[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]ill Modi and his BJP win 2019 and return to power? Many netizens consider it as a possibility considering the improvement in economy and many other fronts. We can keep listing the achievements, which of course are many in real terms. However, if we go through the past records, can we say for sure that Modi would win again?
A Look back at history
The P V Narasimha Rao (PVN) Government did well, in fact very well considering the situation the country was in at that time. We owe our current relative prosperity to PVN. It did not win again.
The Atal Bihari Vajpayee (ABV) Government did well too. Of course the base was laid out clean and clear by PVN. Despite substantial improvement, the perceived Hindu vote bank consolidation, they lost the 2004 elections.
The Chandrababu Naidu Government did well in the then combined Andhra Pradesh and yet lost out in the subsequent election.
The Jayalalithaa Jairam (JJ) Government of 2001-2006 did reasonably well in comparison to the previous DMK Government and yet lost out.
Will all this lead us to believe that Good Governance and economic improvement that is very visible to some, are not adequate to ensure re-election? What does the electorate want or expect from their Government? The average electorates want and need some appreciable improvement and/ or some aspects of the Good Governance to make a difference to their personal life, thus giving them a feel good factor.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he elimination of corruption at High Offices does not affect the common man directly. However, the need to bribe the local Government official/ Elected representative to get their electricity connection, some certificate from Panchayat/ Corporation office does not give them a feeling that the corruption is on the wane. However, this can be easily remedied. See below.
Some actions that affect common man must be done
Quality Education: Can the Central Government not create good schools (like Kendriya Vidayalaya) all across India and provide an almost-free education (a small charge is okay)? This will ensure that even the poor can get good education without looking up to the costly but good schools to extend largesse by giving a few free seats away through the Right To Education (RTE) act. Create more supply than demand. Employ good teachers and pay them handsomely, more than what the Government staff earn considering that they are responsible for the future generations. Once everyone is provided an opportunity for good education, slowly and steadily reservation can be eliminated and merit can be the Benchmark.
Benchmark Poverty: We need a benchmark to define poverty by defining the basic needs of an average family. This Benchmark should be used to deliver welfare schemes. Currently there is no incentive/ motivation or penalty for citizens who do not try enough on their own to enhance their skills. This needs to be benchmarked too. For example if the benchmark says a minimum amount of Rs.10,000 is needed for a family of 4, the difference between the earning and Rs.10,000 can be credited to their bank account with some proviso:
Those currently aged above 40 gets the 100% of the benefit through their life.
Those between the age of 20 and 40 get 100% in first year, 95% second year, 90% third year, and so on. It is to motivate them to skill up themselves and earn more. These skills can be imparted free of cost.
For those who are yet to leave school as of now, no benefit would accrue as they are expected to compete given the quality free education and free of cost skills training. In short we should plan to eliminate the welfare schemes in about 20/ 25 years from now.
Old Age support: Most of the private and unorganized sector workers do suffer on retirement. A small support (it needs to be Benchmarked) through welfare schemes should be planned and it should be through Cash Direct transfer route. It should be separate for each individual above the age of 65.
Direct cash transfer into bank accounts: Using Aadhar and the bank accounts created using the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), this Government transferred the benefits of Gas directly into the bank account of the customer. This not only eliminated seepage in between, but also helped in reducing monitoring costs. Using the bank accounts, the JJ Government in Tamil Nadu transferred flood relief cash directly to the beneficiary which was a huge success. Can the Central government not transfer its share of welfare scheme funds directly to the deserving? If I remember correctly Rajiv Gandhi had said that only 0.15 Rupee reaches the actual beneficiary for every Rupee spent by the government. This would not only reduce the administration cost but also eliminate corruption. The administration cost would also be saved.
Encourage usage of E-Payment: With the introduction of the cash transfer, the usage of bank and debit card would have earned wider acceptance. This should be encouraged and hard cash circulation should be withdrawn in a gradual manner. If this is done black money generation and usage would become difficult.
Most of these changes will be felt directly by the voters and will resonate. The best part is that no new legislation is needed for doing these! Will doing these result in Modi winning a second mandate? Can’t say for sure but it will increase his chances by a lot!