Opinion piece. Written by Vihaan Bagga, a grade 7 student
A leader should be a change maker. Narendra Modi is a brand in himself. Every child in India knows about him. His name is synonymous with India.
Narendra Modi became the PM of India in the year 2014 for his 1st term which lasted from 2014 to 2019. He was re-elected in 2019 for his 2nd term. The 30th May of 2022 marked 8 years since he’s been our PM.
Let’s look at some of his achievements and policies that he implemented for the development of India.
Let’s start with one of the most prominent policies of the Modi Government — demonetization.
On November 8, 2016, India was shocked by a major announcement made by the Indian Prime Minister. The Prime Minister announced that the Indian government would withdraw 500- and 1000-Rupee notes from the market along with the issuing of new 500 and 2000 rupee notes only from banks. This was demonetization.
Demonetization means stripping the unit of a currency (in this case rupee) of its legal tender making it banned. The old currency loses its worth in the market. When a government pulls the old currency out from the market, it might issue a new currency to replace it.
Demonetization was aimed at reducing black money and corruption in India. It also aimed at transitioning India from cash full to a cashless economy and society. However, this policy did backfire. For one, the entire process of demonetization became a herculean task for general people.
Many small businesses and shops which depended on cash were forced to shut down. Almost 1.5 million people lost their jobs since their employers could not pay them in cash. People waited in queues in front of banks to withdraw money. They were not prepared for this at all. The scene was chaotic.
Post demonetization, the economic growth rate shrunk by 2.2%. It was a
5.6 % growth rate in 2016. However, from 2017 to 2019, the growth rate went up to 8.7 to 9%. It also led to the increase in digital transactions through mediums, such as Paytm, Gpay, Phone Pay, etc. Demonetization has taken India a step closer to a cashless economy, however, the execution of this is still questionable a bit!
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
Now let me brief you a little bit about PMJDY.
This scheme has registered itself in the Guinness Book of World Records. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana or the PMJDY was PM Modi’s most ambitious project. It was launched to empower every household in the country.
Launched on August 15, 2014, this scheme aimed to provide people with financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, and credit cards. This scheme also provides insurance and loans to people who were earlier not aware of the banking system.
It is a zero-balance account with any bank, public or private. Only an Aadhar card is required to open this account. Aadhar is a special number that was used so that any person opening this account does not have multiple accounts in his or her name.
Most of the PMJDY accounts were opened in the 1st week of its launch. Till now PMJDY has supported 45 crore + people. That’s a lot of people. Imagine now almost 65% of seniors have become a part of the banking system due to the implementation of this scheme. To date, total deposits under PMJDY are 1.31 lakh crore rupees. 40.35 crore accounts had been opened till August 2020 and out of it, 34.81 crore accounts are operative.
Let’s move on to another program launched by Modi Government.
Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI)
When COVID hit our country, only the local industries were able to help run the economy. It was at that time that our Prime Minister pointed out the importance of being self-reliant.
The Government introduced the PLI scheme for the manufacturing of large-scale electronics, in April 2020. Ten other sectors were included in the PLI scheme by November 2020. The main sectors working under the PLI were food processing, battery storage, automobile components, and specialty steel.
Launching the PLI scheme was a strategic win for the government as companies had already started winding up their businesses in China due to the spread of COVID 19. Till April 2022, 14 sectors have been included in the PLI schemes.
This scheme also provides cash benefits to the companies manufacturing goods under the “Made in India” initiative. As per the Finance Minister,
Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, this scheme would help in creating almost 60 lakh jobs. The scheme is applicable for mobile and allied equipment as well as pharmaceutical ingredients and medical device manufacturing. Not only has PLI been successful in garnering jobs and helping small manufacturing units, but it has also brought awareness about climate change.
It has been a big support to the companies who are producing goods that would replace the most polluting technologies. In fact, the government had also approved a PLI scheme for producing high-efficiency solar photovoltaic cells. I think we are getting close to replacing fossil fuel dependency.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Let us look at the policy that bamboozled India. GST was one of the largest tax reforms in the country in 70 years since independence. GST came into action on July 1st, 2017. When GST came into play, all other taxes were replaced, such as service tax, VAT, excise, etc.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a torch bearer in taking India forward. Under his leadership, India developed COVID vaccines in the shortest possible time. The country not only vaccinated its elderly and middle-aged people but even the kids are getting vaccinated now.
People all around us have even got booster doses. Imagine India not only vaccinated its own population but also extended a helping hand to its neighbours. It was due to Prime Minister Modi that Operation Devi Shakti was successful.
Our diplomatic forces and defence services were able to bring back the stranded Indians from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over them. Almost 1000 people were evacuated from Taliban-led Afghanistan.
Almost 23000 students were also evacuated from war-hit Ukraine.
Various programmes such as Skill India, Digital India, Make in India, Vocal for Local, and PLI have helped India to become a leading exporter of goods and services in the world today.
The same goes for the growth in the infrastructure sector. Development of roads, railways, airports, and ports have reduced the travel time for the common man. Initiatives such as Sagarmala and Bharatmala have tremendously helped in seeking development.
Programmes such as UDAN and PM Gati Shakti, have ensured seamless connectivity for the movement of people, goods, and services. This is reduced the travel time for people completely. All these together are set to revolutionize travel and transportation in India.
Under PM Modi’s leadership, India has been seen as a dominant power in Asia after China and Russia. Under him, India has helped in the development of smaller countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and South Africa to name a few.
China’s aggression towards India has also started to decrease from Doklam and Pangong Lake. To tackle climate change, India under Modi has heavily invested in renewable energy products such as electric vehicles (EV) and solar energy technology and development.
All of this indicates that India is growing stronger and more globally connected. Its dominance in the Indo-pacific and in Asia has risen under the leadership of Modi and the BJP. The modi-led BJP government has delivered on a lot of its promises and yet is working towards the development of the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has truly brought India to the 21st century.
Image attribution: Narendra Modi, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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