan Yojana and Make in India. It’s still not stopped and is continuing with one scheme after another encompassing the remotest area of India. Shri Modi has a penchant for technology and understand the power of technology in integrating the nation. Hence the government has launched various schemes such under National e-governance Plan (NeGP) for effective e-governance and ensuring that for any government-related work, the accountability to deliver is well tracked and communicated. In these three years the government has strived towards leveraging the innovations in technology in bringing about social transformation. The various schemes aimed at benefitting the underprivileged and lowest strata of the society have seen immense success. Schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana-the ambitious financial inclusion scheme under which 280 million bank accounts were opened across India, has been able to connect the poorest in the remotest areas to the banking system. It is a pride to see 7.75 crore people taking a loan under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana to venture into the various avenues of entrepreneurship and become self-employed and generate employment. Similarly, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana scheme aimed at providing 5 Crore free LPG connection and subsidized cylinders to the women below poverty line has been lauded worldwide. Various schemes and initiatives in social sector that have been runaway success are (key schemes):
- Swach Bharat (Clean India)
- Make In India
- Jan Dhan Yojana
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
- Skill India
- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (Education for All)
- Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
- Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan
- Start up India and Stand up India
- Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna
With majority in hand and confidence in heart, the government has not heeded to any pressure from opposition or critics and has been able to take bold steps to control black or illegitimate money such as Demonetization of Rupees 500 and 1000 notes or rolling out of the Benami Property Act.
The government has been progressive in its stance to change the age-old practices, systems, and paradigms. Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) is befitting response to do away with all the bad practices of real estate sector being run for decades and uplift the sentiment and confidence of the buyer towards property developer. Another key example that stands out is the effort spent in getting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill ratified by individual states and setting the stage for its roll out on 1st July, 2017. Successful implementation of the GST will not only set the tone for next stage of rapid economic growth in India but will also place India in the league of developed nations who had adopted and implemented GST to their effect long back.
One of the unknown and unspoken fact that I would like to highlight is that during these three years, the NRI population has been keenly observing the progress being made in India and the opportunities galore that are opening up, the ultra-modern infrastructure and facilities coming up even in small town. Many expats have left their work abroad to come back to India. On 23rd May, 2017, Dr. Harshvardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences stated that more than 1000 Indian scientist have left their work in foreign countries and come back to work in India and serve the nation. This is an unprecedented development in the history of India, which has seen decades of brain drain.
In these three years, India has established itself as a force-to-reckon with internationally. India has cemented its relations with all the G7 nations and this has resulted in an increase in trade with the G7 group. India has strengthened its foot holding in SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) by launching the one-of-its kind SAARC satellite at its own cost. For the first time, India has assumed cordial and friendly relations with all the Middle East nations, which has helped India in earning key infrastructure projects in the region and signing various treaties. This alliance has also helped in passing a message to Pakistan who has historically considered Middle East countries as their biggest allies. Recently, while inaugurating the South African Development bank forum, PM Modi declared that ‘Africa is our top priority in foreign, economic policy matters’ to affirm to all the African nations that India is their key partner in development.
Modi government’s foreign policies have been friendly yet assertive to the extent of passing a clear message to the world that India is a friendly nation which offers immense opportunities to do business but can still raise its voice and put the foot down if dealing is unfair or exploitative as in the case of India raising a stern objection to OBOR and CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), which would have dealt a severe blow to India’s internal security. Similarly, the government has provided ideal backing to the army on the issues of internal security and dealing with extremism in Kashmir and Naxal-affected areas. It is for the first time that the people of India heard the word ‘surgical strike’, when Indian soldiers crossed over the LOC and destroyed terrorist camps setup there. The army has not been a mute spectators to Pakistan’s misdemeanours but has been retaliating, sometime proactively by destroying bunker across the border. This has been possible only by the affirmative stand that government has taken.
When the Modi government assumed power, they promised ‘Acche Din’ for all within the current tenure. On this, I would like to highlight that to pass a verdict that we are seeing good days might not be right at this stage, however, I can proudly say that India has seen the transformation it was waiting for a long time and the entire world is talking about it. I, having followed the government’s every move since day-one, am very appreciative of their effort in improving the governance and image of India across the globe.
Looking at all that the government has been doing; be it their self-initiatives or picking up and completing from where UPA regime had left, has left an indelible impression on the people’s mind that this government under the able leadership of Shri Narendra Modi is a go-getter, undeterred by challenges, has a progressive outlook, and can take bold decisions. It is rare sight in politics to see popularity and confidence of a government increasing by the day. This was clearly evident by the results of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and New Delhi, where the Modiji-led BJP won by absolute majority.
I would like to conclude by stating that it has been an excellent start and great going so far, however the job will be successfully completed once all the schemes and initiative that have been started are implemented in true spirit. If the government is able to maintain the confidence instilled by it in the heart and mind of people there is no doubt that it has a very good chance of regaining power in 2019.
CA Sunil Kumar Gupta
Business Expert, Economist, Author & Philanthropist