When it comes to benefitting the people of India economically and bringing India up to speed on an international platform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been nothing but an energy boost in every sector, personally visiting and monitoring every bit that helps our country to grow.
Due to the policies of the current government, India is the only trillion-dollar economy to rank among the top five fastest growing economies in the world. The $2 trillion economy is expected to clock an average annual growth of 7.73% during 2017-19, backed by strong macroeconomic fundamentals, robust domestic demand, favorable demographics, ample resources and a proactive government. To date, the Modi-led government has initiated more than 30 big reforms, breaking the era of policy paralysis, setting new trends, and boosting investor confidence.
In the last four years, the NDA has been successful in achieving what Congress could not achieve in sixty years.
INCOME TAX REFORMS
In Indian budget of financial year 2014-15, the government has raised the exemption limit of income tax from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh for all individual tax payers below 60 years. For senior citizens up to 80 years, the exemption limit has gone up from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.
Government further raised the income tax deduction limit on investments in Section 80C instruments from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh.
To revive the housing sector, the government raised housing loan interest deduction limit from Rs.1,50,000 to Rs.200,000. The government has estimated that the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme that it has expanded significantly has helped save around Rs 82,985 crore. With the number of DBT beneficiaries rising to 118.3 Crores, almost every Indian now benefits from the scheme.
The government has led a crackdown on Benami transactions leading to 2.5 Lakh shell companies being deregistered and their bank accounts frozen. The tax department has already attached Benami assets worth Rs 1,833 Crore across the country sending strict warnings to all the Benami asset holders to stay away from such transactions.
After implementation of the 7th Central Pay Commission, the ceiling of tax-free gratuity amount for the central government employees was increased from Rs 10 Lakh to Rs 20 Lakh. Employees Provident Fund related Employees Pension Scheme, being implemented from 1995, is being amended to ensure a minimum pension of Rs.1000 and also to increase the eligibility wage ceiling to Rs.15, 000 per month from the existing Rs.6500.
The Union government has unveiled an ambitious plan to infuse 2.11 lakh crore capital over the next two years into public sector banks (PSBs) that are saddled with high, non-performing assets (NPAs).
For senior citizens, the rebate on amount deposited in banks and post offices have been increased from 10,000 to 50,000. The limit of deduction under section 80D for senior citizens will be hiked from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. With medical inflation hovering around 13-15%, the increased exemption and additional critical illness exemption will incentivize senior citizens to get sufficient medical coverage to tackle the growing medical expense burden.
Loans to Self Help Groups (SHGs), increased to 42,500 in 2016-17 and is projected to reach 75,000 crore. Self-help groups, also known as mutual help, mutual aid, or support groups, are groups of people who provide mutual support for each other. In a self-help group, the members share a common problem, often a common disease or addiction.
Schemes directly reaching and benefitting people
Construction of houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Gramin have registered nearly 200% jump in last four years. In the financial year 2014-15, a total of 11.91 Lakh houses were completed. As of March 21, 2018, 34.00 Lakh houses have been constructed under PMAY-G.
As informed by banks, as on 28 February 2018, 31.20 Crore accounts have been opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) with aggregate deposit balances Rs. 75,572.09 Crore. Moreover, Jan-Dhan accounts do not have any requirement of maintaining minimum balance.
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana is available to people between 18 and 50 years of age with bank accounts. It has an annual premium of Rs. 330 (US$5.10). The GST is exempted on Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana. The amount will be automatically debited from the account. In case of death due to any cause, the payment to the nominee will be Rs. 2 lakh. As on May 8, 2017, nearly 3.11 crore people had enrolled under PMJJBY, and the total number of claims received till date were nearly 65,083.
Under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, the risk coverage available is Rs 2 Lakh for accidental death and permanent total disability, and Rs 1 Lakh for permanent partial disability. Permanent total disability is defined as total and irrecoverable loss of both eyes or loss of use of both hands or feet or loss of eyesight and loss of use of a hand or a foot. The premium payable is Rs 12 per annum per member and will be deducted from his bank account through an ‘auto debit’ facility in one installment on or before June 1 every year.
