The NDA Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has completed its two years in office. It is normal for any Government which enters the middle of its tenure to consolidate its road map for the future. For the Modi Government, the first two years has also been like the slog-overs.
The Government was formed in a peculiar environment. The UPA had abandoned policy formulation. It was dubbed as an era of ‘policy paralysis’. Both global and domestic investors had started disregarding India. India was off their radar. The credibility of governance was marred with scams and scandals.
The Prime Minister’s Office was no longer the repository of the last word. The 2014 election verdict was aspirational. The decisive majority in the Lok Sabha made decision making easier for the new government. The Prime Minister, by instinct, is decisive. The character of governance has changed. Prime Minister Modi and his team have presented India with a changed political and governance culture. That India can have a clean government at the Centre where files move on their own, middlemen are unemployed, discretions are eliminated, is a reality being presented before the country today. From ‘policy paralysis’, India has transformed into the fastest growing global economy for two years in a row. Federalism has been respected as never before. The Prime Minister, with his hands-on approach, has presented India with a Government that projects itself as different from its predecessor. India needed investment. Investment is the starting point of all economic activity. Both the banks and the private sector had over stretched themselves during the UPA Government. Thus, a bulk of investment in the last two years came by way of enhanced public expenditure and Foreign Direct Investment. The emphasis of the investment has been India’s infrastructure, rural sector and India’s social sector. The highways sector is booming all over again. The expenditure this year on India’s rural roads will be three times what it was earlier. Twenty five more regional airports will be added. The Railways are being strengthened. With the re-development of four hundred major railways stations, the face of Indian Railways will be changed. There is more power available than what India needs. The port capacity is being strengthened with additional investments. Game changing initiatives in the oil and gas sector have been taken. Electrification of all un-electrified villages, expansion of rural roads, rural sanitation, housing for all, enhanced expenditure on irrigation, more money for the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, more money for interest subvention to make cheaper capital available for the farmer, are all instrumentalities of funding rural India. — Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister