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Modi’s 9 Yrs In Power: Transforming India’s Infra & Economy
Since assuming power in 2014, the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in India has been committed to transforming the country's infrastructure and driving economic growth. There have been some misses as well
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Over the span of nine years, the government has made significant strides in sectors such as roads, highways, railways, aviation, and has implemented several initiatives aimed at bolstering the economy and achieving the ambitious goal of a $5 trillion economy. This article captures the remarkable achievements, developments and some misses under the NDA government's tenure.
Roads and Highways: One of the most remarkable accomplishments of the NDA government has been the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana, a road and highway development program. Under this initiative, a network of over 83,000 kilometers of roads is being developed, connecting various parts of the country. This has not only improved connectivity and reduced travel time but also enhanced trade and commerce.
Railways: The Modi government has been instrumental in transforming the Indian Railways. It introduced the indigenous Vande Bharat Express, a semi-high-speed train known for its comfort, efficiency, and speed. This made India self-reliant in train manufacturing and showcased the nation's engineering prowess.
Aviation Sector Growth: The aviation sector has witnessed significant growth under the NDA government. The introduction of the Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme has connected remote areas of the country by air, promoting tourism and boosting regional economies. The government's focus on ease of doing business and infrastructure development has also attracted foreign investments, leading to a surge in airline passenger traffic in India.
Forex Reserves: The NDA government's economic policies have strengthened India's foreign exchange reserves, bolstering the nation's financial stability and reducing vulnerability to external shocks. With robust measures and reforms, India's forex reserves crossed the $600 billion mark, providing a solid foundation for the economy.
Towards a $5 Trillion Economy: The government's vision to achieve a $5 trillion economy has been a central focus of its policies. Initiatives, like Make in India, Digital India, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), have been instrumental in attracting investments, boosting manufacturing, promoting digitalization, and simplifying the tax structure. These measures have propelled India on the path of economic growth, though the goal remains a work in progress.
GDP Growth: Under the NDA government's stewardship, India has consistently witnessed commendable GDP growth. By implementing structural reforms, streamlining bureaucracy, and promoting entrepreneurship, the government has successfully propelled India to become one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world. However, the COVID-19 pandemic posed unprecedented challenges, impacting global economies, including India's.
Banking & Stock Markets: The past nine years have witnessed significant banking reforms in India, spearheaded by the RBI. These reforms have strengthened the banking system, improved transparency, and bolstered credit growth. The stock market, represented by the BSE and NSE, has performed admirably during this period, reaching new highs and attracting both domestic and foreign investors. With concerted efforts from the government, regulatory bodies, and market participants, India's banking and stock market sectors are well-positioned to contribute to the nation's economic development and attract investments in the years to come.
The Indian banking sector has undergone substantial reforms in recent years. The introduction of initiatives such as the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and the establishment of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have been pivotal in enhancing transparency, accountability, and stability in the banking system. These reforms have strengthened the resolution framework for distressed assets, enabling banks to effectively address non-performing loans and revitalize credit growth.
Role of Reserve Bank of India (RBI): As India's central banking institution, the RBI has played a crucial role in driving banking reforms and ensuring financial stability. It has implemented various measures to enhance liquidity, promote financial inclusion, and maintain a conducive monetary policy environment. The RBI's proactive approach, combined with its regulatory oversight, has instilled confidence in the banking sector and fostered investor trust.
Performance of Stock Market (BSE and NSE): The BSE and NSE, India's premier stock exchanges, have witnessed remarkable performance over the past nine years. The stock market indices, such as the Sensex (BSE) and Nifty (NSE), have consistently scaled new heights, reflecting the confidence of investors in the Indian economy. The introduction of reforms like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and initiatives promoting ease of doing business have positively impacted corporate earnings, attracting domestic and foreign investors to the stock market.
The stock market's growth has also been facilitated by technological advancements and the digitization of trading processes. Online trading platforms and increased accessibility have allowed a wider section of the population to participate in the stock market, further fueling its growth.
In 2014, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) reached its highest level during the tenure of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in India. On November 28, 2014, the BSE Sensex, which is the benchmark stock market index of the BSE, touched a record high of 28,822.37 points. This milestone was significant as it marked the highest level ever achieved by the BSE Sensex at that time. But, in December of 2022, the Stock Market Index reached an all time high of 63583.07, also during the NDA government rule.
Many Achievements, Some Misses
The nine-year journey of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government in India has been marked by significant achievements and transformative reforms. The government's focus on infrastructure development, be it roads, highways, railways, or aviation, has connected the country and facilitated economic growth. The remarkable increase in airline passenger traffic and growth in forex reserves are testaments to the government's effective policies. While progress towards the goal of a $5 trillion economy is ongoing, the government's relentless efforts to drive GDP growth and promote ease of doing business have placed India on a promising trajectory. As India moves forward, it is imperative to continue building on these achievements, addressing challenges, and ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth for all.
Area of Concern - Word-in-Progress
While the government has achieved commendable progress in various sectors, there remain certain targets that have been missed or require further attention. This article presents a review of the areas where the government fell short and highlights the need for continued efforts in these domains.
Agriculture and Farmer Welfare: Despite the government's focus on agricultural reforms, the sector continues to face challenges. The promise of doubling farmers' income by 2022 remains unfulfilled, as farmers continue to grapple with issues such as low prices for their produce, lack of access to markets, and limited irrigation facilities. More comprehensive measures are required to address these issues and ensure the well-being of the farming community.
Job Creation and Unemployment: Job creation has been a significant concern during the NDA government's tenure. While initiatives like Make in India and Skill India have aimed to boost employment opportunities, the desired impact has not been fully realized. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the unemployment crisis, necessitating a renewed focus on job creation and skill development to provide meaningful livelihoods for the growing workforce.
Education and Skill Development: Improving the quality of education and enhancing skill development have been key priorities of the government. However, the education sector continues to grapple with challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, shortage of teachers, and low learning outcomes, particularly in rural areas. Continued efforts and investments are needed to address these gaps and ensure inclusive and quality education for all.
Healthcare Infrastructure: The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of India's healthcare system. While the government launched the Ayushman Bharat scheme to provide health insurance coverage to the marginalized, the country still faces challenges related to inadequate healthcare infrastructure, shortage of healthcare professionals, and uneven access to quality healthcare services. Further investments and policy interventions are crucial to strengthen the healthcare system and ensure better preparedness for future health crises.
Infrastructure Development: While the government has made significant strides in infrastructure development, there is still a long way to go. The pace of implementation of projects such as the Bharatmala Pariyojana and Sagarmala has been slower than anticipated, leading to delays in achieving the desired outcomes. Streamlining bureaucratic processes, addressing land acquisition challenges, and ensuring effective project management will be essential to accelerate infrastructure development.