Atal Pension Yojna and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna are yet another long term saving plans launched by the government in 2015-16. APY addresses the longevity risks among the workers in unorganized sector and to encourage the workers in unorganized sector to voluntarily save for their retirement, who constitute 88% of the total labor force of 47.29 Crore as per the 66th Round of NSSO Survey of 2011-12.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a small deposit scheme of the Government of India meant exclusively for a girl child and is launched as a part of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign. The scheme encourages parents to build a fund for the future education and marriage expenses for their female child. The account can be opened anytime between the birth of a girl child and the time she attains 10 years of age by the guardian. Interest rates have been revised for FY 2016-17 to 8.6%. The accounts can be opened at any India Post office or a branch of some authorized commercial banks.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was quoted saying that nine crore new LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections have been distributed in the last four years, including 3.5 crore connections provided under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
In March 2015, the Parliament passed the amendments and finally, legalized the use of electric rickshaws. This boosted the income and morals of manual rickshaw pullers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself attended several events where e-rickshaws have been distributed.
Promoting cashless transactions to curb corruption has seen an actual boost in the country. Spurred by demonetization and ‘Digital India’ initiatives, the number of PoS terminals in India nearly doubled in a year to three million or 30 lakh pieces in November 2017 from 15.12 Lakh pieces a year ago. Right from vegetable vendors to big shot retailers are using mobile applications like PayTM, Tez and BHIM among others.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna – PMMY is a scheme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on April 8, 2015 for providing loans upto Rs 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, MFIs and NBFCs. The borrower can approach any of the lending institutions mentioned above or can apply online through this portal. Under the aegis of PMMY, MUDRA has created three products namely ‘Shishu’ (upto 50,000), ‘Kishore’ (from 50,000 to 5 lakh) and ‘Tarun’ (5 Lakhsto 10 Lakhs) to signify the stage of growth / development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit. No guaranteer or mortgage is required for obtaining this loan.
Food grain output is expected to increase 0.9% to 277.49 million tons, exceeding the previous record of 275.11 million tons during 2016-17, the agriculture ministry said in its second advance estimate of major crops. In a big relief to farmers, the government announced in budget fixing minimum support price (MSP) of Kharif crops like paddy at least 50 per cent higher than the cost of production, while raising farm credit target for the next fiscal by 10 per cent to Rs 11 Lakh Crore. Economic Survey 2018 states that the actual expenditure of Department of Agricultural Research and Education/Indian Council of Agricultural Research has increased from Rs 5,393 Crore in 2010-11 to Rs.6800 (BE) Crore during 2017-18. The government has extended Soft Loans of Rs.4305 crore to improve liquidity position of the sugar mill enabling them clearance of sugarcane price arrears.
The target of delivering loans worth Rs 11 Lakh Crore to the farm sector in 2018-19 is achievable by the banking sector, which will add to the momentum towards doubling the farmers’ income by 2022, said the Modi government. The volume of institutional credit for agriculture is projected to rise from Rs 8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs 10 Lakh Crore in 2017-18.
The government has increased the union budget of infrastructure spending by 1 Lakh crore.
The travel and tourism sectors together generated 25.9 million jobs in 2017, contributing Rs 5 Lakh Crore to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the same year. For third year in a row, India is the world’s fastest growing domestic aviation market 2017. Playing a distinct role in the country’s double-digit traffic growth is the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), also known as UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), which took off in 2017. With connecting such small airports in the country, India has seen a growth of 24% in air travelers from 2017 to 2018.
THE MIGHTY ISRO
In its 39th flight (PSLV-C37), ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites on February 15, 2017 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.
According to the data shared by Indian Cellular Association, annual production of mobile phones in India increased from 3 million units in 2014 to 11 million units in 2017. India is now the second largest mobile phone producer in the world after China. India has 120 crore mobile phones as of 31.12.2017.
