The Modi government has an exemplary record in social security. Since May 2014 this government has tried to push the country towards a welfare state. The very first step of financial inclusion achieved considerable success. Millions of people in the country were living without a bank account and were excluded from the banking system of the country. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which aims to expand and make affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance, and pensions is most ambitious financial inclusion programme in the world. According to officials from the finance ministry, the social security turned out to be the game changer in 2019 Lok Sabha election and this will be also the main campaign agenda as well.
According to a note prepared by officials from the finance ministry, social security coverage of the population that has gone up from four percent in 2014 to around 40 percent in 2018 stands out. As per the government note,”One of the biggest financial inclusion initiative of the world, PMJDY, led to 28 crores new bank accounts opened during the period 2014-17, which comprises 55 percent of the total new accounts opened globally during the same period. Under the initiative of Jan Dhan Se Jan Suraksha, the two schemes were launched to bring the poorer sections of the society under the protective umbrella of insurance coverage. One of the lowest cost insurance schemes of the world is Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) which offers Rs 2 Lakh cover for a premium of just Rs 12 per year. This has led to the enrollment of 13.5 crore people. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) is a lucrative life insurance plan, wherein the insured receives Rs 2 Lakh cover against an annual premium of Rs 330, each year. The life risk cover will get terminated after 55 years. The scheme is applicable to all bank account holders in the age bracket of 18-50 years. So far, around 18.5 crore people have been brought under the protective net of insurance only through these two schemes and brought relief to 119,366 families with a compensation of Rs.2387 Crore in the hour of distress”.
The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is a pension scheme targeted at people in the unorganized sector. The scheme is applicable to subscribers aged 18 to 40 years, with valid bank accounts. The scheme aims to benefit people who do not have a social security or who do not fall under the income tax bracket. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has proposed to the Modi government to raise the limit of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) to Rs 10,000 per month from the current slab which is up to Rs 5,000 per month.
The new health insurance scheme, popularly known as Modicare, was announced by the Modi government in the Union Budget of 2018. The combined schemed known as Ayushman Bharat– National Health Protection Mission (NHPM) is being hailed as the largest public sector health cover in the world. It will subsume RSBY and provide 5 lakh health insurance cover to 50 crore people, which is nearly 40 percent of the population of the country. The families which will benefit from the scheme will be identified from Socio-economic and caste (SECC), 2011 data. The Modi government has launched Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Yojana (PMSMY) for free health checkups of pregnant women in 14 states. Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, millions of LPG connections were provided to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
The number of connection provided in states is as follows –
Data as of 7th November 2016
The social security schemes of the government for women, below poverty line families, divyangs and other needy people are expected to be the main poll pitch of the government in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. The Congress governments in last 6 six decades have been able to bring a very small percentage of country’s population under social security despite its cry for social justice and the welfare state. But the Modi government has expanded the social security exponentially, following the ‘Antyodaya’ slogan given by Jan Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay. The Modi government has been able to collect more taxes due to its war on black money through steps such as demonetization, GST, Benami Property Act, crackdown on shell companies etc. The increased tax collection has given the government the fiscal space to widen the social security net.