Achhe Din means different things to different people
Critics of Modi are not exactly happy with his performance. They wonder, “No achhe din, yet Modi’s popularity is rising; why?”
Let’s take stock of Modi Government’s accomplishments in the last 3 years.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]ny growth so far has been jobless, critics argue. But, the single most important initiative of Modi which has gone unnoticed is the Mudra loan given to over 8 crore businesses, mostly micro (like carpenters, flower vendors, etc). At just one job per loan, at least a few crore jobs have been generated, even after providing for leakages, failure of business, etc. This is no mean achievement. Since almost all these are in the informal sector, even the Government’s own statistics doesn’t capture these jobs. It is also true that people are rightly getting aspirational, longing for high paying, secure jobs, in the long run.
Huge allocations for highways to rural roads are improving road connectivity. Sagarmala and Bharatmala are moving slowly
Reaching 24X7 electricity to the remotest villages at a fast pace has made an immeasurable difference to the lives of rural poor. Reducing the cost of power through corruption-less e-auctions has made power affordable to people and industry. UDAY scheme has given a new lease of life to State Electricity Boards, tottering towards bankruptcy.
Jan Dhan Yojana, Rupay Cards, subsidised LED bulbs, free cooking gas connections to 2 crore poor families, Beti Bachao – Betin Padao, Toilets through Swachh Bharat, women as beneficiaries of Government schemes, financial aid to pregnant women, doing away with interviews for Class 3 and 4 jobs, etc are all targeted at the poor.
At least some of these schemes would have reached every poor family, and their impact on their lives will be more immense than we’d imagine.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]M[/dropcap]any initiatives for farmers such as e-Nam, mandis, neem coated urea (ensuring availability of urea to genuine farmers), low premium crop insurance etc are beneficial, but given the magnitude of the farmers’ problems, a lot more needs to be done. The Government is aware of this and is working seriously on this sector.
Indian economy is among the world’s fastest growing among the large ones
Huge allocations for highways to rural roads are improving road connectivity. Sagarmala and Bharatmala are moving slowly, and their viability appears uncertain, but they could contribute in parts. Expansion of the airports, railways, smart cities, broadband connectivity are all likely to help the nation grow faster.
Increased fillip to FDI in Defence and other high end sectors will spur growth of industry. Lower tax rates for MSMEs, improving ‘Ease of Doing Business’, self-certification of documents at application stage, Insolvency & Bankruptcy laws will all help step up entrepreneurial ventures.
Transparent e-auctions of coal and spectrum, and infrastructure development projects and other public procurement policies have minimised big ticket corruption; so, Modi has ensured his Council of Ministers are seen as fairly clean.
GST was a Vajpayee initiative, and was pushed forward by UPA, but it was Modi Government that addressed the fears of manufacturing states, and made it viable. Also, OROP was dilly-dallied by the previous Governments, but made workable by Modi Government. Though SC and EC had major differences with the Government, the differences have been almost completely ironed out amicably
India’s Foreign Policy has been fairly successful with most Asian neighbours, Africa, Iran, Middle East, Europe, Israel, Palestine, etc except with Pakistan and China, which are eternally antagonistic, and so nothing may work. At least India has stood up to muscle flexing by China, unlike the past policy of showing the other cheek. With the US under Trump, Modi’s charms will be put to test.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]hough critics see Demonetisation ( https://www.pgurus.com/demonetisation-success-or-failure/ ) as a huge flop, it has been a hit with the masses. Some of the follow-up actions and raids by ED, IT and CBI, and attachment of benami properties, have been making waves, exposing some corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, businesspersons, wheeler-dealers, hawala operators, bank officials, et al. Hot pursuit of Vijay Mallya and his ilk are also visible.
Indian economy is among the world’s fastest growing among the large ones. Reining in of inflation, control of fiscal deficit, lower interest rates, export growth, booming stock market, strengthening of Rupee, movement towards ‘less cash’ economy, huge FDI inflows, increasing tourism, are all a result of decent management of the economy. Low oil prices helped, but 2 continuous years of drought made matters more difficult. Not passing on lower crude prices to the consumer is an economically prudent move, though critics may disagree.
Dismantling of lal bhatti culture, assisting stranded Indians abroad, making buildings and infrastructure accessible to differently-abled all exhibit the sensitivity of the Government to people in distress/ difficulty.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]here are surely many areas where the results could have been far better, like Make in India, Skill India, Startup India, Standup India, Digital India, Namami Gange, education, labour and land reforms, banks’ NPA management, healthcare, control over self-seeking vigilantes, addressing the poor bench strength of the Government, timely filling in of key regulatory and management positions, etc. but at least part of the reason is the performance of State Governments.
Achhe Din means different things to different people. For the poor who live on the edges, it could be today’s livelihood and tomorrow’s hope. For the middle class, it could mean more jobs, better pay and hope to become crorepati. For the rich and businesspersons, it could mean multiplication of their wealth. For some, it means the day Modi puts Rs 15 lakhs into the bank accounts of every Indian.
By the way, for record, Modi had just said, “There’s so much of Indian money in Swiss and other foreign banks that if all this money can be brought back, everyone will get Rs. 14 lacs.
Surely, some don’t see ache din on the horizon, but, a majority believe their lives have improved vastly and hope still better days are ahead; people didn’t expect more in 3 years. They are not waiting for the Rs 14 lakhs in their accounts; they are willing to work for it.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.