India’s electricity production grew 34% over seven years to 2017, and the country now produces more energy than Japan and Russia, which had 27% and 8.77% more electricity generation capacity installed, respectively, than India seven years ago.
After personally promoting low cost L.E.D. bulbs, the Prime Minister helped the nation to save a great deal of money. This is the world’s largest program of L.E.D bulb distribution. Indian LED lighting market has witnessed impressive growth in the last few years and is likely to grow at a CAGR for over 30% over the next 4-5 years. As of today, Indian LED lighting market is estimated at approximately Rs. 5700 Crores and accounts for almost 50% of total lighting market which sits at about Rs. 12,000 Crores.
In a major boost to healthcare reforms, TB patients to get Rs 500 per month for healthy food. Budget has seen 600 crore addition over the previous years. Jan Aushadhi Kendra – 60 to 80% fall in generic medicine prices has been noted after the government launched Jan Aushadhi Kendras.
Health and family welfare department of India wants to start hemodialysis centres in 600 districts of India. This is to address chronic kidney disease which is the 8th leading cause of death in India. Under Maternity Benefit Program, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a scheme to provide financial aid of Rs 6,000 to pregnant women who undergo institutional delivery for hospital admission. The sum is also meant to help with their child’s vaccination, as well as nutritional food.
The bill passed by India’s parliament will increase paid maternity leave from three to six months for women working in companies with more than 10 staff. The move places India ahead of France, Germany, Australia, Japan and the US for paid maternity leave.
Where Congress could open only 7 new AIIMS in 60 years, the NDA government has decided to open 12 new world class AIIMS in just 4 years. The master plan, construction and safety check for most is already complete.
India overtook the UK as the fifth-largest defense spender in the world in 2017 at $52.5 billion, up from $51.1 billion in 2016, according to the ‘Military Balance 2018’ report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
One Rank One Pension – The scheme allows same pension to retired army officials irrespective of their retirement date. So, a Major who retired in 1999 will get same pension as a major who retired in 2017. The government has a budget of 8300 Crore for OROP. Modi government’s step has granted satisfaction throughout the protectors of our nation.
Home Ministry is all set to auction enemy properties worth Rs. 1 Lakh Crore. The property of citizens who opt for the citizenship of China and Pakistan is referred to as enemy property. Recently in January 2018, Rajnath Singh mentioned that over 6000 properties have been identified and around 3000 are yet to be identified.
The Modi-government passed a bill to modify ‘The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957’ to accommodate changes which provided a boost to this sector. The passing of the Coal Mines Special Provisions Bill, 2015 in Parliament allows the government to continue auctioning coal blocks to private companies. Supreme Court had earlier seized the sale of coal blocks found during 1991-2011 due to the corruption and irregularities of the U.P.A. government. Out of 67 blocks auctioned or allotted, a total benefit of Rs 3,35,000 Crore is for states and another Rs 69,000 Crore will be unlocked by way of tariff benefit to the consumers.
Construction of national highways in India hit a record 10,000 km in the year ended March 31. The construction of 10,000 km of national highways last year compares with 8,231 km in FY17 and 4,260 km (11 km per day) in FY14, the last year of the UPA government. Contracts were awarded for 17,000 km in FY18 compared with 15,848 km a year earlier and 3,169 km (8 km per day) in FY14.
In a transparent allocation of spectrums, Modi government earned Rs.1.1 Trillion in bids.
Whether it is adjusting his schedule and catching a quick nap in his flight, be it attending back to back meetings in multiple cities of the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left no stone unturned to resurge the long lost glory of India on the world platform.
Ease of Doing Business: The World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2018 ranked India 100th out of the 190 countries surveyed. That 30 place jump over last year’s ranking of 130th cements India’s continuous and unstoppable growth.
