Nation
We're not repackaging UPA schemes: NDA government

With banking schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, mass movement programmes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, and social movements like Beti Bachao, the government says no sector has been left untouched in its commitment for inclusive development

 

The year-old Narendra Modi-led government says its schemes won't leave any sector untouched as it flicks aside a Congress charge that it was repackaging the UPA dispensation's programmes.
 
 
With banking schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, mass movement programmes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, and social movements like Beti Bachao, the government says no sector has been left untouched in its commitment for inclusive development.
 
"We have a very strong commitment to ensuring social security, national security and economic security," Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told IANS.
 
"No sector will be left untouched, whether it is environment, financial inclusion, or social equality," he said.
 
Naqvi strongly refuted the charge that the government was repackaging the schemes of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
 
"UPA schemes cannot be repackaged because their schemes were only for corruption and scams," he said.
 
"Congress must see ground realities and avoid such statements. The problems are old, and they did not solve them...," he added.
 
Here is a list of major schemes launched by the NDA government in last one year.
 
* Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana - Defined as a national mission for financial inclusion, under the scheme accounts can be opened in any bank branch or through business correspondent outlet even with zero balance.
 
So far over 12.54 crore accounts have been opened according to the website of the scheme. The deposits in the accounts are to the tune of Rs.10,499.62 crore.
 
* Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan- Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet campaign, launched on Gandhi Jayanti last year, caught the imagination of the nation with not just government, but even private organisations, individuals and groups launching cleanliness drives.
 
The mission seeks to achieve the goal of Clean India in next five years so that the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi can be celebrated to mark the accomplishment of this duty. It exhorts people to devote 100 hours every year towards the cause of cleanliness.
 
* Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana - Announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2014, under this programme, MPs are supposed to adopt and develop villages.
 
According to the website of the scheme, so far 491 of 543 Lok Sabha members, and 186 of 246 Rajya Sabha members have adopted villages under the scheme.
 
* Sardar Patel Urban Housing Mission: The Rajiv Awas Yojana was re-christened as Sardar Patel Urban Housing Mission, targets at constructing six crore 'pucca' houses for poor by 2022. During his budget speech this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley set aside Rs.22.407 crore for current fiscal under the programme.
 
* Namami Ganga Yojana: Modi's pet programme for cleaning and rejuvenation of river Ganga has a budget outlay of Rs.20,000 crore for the coming five years. According to water ministry officials, the central government will soon float tenders for setting up sewerage infrastructure for 68 urban local bodies situated along the banks of the river. Water resources ministry has identified a total of 118 urban local bodies where sewage treatment plant is necessary.
 
* Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Shramev Jayate Karyakram - single unified Web Portal for Online Registration of units, Reporting of inspections, submissions of Annual Returns and Redressal of Grievances.
 
Under the scheme, labours will be provided a Unique labour identification number, and there will be a local interconnect network, to facilitate their online registration.
 
* Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana: PMJJBY, on the other hand, will offer a renewable one year life cover of Rs.2 lakh to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-50 years, covering death due to any reason, for a premium of Rs.330 per annum per subscriber. PMSBY, meanwhile, offers a renewable one-year accidental death-cum - disability cover of Rs.2 lakh for partial/permanent disability to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-70 years for a premium of Rs.12 per annum per subscriber.
 
* Atal Pension Yojana (APY): The APY focuses on all citizens in the unorganised sector, who join the National Pension System (NPS) administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority. Under the scheme, a contributor would get a fixed pension of Rs.1,000-5,000 a month, from the age of 60 years until they die.
 
* Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana: Government's Rs.1,000-crore irrigation scheme aims at bringing irrigation water to every village by converging ongoing schemes being implemented by various ministries.
 
* One Rank One Pension scheme - Modi government made fresh promises on the long pending OROP, a long-standing demand of the over 20 lakh ex-servicemen in the country. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has recently said the scheme is likely to be cleared in a "couple of days".
 
* Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: Twin programmes of "Beti bachao, beti padhao" and "Sukanya Samriddhi account" in a bid to encourage birth and education of girls and tackle the abysmally low child sex ratio.
 
* Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yojana: With a corpus of Rs.1,500 crore and is aimed at enhancing the employability of rural youth through skill developments.

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People retain hope in Modi, but time's running out
The reason is, first, the realisation that one year is not a long enough to give a definitive judgment on the performance of a government, especially when it is emerging from the black hole of the failures of its predecessor
 
No smart cities, no bullet trains, no spike in employment, no visible improvement in infrastructure, continuing logjam over bills in parliament, carping by in-house critics. Even then, few will say that Narendra Modi will lose if the elections are held in the near future.
 
The reason is, first, the realisation that one year is not a long enough to give a definitive judgment on the performance of a government, especially when it is emerging from the black hole of the failures of its predecessor.
 
Secondly, it is also realised that Modi may have been unable to anticipate the mischief-making potential of some of the trouble-makers, including those within the Sangh parivar.
 
It is the appreciation of these difficulties by the general public which explains why he has passed muster in an opinion poll whereas if the opposition parties are to be believed, his government has failed miserably.
 
However, it is undeniable that since some of the high expectations with which Modi assumed office have begun to be eroded, he cannot allow the present sense of drift to continue. Unless there is a perceptible upturn in the economy in the next 12 months, the warning bells will begin to ring.
 
Hindsight suggests that Modi indulged in too much hyperbole during the election campaign. The bombast worked satisfactorily against the dismal backdrop of the virtually non-performing and scam-ridden Manmohan Singh government.
 
But, Modi's spin doctors evidently did not realise that raising expectations too high - for instance, on the recovery of black money - carries the risk of an equally big disappointment if the hopes are not met.
 
The risk is all the greater because the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) main base of support at present is the notoriously impatient middle class which believes in quick results.
 
