As the country gets ready to elect a new Lok Sabha with the poll dates being announced, the NDA campaign in all likelihood will rely upon various schemes that the Narendra Modi government launched during its tenure including flagship ones to reach out to the electorate. Among the primary schemes that were introduced in the last five years by the Centre are Jan Dhan Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana and Ayushman Bharat.
While the success of demonetisation is still disputed, the tax regime in the country saw a change in the form of Goods and Services Tax (GST). The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act was enacted to prevent individuals benefitting from illegal properties by putting some other individuals as owners.
Here is a look at some of the key policies of the Narendra Modi government:
In what can be termed arguably the most controversial, disruptive and critiqued policy of the Modi government, the prime minister on 8 November, 2016 announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes would cease to be legal tender from midnight onwards. The objective of this scheme was to bring black money into the mainstream and curb the circulation of fake currency and terror financing.
The announcement of demonetisation was followed by prolonged cash shortages in the weeks that followed, which created significant disruption throughout the economy and impacted various sectors. However, according to a 2018 report of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), approximately 99.3% of the demonetised banknotes, or ₹15.30 lakh crore of the ₹15.41 lakh crore that had been demonetised, were deposited with the banking system raising questions on the success of the exercise.
2. Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The Goods and Services Tax is an indirect tax (or consumption tax) imposed on the supply of goods and services. It is imposed at every step in the production process but is meant to be refunded to all parties in the various stages of production other than the final consumer.
The GST was launched at midnight on 1 July 2017 by the President of India, and the Government of India. The launch was marked by a historic midnight (30 June – 1 July) session of both Houses convened at the Central Hall of Parliament.
Members of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Communist Parties of India and the DMK boycotted the GST launch altogether due to the predicted problems such that it was bound to lead for the middle and lower class Indians.
After its launch, the GST rates have been modified multiple times, the latest being on 22 December 2018, where a panel of federal and state finance ministers decided to revise GST rates on 28 goods and 53 services.
3. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 is the bankruptcy law of India which seeks to consolidate the existing framework by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy. It was introduced in Lok Sabha in December 2015 and was passed on 5 May 2016.
Certain provisions of the Act came into force from 5 August and 19 August, 2016. The bill prohibits certain persons from submitting a resolution plan in case of defaults. These include: (i) wilful defaulters, (ii) promoters or management of the company if it has an outstanding non-performing debt for over a year, and (iii) disqualified directors, among others. Further, it bars the sale of property of a defaulter to such persons during liquidation.
4. Make in India
Make in India, an indigenous movement covering 25 sectors of the economy, was launched by the central government on 25 September 2014 to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India.
After the launch of the initiative, India received investment commitments worth ₹16.40 lakh crore and investment inquiries worth ₹1.5 lakh crore between September 2014 to February 2016. As a result, India emerged as the top destination globally in 2015 for foreign direct investment (FDI), surpassing the USA and China.
In line with Make in India, individual states too launched their own local initiatives, such as "Make in Odisha", Vibrant Gujarat, "Happening Haryana" and "Magnetic Maharashtra".
The World Bank latest 'Doing Business Report'(DBR, 2019) acknowledged India's jump of 23 positions against its rank of 100 in 2017, now at 77th rank among 190 countries. By the end of 2017, India had risen 42 places on Ease of doing business index, 32 places World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index, and 19 notches in the Logistics Performance Index, thanks to recent governmental initiatives such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Dedicated Freight Corridors, Industrial corridors, UDAN-RCS, Bharat Broadband Network, Digital India.
5. Startup India
The campaign was announced by Modi during his 15 August 2015 address from the Red Fort, in New Delhi. The action plan of this initiative, is based on the following three pillars: Simplification and Handholding, Funding Support and Incentives, Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation.
An additional area of focus relating to this initiative is to discard restrictive States Government policies within this domain, such as License Raj, Land Permissions, Foreign Investment Proposals, and Environmental Clearances. It was organized by The Department for the promotion of industry and internal trade(DPI&IT).
Under this initiative, the government has launched the I-MADE program, to help Indian entrepreneurs build 1 million mobile app start-ups, and the MUDRA Banks scheme (Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana), an initiative which aims to provide micro-finance, low-interest rate loans to entrepreneurs from low socioeconomic backgrounds. An initial capital of ₹200 billion has been allocated for this scheme.
6. Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA)
The Act establishes Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in each state for regulation of the real estate sector and also acts as an adjudicating body for speedy dispute redressal. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 10 March 2016 and by the Lok Sabha on 15 March 2016. The Act came into force on 1 May, 2016 with 59 of 92 sections notified. Remaining provisions came into force on 1 May, 2017.