Operation Raahat: Anticipating further hostilities, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had issued advisories on January 21, 2015 to Indian expatriates in Yemen to leave the country. A second travel advisory urging Indians to avoid travel to Yemen and to leave the country as soon as possible was issued on February 20, 2015. Finally on March 25, two days before the attack by the Arab coalition, the MEA issued an urgent advisory urging all Indian citizens to evacuate as soon as possible. However, more than 5000 Indian citizens had not heeded the warnings and were trapped in Yemen. General (Retd.) V.K. Singh commanded Operation Raahat where Indian Armed Forces evacuated 4640 Indian nationals and 960 foreign nationals.
Commercial satellite launch program: In 2017, India launched a record 104 satellites from a single rocket as it crossed another milestone in its low-cost space-exploration program. ISRO has now put 226 satellites into orbit, including 180 from foreign nations. This has not only improved ISRO’s image on a global platform but also added greatly to foreign currency reserves.
Foreign Direct Investment Reforms
The Government of India has amended FDI policy to increase FDI inflow. In 2014, the government increased foreign investment upper limit from 26% to 49% in insurance sector. Moving ahead with the economic reforms, the Cabinet has cleared the long-delayed proposal for raising FDI limit in defense to 49 percent and fully opened up the railway infrastructure segment, like high-speed trains, for foreign investment. This will boost manufacturing small weapons in the country and increase jobs. The brownie point that the government bagged here is getting the technology to build weapons from foreign countries.
Biggest Importer of Arms
Currently under Modi government, India is the largest importer of arms with an international import share of 12% while the incapable neighbor Pakistan slashed its defense budget. Much talked about PM Narendra Modi’s foreign visits have seen bilateral relations turning into strategic relations and strategic relations further strengthening with multiple countries like America, Russia, England, France, Japan, Australia, Europian Union and Israel.
Much talked about PM Narendra Modi’s foreign visits have seen bilateral relations turning into strategic relations and strategic relations further strengthening with multiple countries like America, Russia, England, France, Japan, Australia, Europian Union and Israel.
INDIA and PAKISTAN: Pakistan had to face an international humiliation when India refused to join 19th SAARC summit after Uri attack. The decision was followed by Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan. Narendra Modi has been successful in cutting Pakistan to size on an international platform.
INDIA and AFGHANISTAN: Afghan-India Friendship Dam (AIFD), formerly Salma Dam, is a hydroelectric and irrigation dam project located on the Hari River in Chishti Sharif District of Herat Province in western Afghanistan. Since this project is funded and constructed by the Government of India as part of the Indian aid project, the Afghan cabinet renamed the Salma Dam to the Afghan-India Friendship Dam in a gesture of gratitude to strengthen relations between the two countries.
INDIA and IRAN : The first phase of the Chabahar port in south-east Iran, which India is developing, was inaugurated in December last year. The port opened a new strategic transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan that bypassed Pakistan.
Months after India carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Islamabad received a veiled threat of similar strikes by Iran in May, 2017.
INDIA and CHINA : The India-China bilateral trade reached $84.44 billion last year, an historic high notwithstanding bilateral tensions over a host of issues including the Doklam standoff.
Doklam Stand-off: India was successful in putting China in its place in Doklam stand-off where the latter faced international humiliation and had to take a step-back when Indian forces occupied the food reserves and road construction material of China in Doklam. Also, Bhutan (Bhutan relies on Indian military for her protection) firmly stood with India during the entire stand-off.
INDIA and VIETNAM: Despite of resistance from the Dragon, India has been giving military training to Vietnam. In 2018, India and Vietnam held first military exercise together.
South China Sea: India continues to search for crude oil in South China sea cementing her dominance in the water. China officially slammed Vietnam for inviting India to invest in South China sea but India has been firm in maintaining the deal with Vietnam.
In the four years since PM Modi took office, he has worked tirelessly to boost the economy of India, increase the prestige of the Country in global arena and to make sure that every government scheme directly benefits the poor and the funds are not appropriated by corrupt officials and politicians. The report card of PM Modi clearly shows that he has made great strides in every stated objective.