Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the economists and experts at Niti Aayog to discuss the state of economy and steps to be taken to revive growth which is estimated to drop to 5 per cent during the current fiscal
PM Modi has given a clear message to the economists and planners that they should go beyond the economic theory and conceive their development plan on the basis of ground reality and first-hand information
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is out to steady the economic growth with a wide range of measures. He met Industrial experts and sought their opinions about the problems they have been facing in different sectors of the economy. He has held nearly 12 meetings in Niti Aayog with economists, experts and Indian Inc to roll out a bold Union Budget 2020-21 with character and originality. He said the idea of a $ 5 trillion economy is not a sudden development and it is based on a deep understanding of the strength of the economy. A deeper understanding of the different sectors of the economy will not only build wealth but will create jobs in multiple sectors on a sustainable basis. While giving a boost to the economy, the NDA Government has resolved some of the nagging issues which had adversely affected the Indian economy, culture and social life.
India has taken a giant leap forward in strengthening internal security, identifying the divisive elements, addressing border security with precision and maintaining good relationships with other countries. The amendment of Article 370, Triple Talaq bill and the resolve of the Ram Janamabhoomi issue are bold steps which have annoyed a certain section of people thatseldom wanted India to become strong and united. The Modi Government has won the election by cementing the age-old social divisions created on the basis of language, caste, religion and class. The Citizenship Law and National Register of Citizens (NRC) aim to improve the living condition of the vulnerable section within the Muslim community and check the disproportionate demographic change which had wiped out many rich culture in the world. The massive influx of poor people from our neighboring countries has adversely affected the age-old ethnic culture, created communal strife, degraded environment, created unemployment problems and threatened rare animal species. The Bangladeshi population settled in the periphery of the Bhitarakanika crocodile sanctuary of Odisha feast on the crocodiles, python and other rare species. They have become consolidated vote banks in many constituencies and are ready to support any party which allows them to stay in India illegally. In nearly 55 bordering districts of North East India, the natives have become a minority.
The NRC will prevent the illegal entries of people. The leaders who protest against the Citizenship Law should volunteer to address poverty in our neighboring countries with their innovative ideas and economic thinking so that people would not cross the border for menial jobs. Those who mastermind the protest and cause huge economic loss to public property, are actually harming the economic interest of their native citizens who need jobs and gainful employment. Those leaders should give their expert advice to our neighboring countries for creation of jobs there. Their voice should not choke when religious prosecution happens in Muslim countries. India has the moral responsibility to welcome the victims of the state-sponsored persecution. The slogan “Bharat tere Tukde Honge and Bharat ki Barbadi” in JNU says what is being conceived in their minds. Home Minister, Amit Shah wants to give those slogan-raisers jail term as the slogans were not democratic expression. Can those leaders raise such kind of slogans in the countries in protest against the systematic religious persecution of the minority communities in a brutal manner? India is always ready to support those nations with soft loans, infrastructure projects and economic interventions. If our neighbours have religious empire in their minds, it would not lead to any solution.
India has the twin task of handling the most active and divisive elements with precision and put the growth engine on track again. While acting tough against the anti-national elements, Prime Minister Modi lays emphasis on a deeper understanding of the economic sector. He has given a clear message to the economists and planners that they should go beyond the economic theory and conceive their development plan on the basis of ground reality and first-hand information. Economic planning will no longer be a drawing room exercise under the NDA II.
India has 6,49,481 villages and every village has its own identity, unique character and culture. The economic planners have to live in the village to understand the bio-diversity, local culture, tourism potential, pilgrim potential, artisans’ need, weavers’ problems, various natural sectors and farmers’ issues in detail in order to prevent massive wastage in budget allocation for development. No senior and experienced bankers with foreign experience should be posted in big cities while planning for the development of rural India. There is no point in going to foreign countries to study village development when there is enough to study in our own country. Only a few villages in India have developed authentic village profiles. A scientific village profile can save huge leakage of development funds and the tax payers’ money. It will stop loan waivers, prevent NPA growth, reduce migration and reduce religious conversion which has hit hard the Hindu community. India can’t push 135 crore people into the cities. Around 40 crore urbanites are too huge a population to take care of manufacturing, services, IT and realty sectors etc. The Union government does not count on the number of people but the number of skilled people. The Skill India Programme aims to make people employable in their own place which will ultimately make economic development sustainable.
Nature has blessed India with rivers and canals running around 1,84,000 Km, the 7516 Km coastline, 15 agro-climatic zones, the richest bio-diversity in the world, immense mineral wealth and traditional skill which the government wants to tap without disturbing the natural balance. India produces the world’s largest varieties of fruits, vegetables, food grains, herbs and shrubs.
Prime Minister Modi lays focus on the agro-processing industries which will maximise profit with a scale of production. The export of raw fruits and vegetables will link small producers with the global supply chain and achieve inclusive growth. Prime Minister Modi’s emphasis on the tourism sector will create a large number of jobs. There are dozens of Switzerland in India which are not explored so far. Many are being adversely affected by concrete jungles. The natural beauty of those places can be preserved for the tourism sector’s growth. The NDA Government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has already made the pilgrim centres far more attractive than before. Minimum concrete structures, clean rivers, healthy water bodies, roof water harvesting structures, local handicrafts and handloom products, local cuisines, economy class hotels and good social behaviour will not only mint revenue for the government but will create jobs for the local people. The Union Budget 2020-21 has many promises to be fulfilled.
(The writer is a Hyderabad-basd columnist)