The seventh decade of Independent India has echoed what was said long ago, “21st century will be India’s century”. The grand endeavour of Making Bharat a “Vishwa Guru” no longer seems to be only a grand endeavour, but the traces of it are now evident. The leadership in the country has been predominantly focusing its approach towards people centric government policies in the last 9 years and at the same time creating a robust and sustainable economy. The BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has completed its 9 years in office. Marked by the principles of Seva, Sushasan and Garib Kalyan, these last 9 years have been privy to countless transformations encompassing all sections of society. Consequently, India is now perceived to be cementing its position as one of the strongest countries in the world.
No other political institution until Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ever envisioned the concept of self-reliance which was a magnificent feat to transform into reality. However, PM Modi with his ability to understand the roots of the country was conscious of the fact that this could only be possible if the people were emotionally attached to the country and its rich heritage, thinking above the barriers of caste, creed, religion etc. The vision of self-reliance is now gradually transforming into reality, the evidence of which is the globally appreciated fact of India’s rising economic strength. We have now embarked on the path of becoming an economic superpower.
A decade ago, the Indian GDP was the eleventh largest in the world. However, now India’s economy has overtaken the United Kingdom’s in terms of size, making it the fifth biggest, not to forget that UK did rule over us for almost 150 years. PM Modi had years earlier envisioned that the year 2023 will be the year of “Amrutkal” for the country. In the very inception of the tenure, the PM had set a target of taking India’s economic might to 3 trillion USD. India today stands strong at 3.4 trillion USD. The point here to be acknowledged and appreciated is that the efforts of past 67 years made us a 2 trillion USD economy. However, within just 9 years of assuming charge as the PM of the world’s most influential democracy, PM Modi’s approach and vision increased our economic prowess by a whopping 1 trillion USD. This is perceived to be an unachievable feat by even the strongest and the developed nations. It is very significant to understand that this economic feat was achieved without giving any duress to the common man of India, in fact, the government has only taken pro common man initiatives.
It is important to highlight that the Modi government has not increased any direct taxes. On the contrary, the government has granted certain slabs in it despite which there is an enhancement in the exchequer. Post the implementation of the GST average indirect tax was brought down to below 18% from 23%, which had a cascading effect clearly indicating that the honest have been rewarded. While doing so, the budget size which was 15 lakh crore in the year 2014 has now been increased to 45 lakh crore. India emerging as the fifth strongest economy is not only an achievement to be proud of for the countrymen; however, it is also a bold statement that New India is shining in all the aspects. Governments earlier despite having strong numbers in the Parliament could not take this bold step of implementing GST. Perhaps they lacked the will to honestly work for the betterment of the country.
A RBI bulletin reads that India will certainly maintain its position as the fifth-largest economy in 2023, adding that India will become a USD 3.7 trillion economy in 2023. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also projects that India will move into fourth place in 2025 and into third place in 2027 with the size of the Indian economy reaching a whopping USD 5.4 trillion. This is the same ambitious dream envisioned by the leader of our nation. That which appeared to many as a distant dream, leading economists of the nation have now begun acknowledging that it is no longer unachievable with Narendra Modi at the helm of affairs—being the “Boss” Prime Minister as coined by his friend counterpart Australian PM.
The Modi government has dealt with the financial stress of the banking system as a result of NPA. Since 2014, the government has taken a head-on approach in dealing with the NPA issue, unlike the previous governments’ pattern of extending fresh loans to cover past NPAs. One of the major reforms of the NDA government led by PM Modi is the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in the last eight years.
The legislative framework for insolvency and restructuring prior to the introduction of the IBC was splintered across multiple legislations which made the resolution very complex in nature. Understanding the indecisive synthesis of the process eventually creating hurdles to the motto of ease of doing business, the Modi government finally repealed irrelevant laws and implemented IBC to improve financial health of the banking system and credit environment in India, following which economic experts have publicly termed the new ecosystem of the bankruptcy code a resounding success. PM Modi’s government not only shall be credited in saving significant amounts of tax savers’ money, but these initiatives have also taken India to the 52nd position in the World Bank Resolving Insolvency Index. In 2017, we were at the 136th rank, while the introduction of the IBC has taken us to a much brighter spot showing the world that “India means Business”.
To achieve the ambitious growth of $5 trillion, Modiji was conscious of the fact that major reforms were the need of the hour. Modiji undertook certain financial reforms. Where necessary, the government abolished laws, amended and enacted laws. Dealing with the twin balance sheet issues was a move appreciated by all renowned economic experts.
GST is one of the most significant contributions of Prime Minister to the nation which certainly is proving instrumental in scripting the nation’s successful economic journey. Not one but 17 local levies like excise duty, service tax and value-added tax and 13 other charges along with 100 local body laws were subsumed into the umbrella of GST, along with strengthening the coordination of our federal structure. It has helped the government succeed in drawing up smaller taxpayers into the formal system without increasing the tax slabs, the result of which is that the tax base since July 2017 has been practically doubled.
It is said, “Better infrastructure is one of the most important prerequisites for a strong economy as it helps set new businesses, and eases commute and logistics”. The government at every presented opportunity has worked on strengthening the economy; the PM has been giving special focus on infrastructure development which, in all sectors, has not only surpassed the track records of the past but has instead created world records as well. Be it road driven logistics network, east-west peripherals to constructing thousands of rail over-bridges, these projects have virtually changed the commute of Indians and their perception of the same.
PM Modi’s tenure marks the change in perception of the country’s road network from pothole-ridden roads to high-speed national highways. Railways, which was once considered to be nurturing “White Elephant”, has now become a consumer-oriented executive mode of neat and clean transport. The PM’s flagship Gati Shakti Policy is a major step towards infra boost helping India to present itself as one of the finest infra growth oriented country.
India is rising on all parameters while securing the national boundaries aggressively and dealing with the security issues by empowering our armed forces. Not to forget the bold step of abolition of the Article 370 from the valley thus fulfilling dreams of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Syama Prasad Mookerje, thus initiating a new era in Jammu and Kashmir. A very important point here to note is that despite making such a bold move, there have absolutely been no negative repercussions from any foreign soil. This was only palpable owing to the “India First” policy of the Narendra Modi government.
The foreign policy of India is the reverberance of the fact that India’s hesitancy which was witnessed earlier to global equations has now been replaced by boldness with clear objective that, Indian relations stand for mutual benefits and nothing else. India is now more assertive in pursuit of its international goals, while remaining away from the rivalry of powers as far as possible, the success of which has to be attributed to none other than PM Modi.
PM Modi has verily exhibited that his decisions were not in propensity of the electoral outcomes but were taken with the aim of scripting India’s growth story. Past nine years have been a true embodiment of the fundamental philosophy outlined by Prime Minister Modi of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas”.
India is now steadily embarking on the path to becoming a superpower where its voice is heard and respected, where it is seen as an equal partner. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has finally explored its true potential of creating a developed and prosperous nation for generations to come.
With a bird’s eye view of the last nine years, we can most certainly say that PM Modi is the finest curator of the New India story.
Vishwas Pathak is Co-Chief Spokesperson, BJP Maharashtra.