The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 prohibits a 'benami' transaction defined as any transaction in which property is transferred to one person for consideration paid by another person.
Under Modi's regime, the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 came into effect from 1 November, 2016. After coming into effect of the Amendment Act, the existing Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 was renamed as Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 (PBPT Act).
7. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Another mega project of the Modi government, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Swachh Bharat Mission, is a nation-wide campaign that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India's cities, towns, and rural areas. The campaign's is called "Clean India Mission" in English.
The campaign was officially launched on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi by Modi. Modi has called the campaign Satyagrah se Swachhagrah in reference to Gandhi's Champaran Satyagraha launched on 10 April 1917.
The mission has two thrusts: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ("gramin" or 'rural'), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ('urban'), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
The government has constructed 86 million toilets since 2014 under the mission, reducing the number of open defecations from 550 million to fewer than 150 million in 2018.
8. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, is financial inclusion program of the BJP goverment which is applicable to people in 18 to 65 years of age group, that aims to expand and make affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance and pensions.
This financial inclusion campaign was also launched on 15 August, 2014 and on the inauguration day itself 1.5 Crore (15 million) bank accounts were opened under this scheme. By 27 June 2018, over 31 crore (318 million) bank accounts were opened and over ₹792 billion were deposited under the scheme.
9. Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
Aimed at generating awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls, the scheme was launched with an initial funding of ₹100 crore on 22 January 2015.It aims to address the issue of the declining child sex ratio image (CSR) and is a national initiative jointly run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It initially focused multi-sector action in 100 districts throughout the country where there was a low CSR including clusters Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Bihar and Delhi.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identity number that can be obtained by residents of India, based on their biometric and demographic data. The data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory authority established in January 2009, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, following the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016.
It is the world's largest biometric ID system. In September 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Aadhaar system and stipulated that the Aadhaar card is not mandatory for opening bank accounts, getting a mobile number, or being admitted to a school.
However, despite the validity of Aadhaar being challenged in the court, the central government has beena ctivel asking citizens to link their Aadhaar numbers with a host of services, including mobile sim cards, bank accounts, the Employee Provident Fund, and a large number of welfare schemes including but not limited to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Public Distribution System, and old age pensions.
11. Ayushman Bharat Yojana
The Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) or National Health Protection Scheme or 'ModiCare' is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2018, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The scheme aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically. It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives namely, Health and Wellness centres and National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
So far, 26 states and union territories accepted the scheme except three viz. Delhi, Odisha and Telangana. More than a lakh people have taken benefit of the scheme till October 2018. By 26th November more than 8,25,000 e-cards had been generated and there was a push to recruit more private hospitals to the scheme.
12. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan)
The Centre has so far transferred Rs 5,215 crore to over 2.6 crore small and marginal farmers under the PM-Kisan scheme announced in the last month's interim budget. Ahead of the general election, the Centre announced the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme under which Rs 6,000 per year would be disbursed in three instalments to around 12 crore farmers who hold cultivable land up to 2 hectares.
In the budget, the NDA government allocated a sum of Rs 20,000 crore, to transfer Rs 2,000 each to farmers in the first installment by March-end, for the ongoing fiscal under the scheme. The scheme was formally launched at a national level by Modi on 24 February at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh by transferring the first instalment to 1.01 crore farmers, totalling Rs 2,021 crore.
Till March 7, as many as 74.71 lakh farmers in Uttar Pradesh received the first installment, while 32.15 lakh farmers were benefitted in Andhra Pradesh. Around 25.58 lakh farmers in Gujarat, 11.55 lakh farmers in Maharasthra, 14.41 lakh farmers in Telangana and 14.01 lakh farmers in Tamil Nadu got the first payment. The Centre is transferring the money directly into the bank accounts of eligible farmers, being identified by states and union territories (UTs).
Other schemes of the Modi government include: The Smart Cities Mission, Pradhan Mantri Shramyogi Mandhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the Solar Charkha Mission, Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme, Anti-Narcotics Scheme, GOBAR-Dhan Yojana, Green Revolution-Krishonnati Yojana, Samagra Shiksha Scheme, Atal Bhujal Yojana, Khelo India (School Games), National Bamboo Mission (Restructured under Budget 2018), One crore loan in 59 minutes for MSMEs, the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Mission Indradhanush, HRIDAY – Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana, Sukanya Samridhi Yojana (Girl Child Prosperity Scheme), Soil Health Card Scheme, Atal Pension Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana.
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Updated Date: Mar 18, 2019 12:57:02 IST