Fifty dynamic days dedicated to Sabka Vikas
In the first fifty days of his second term, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has shown that SabkaVikasremains his top priority. Through a series of pivotal decisions and major policy actions, PM Modi’s government has rapidly expanded benefits to those who deserve them the most – the poor and the needy. Moreover, the philosophy of SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas has been profoundly enhanced by including SabkaVishwas reflecting the resolute commitment to building trust across all communities.
The very first decision of the government showed where its priorities lay – with those who sacrifice their lives to protect us. Major changes were approved in the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme under the National Defence Fund. Scholarship rates were increased substantially. Moreover, the scholarship scheme was extended to the children of state police officials who were martyred during terror attacks or Naxal attacks.
Through its policy decisions and the funding laid out in the Budget, the government is continuing its relentless focus on ease of living. By 2022, the 75th year of India’s independence, the Modi government will ensure that every rural family has electricity and a clean cooking gas connection. Over 1.95 crore houses will be provided to eligible beneficiaries under the PradhanMantriAwasYojana in rural areas. A special campaign has been taken up for promotion of 5 kg refills among UjjwalaYojana beneficiaries who cannot afford bigger refills.
Fulfilling the promises made in the manifesto, a dedicated Jal Shakti Ministry has been formed to address water-related issues, both urgently and comprehensively. PM Modi’s focus on water conservation and water security has led to launching the Jal Jeevan Mission through which clean drinking water - HarNal Se Jal- will be provided to all rural households by 2024. The Jal Shakti Abhiyaan that calls for Jan Bhaagidari to conserve water across 1,592 water stressed blocks in 256 districts has also been launched across the country.
Recognizing the challenges our farmers face, in its very first cabinet meeting, PM Modi’sgovernmenttook the path-breaking decision to expand the scope of the PM KISAN Yojana to all 14.5 crore farmers and committed Rs.10,000 crore to a pension scheme for over 5 croreanna-daatas. An interesting aspect of this scheme is that farmers can have their contributions directly deducted from their PM KISAN payments. Furthering its resolve to double farmers’ incomes, the government has given a major push to the Zero Budget Farming (ZBF) and regeneration of traditional industries which will enable farmers to fully participate in agri supply chains.
The Budget set a goal of establishing 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) that will not only support marginal farmers to get lower interest rates and sell produce at higher rates, but will also ensure that the pace of agriculture reforms reaches them quickly and effectively. Also, the increase in the minimum support prices (MSP) for kharif crops serves as a major boon for the farming community.
In a historic first, PM Modi’s government introduced a pension scheme called PradhanMantriShram Yogi MandhanYojana that will provide Rs. 3,000 per month to over 3 crore small shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons. To provide plentiful credit to MSMEs, the government has introduced loans upto 1 crore for MSMEs within 59 minutes through a dedicated online portal. Moreover, Rs. 350 crore has been allocated for 2% interest subvention for all GST registered MSMEs, on fresh or incremental loans. Government will create a payment platform for MSMEs to enable filing of bills and payment on the platform itself so that working capital requirements are reduced.
Following its massive success, PM Gram SadakYojana will now upgrade 1.25 lakh km road length including major rural links connecting habitations through Gramin Agriculture Markets (GrAMs), higher secondary schools as well as hospitals. Some 97% of all villages have now been connected with all-weather roads. According to a World Bank report, improved road connectivity in India has triggered a shift from farm to non-farm employment, improved mobility, increased access to economic opportunities and boosted attendance of children in schools. The fact that the number of babies delivered at home has come down substantially in areas connected through rural roads exemplifies the profound impact of this development program.
The action-packed first fifty days of PM Modi’s government have shown that SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwas is not just a guiding mantra, but also an action agenda that rapidly delivers tangible benefits to all Indians. Our country has already experienced an astonishing reduction in extreme poverty with total number of such people declining by 27 crore from 2006 to 2016. There are probably no more than 7 crore left in extreme poverty in India; and with GDP reaching $5 trillion, we will eliminate extreme poverty from our country. Every Indian will soon have a pukka house, sufficient food, sanitation, clean water, health care services, free education, convenient cooking gas, electricity access, mobile phone service, all-weather roads, and a bank account. PM Modi’s government is providing dignity and self-esteem to every Indian; this is surely going to rank among humanity’s finest achievements.
The writer is a Member of Parliament from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.
These are his personal views.