It was this class which gave the Congress 200-plus seats in 2009 on the basis of high growth rates (although the party's 'socialists' ascribed the good showing to its populism) and then brought it down with a crash to 44 seats when the growth rates tumbled.
 
The same fate can await Modi unless he pushes the economic reforms with much greater vigour than at present.
 
As may be expected, Modi's tenure has been marked by a mixture of good and bad luck. Even as he benefitted from the falling oil prices and low inflation, unseasonal rain aggravated the distress of farmers.
 
But, in political terms, the government has been a victim of what can be deemed an exceptional case of misfortune since its principal opponent, the Congress, has decided to adopt an unabashedly cussed attitude.
 
As much is evident from the virtual u-turn it has taken on its own economic agenda, introduced in 1991, by following what finance minister Arun Jaitley has called an anti-growth line which, he says, is to the "left of Marx".
 
As a result, crucial bills such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have been held up. But, the worst obstructionism engineered by the Congress relates to the land acquisition law, which constitutes a key feature of the government's development blueprint.
 
Unless the law is amended, the government will be unable to implement its "make in India" plans which aim at making the country a manufacturing hub.
 
However, it is not the Congress alone which is to blame for the stalemate. No less guilty are saffron outfits like the protectionist Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) and the anti-reforms Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS).
 
Modi, therefore, is battling not only the anti-development groups cutting across party lines, but also a widely prevalent mindset which is deeply suspicious of the private sector and pro-market policies.
 
Arguably, he has been unable to gauge the intensity of the opposition to capitalist endeavours even within the saffron camp though he is one of its key members.
 
The reason perhaps is that he never pushed this line as energetically as he is now trying to do on a national scale. If his efforts in this direction in Gujarat were not opposed as stoutly as the SJM, the BMS and the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) are doing now, it was because the pro-business policies were confined to a state.
 
Modi's miscalculation has been that he did not prepare these groups about what he intends to do on an all-India scale.
 
It is only belatedly that he seems to have sought the help of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to tame the nay-sayers.
 
Earlier, the RSS had backed off on the Ram temple issue, but had advised the BJP to listen to the saffron organisations on the reforms.
 
The intensification of the anti-Modi campaign by the Congress has apparently left the government with no option but to ask the Sangh parivar's mentor to stand by its side on the land issue.
 
Whatever the impact of the interventions by the RSS, the Agovernment doesn't have much time to lose to fulfil the expectations - "probably unrealistic", as Reserve Bank governor, Raghuram Rajan has said - of those who voted for Modi in large numbers in the hope that he will bring about India's economic recovery.

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COMMENTS

NANDAKUMAR M S

2 years ago

Yes, otherwise we will be ready to give another 100 years for anarchy. But any Government wants to do good things- be ware, there won't be any time given.Great Indian logic!

Depreciating dollar, RBI investment returns hike foreign reserves
Depreciation in dollar value, interest payments on securities held by the apex bank in non-dollar currencies and the rich payouts for its participation in the forwards trading market led to an exponential rise in India's foreign exchange reserves.
 
According to the data furnished by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its weekly statistical supplement, India's total foreign exchange reserves grew by $1.74 billion to touch a new record high of $353.87 billion for the week ended May 15, 2015.
 
For the week ended May 8, the reserves grew by $262.4 million and stood at $352.13 billion. In the week before that (May 1) they had rocketed by $7.26 billion and reached $351.86 billion. 
 
Foreign exchange reserves have increased by close to $25 billion since January as overseas investors buoyed by the hope of economic revival poured in dollars in the local debt and equities market.
 
"The reserves have grown and touched a new high. It is due to a combination of reasons like depreciation of dollar which translated into a rise in non-dollar currencies and gold value," Anindya Banerjee, senior manager for currency derivatives with Kotak Securities told IANS. 
 
"It is also assumed that the RBI has received the interest payment on securities it holds in non-dollar currencies. The RBI is also pretty active in the forward purchase markets since the last 18-23 months and this could also have resulted in the exponential rise in the foreign reserves," Banerjee pointed out.
 
Another crucial factor for the rise in the reserves is the assumption that RBI has not intervened in the forward trading market by selling dollars to arrest the fall in the rupee value. 
 
"The RBI has finally found a comfortable corridor of Rs.63-Rs.65 per dollar for rupee and it is unlikely that it intervened this week to slowdown the rupee fall. The rupee value has stablised during the last week," Banerjee elaborated.
 
During the last two weeks the rupee value was impacted by the significant pull-back of foreign funds due to the minimum alternate tax (MAT) issue.
 
Some estimates point out that the RBI may have sold nearly $5-$6 billion in the forward trading markets to arrest the slide in the rupee value which currently stood at Rs.63.43 per dollar.
 
The other major factor for the RBI to continue its build-up of the reserves is to counter any future financial shocks and further slide in rupee value like the one which was witnessed in 2008 and June 2013.
 
"Apart from dealing with any future financial shocks like the one which was earlier triggered by the US Fed's announcement of tapering, the healthy state of reserves has acted as a support to the Indian rupee's value," Banerjee added.
 
The RBI is cautious about the US Fed's stand that the rate hike might take place in the later part of the year. 
 
With higher interest rates in the US, the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are expected to be led away from the emerging markets such as India.
 
Meanwhile, the foreign currency assets (FCAs) which form the largest component of the forex reserves increased by $1.70 billion and stood at $329.12 billion in the week under review.
 
The country's gold reserves remained stagnant at $19.33 billion. The reserves had augmented by $297.7 million during the week ended May 1.
 
The special drawing rights (SDRs) were up by $27.80 million to $4.09 billion. 
 
The country's reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) grew by 9.1 million to $1.32 billion during the week under review.

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