The first measure of the prosperity of any country mostly depends on the relationship between the government and the public. The relationship between the government and the public should be that of the commander and the servant rather than the king and the subjects. We are proud that our country does not have a Prime Minister but a Prime Servant who has tirelessly served 137 crores Indians for the last 6 years with full devotion, honesty and fidelity.
Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modiji, who has been devoted to service, industriousness and welfare for five years, took the oath of office and secrecy as Prime Minister once again on May 30, 2019. Instead of I feeling, only with the we feeling one can meet the public criteria. After becoming the Prime Minister of the country, Shri Narendra Modi has changed even the definition of the scepter. With the transparent policy and public welfare works, the atmosphere of political trust in the public was created. This is the result of the same that BJP could win more seats than before in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
The second term of the Modi government started with challenges. But our Prime Minister with his honest thinking and a sense of national interest took these challenges as an opportunity. In the midst of the global economic downturn, the global epidemic Covid-19 has shaken the economic condition of many countries, Modiji by giving a package of 21 Lakh crores for the poor, farmers and small entrepreneurs of the country, has done a good job of national self-reliance and an given an infallible mantra.
At the beginning of the second innings of the government, many such big decisions were taken which made it clear to the country that how will be this tenure of the Modi government. Just as the run rate is kept high by setting goals during the opening in a cricket match, on the same lines, Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah displayed a brilliant batting on the pitch as Team Modi’s Opening batsman. Sections 370 and 35 (A), which had become a canker for the country, were treated with such a panacea that no one had imagined.
For Muslim women, strict law was made on the cursed triple divorce to free them from the chains of slavery. Modiji had set the goal of India’s renovation in the second term. For this, a blueprint has been prepared for foreign capital investment, infrastructure development and development of rural areas in the country. But even the first quarter was not yet complete when the global pandemic Covid-19 knocked the door. The whole world is struggling with this crisis. But since the leadership of India was in the capable hands of a person like Modiji, we were less affected with this epidemic than other countries. India has a very low infection and death rate due to the visionary decision of Modiji, despite the fact that India has more population than world’s 15 most corona affected countries. Corona has created opportunities for us with challenge. We have become self-sufficient in the field of PPE and mask manufacturing. Where in the country PPE and masks were not manufactured at all, India is now manufacturing 5 Lakh PPE kits and 5 lakh masks-95 every day.
In this hour of crisis, the central government gave priority to human security by keeping all the schemes aside, in which a step was taken to stop the spread of Corona infection by putting a lockdown, at the same time feeding the poors of the country were taken care of. The central government by taking over the management of the food grains, is working to deliver a total of 25 kg of grain (wheat or rice) and 5 kg of pulses to all 80 crore people for 5 months. The lockdown also created problems for the class, who went from one state to another in search of livelihood. Providing rice, wheat and pulses for two months to 8 crore such migrant workers were started.
The Central Government also took care of migrant workers returning home besides their food. And for this, the Indian Railways is working by plying Shramik Express to transport lakhs of workers to their homes. 85 percent of the fare of the workers is being paid by the Central Government, besides, food and water is being provided to the workers during the journey by the Central Government. Workers play an important role in the renovation of the country, so the central government is taking care of them at every level. A budget of one lakh one thousand crores has been set by the Central Government under MNREGA to provide employment to the workers after they return home.
The government has increased the wages under MNREGA from Rs 182 per day to Rs 202 per day. All this was done by the government so that the workers do not face economic crisis. In this time of Corona crisis, the central government has taken several important steps for the poor. From June 1, National Portability of Ration Card i.e. One Nation One Ration Card is being implemented. It will cover 67 crores beneficiaries from 23 states by August 2020. In this scheme, ration card holders on a ration card will be able to get their share of ration in any corner of the country. This will benefit more than 80 crores ration card holders in the country. Apart from this, 21 thousand crores have been deposited in the 20 crores Jan Dhan account to provide financial help to the people from the Central Government. Under Ujjwala Scheme, a total of seven crores village and rural women were provided gas connection free of cost for three months and an aggregate amount of 9 crore rupees was deposited in their accounts as subsidy.
A farmer is a producer of grains in the country. He had to face natural as well as global calamities. The central government has deposited 18 thousand crore rupees in the accounts of 9 crore farmers in April, just to bail them out from their problems. To ensure appropriate prices to the farmers for their crops an amount of 75 thousand crore rupees was provided to the farmers in the in the minimum support price. To ensure that an indebted farmer does not feel financial problem, the government has granted moratorium for six months to the farmers to repay their debts.
Along with, an amount of 86 thousand crore rupees was made available to the farmers as loans at low rate of interest. An additional emergency working capital fund was provided to NABARD for the welfare of small and marginal farmers. To promote the income of farmers and maintenance of agricultural produces, the government has taken various steps. The advancements of these efforts, the government has announced a package of Rs. 1 Lakh crore for cold storage chain, warehousing, food processing centres and other storage houses. The government is encouraging the farmers for adoption of herbal organic and herbal cultivations. For the production of herbal plants, the government has chalked out a plan with an amount of Rs. 4000 crores.
Approximately 10 Lakh hectares of land have been allotted for the herbal cultivation. With this step, the farmers shall earn Rs. 5000 crores as additional income. Rules are being amended to ensure reasonable prices to the farmers and to facilitate them to sell their produces in other states also. With this step a barrier free and interstate business environment shall be possible for the farmers. Thereby the farmer shall receive reasonable prices for their crops.
Various significant steps have been taken by the government to workers and small, micro and medium businessmen from the crises of Corona outbreak.
In case of Employees Provident Fund, the government has directed to provide relief to both employees and employers under which the government shall deposit 12% of EPF on behalf of both employers and employees. To rescue the employees from financial crises, necessary amendments have been made in the EPF rules, so that employees have the exemption for the withdrawal of 75% of the amount from their account. With the 100% guarantee from the central government and the make small, micro and medium enterprises robust, a package of Rs. 3 Lakh crores has been announced at the rate of 7.5 % of the interest. As such businessmen can receive more than 20% of their working capital without any guarantee and co-laterals. The MSME sector is considered the backbone of the economy.
This sector accounts for 28% (approx.) to GDP and 40 % to the total export, in terms of its contribution. Now to the agriculture this sector provides employment to as much as 11 crores of the people in the country. In addition to this, subordinate loans of an amount of 20 thousand crore rupees have been announced to provide relief to loan defaulter MSMEs. It is expected that approximately 2 Lakh entrepreneurs shall benefit from the scheme. More over a fund of Rs. 50,000 crores shall be for Equity Infusion in MSMEs. The government is to redefine the concept of MSMEs to attract more investment in the sector.
At this very moment the ceilings of turnover have been increased up to 5 crore rupees for micro enterprises, 50 crore rupees for small industries and 100 crore rupees for medium industries. Besides, to provide help to MSMEs, the government shall invite Global tenders for up to Rs. 200 crores. It shall provide an opportunity to local business companies in an effective manner.
In the period of global recession when the entire world is making arduous efforts to bail out from these economic crises. India has resolved to make our country self-reliant by making an announcement of a package of Rs. 20 lakh crore and bringing it necessary reforms. The country believes that the nation is not only protected in the hands of our Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi, a leader of creative aptitude and national mindset, but also it shall lead the countries in the direction of prosperity. For, with the international image of the country, Modiji has made in the last five years, a number of countries of the world are seeing India with great expectations. To make India self-reliant, Modiji has given a slogan – Vocal to Local and from Local to Global, thereby he gave a new motto to his countrymen for their Soil of the country.
(The writer is MoS, Ministries of Finance & Corporate Affairs)