Modinomics has made India a stronger economy today
In the last two years, our ranking in terms of 'global competitiveness' and 'ease of doing business' has jumped by leaps and bounds.
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Comparisons can be odious and yet they abound, especially in the case of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His perception is subjective to the different socioeconomic sections that view him through their own characteristic lenses.
It is, however, the uniqueness of "Modinomics" that runs through these perceptions. For, PM Modi welcomes FDI in insurance, railways, food processing, banks, retail, defence, etc, and yet he very well knows the importance of agriculture in Indian economy.
It is this emphasis for the farm sector that explains why his government has earmarked more than Rs 87,000 crore in the Budget for rural India and an additional Rs 2.2 lakh crore will be the government's spending on infrastructure in 2016-17.
Doubling farm incomes by 2022 and housing for all are not jumlas, as naysayers would have us believe. PM Modi has already taken the ambitious step of dismantling APMCs (agricultural produce market committee) and launching, e-NAM (e-National Agriculture Market) which will initially cover 21 wholesale markets in eight states across 585 mandis and gradually spread out a la Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc.Pradhan Matri Jan Dhan Yojana is one of the many inititaives taken by Modi sarkar to empower the masses. (PTI)
In contrast, all that an inept Congress-led UPA government did for the farming class was to keep doling lucrative MSP (minimum support prices) hikes year after year when statistically it has been proven that the benefits of MSPs rarely reached the small and marginal farmers.
Big farmers and middlemen looted the MSP bonuses and leakages in some cases were as high as 60 per cent. The MSP hikes only led to higher inflation with rich farmers getting richer, while the poor getting poorer.
Targeting subsidies through JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile number) and DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) will ensure money from government coffers reaches those who need it most.
These moves, howsoever small-ticket moves they may seem, have improved the country's economic outlook. So much so that the likes of S&P and Moody's have upgraded India's economic outlook from stable to positive, which is a far cry from 2012 when S&P had downgraded India's outlook to negative.
In the last two years, India's ranking in terms of "global competitiveness" and "ease of doing business" has jumped by leaps and bounds.
More than $95 billion in FDI in last two years is a towering testimony to how the Modi juggernaut is transforming India.
Also, Startup India has given entrepreneurs a fresh lease of life, even as Mudra Bank has empowered lives of over three crore ordinary individuals.
Modi baiters have often opined that "Modinomics" is inequitable and anti-minorities.
This is nothing but a bunch of concocted lies. Even as the Gujarat CM, Modi's growth model boasted of lowest poverty ratio amongst Muslims at just 7.7 per cent.
Infant mortality rates had reduced to below 38 per cent versus the national average of more than 41 per cent. Five crore LPG connections to women by 2019 and the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, which secures the financial emancipation of the girl child, are just a few examples of how "Modinomics" marries compassion with economic sagacity.
Critics have also slammed Modi for "jobless growth", which is again a myth. Ten lakh youth have already got enrolled with 70 per cent having completed their training for taking up meaningful jobs, under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
By 2017, 24 lakh youth would have got jobs as part of the Skill India mission. World Bank says that every ten per cent rise in broadband penetration leads to 1.38 per cent growth in GDP, with creation of millions of jobs. The Modi government has already started the process of digitising 2,50,000 gram panchayats.
Broadband users have risen from 60 million to 120 million in barely two years and internet users have grown to 400 million from less than 150 million in 2014.
A knowledge economy that "Modinomics" is working towards, will not only bridge the urban-rural divide but also create at least five crore new jobs in next few years.
Under the UPA, India had a lost decade as growth fell from nine per cent to below five per cent, industrial growth came down to barely 0.5 per cent, consumer inflation soared to above 11 per cent, and fiscal deficit was well over four per cent.
Under Modi, growth has risen to 7.6 per cent and heading north, current account deficit is 1.3 per cent and heading south, consumer inflation is below four per cent, and fiscal deficit is sub four per cent.
And, to top it all, we have a balance of payments surplus with record forex reserves at $360 billion and growing.
In two years, India is not only more vibrant and strong economically, but also the world now takes us much more seriously than ever before.
And it's just the beginning of "achhe din" PM Modi has promised.
(Courtesy of Mail Today.)
*The copy was updated on May 30, 2016.