Thursday, 8 December 2016

Modi's failures

Modi ascended to power in 2014 riding on the tsunami of anti-incumbency of scam ridden Congress led UPA. While Modi is still drawing huge crowds abroad with his charisma and is darling of upper middle classes which are in complete disconnect with lower classes, peasants & rural population is a colossal failure in India during the past two and half years, despite favorable crude oil prices at less than one third of its peak prices. Their argument that "those who governed us for 60 years should not ask for an appraisal in merely 24 months" is untenable.

Here is the list of failures:
  1. Industry stagnating and exports are falling consistently.
  2. Inflation especially food inflation is rising.
  3. Job creation dismal. Textiles, leather, metals, automobiles, gems and jewellery, transport, information technology and the handloom sectors together created just 135,000 jobs during 2015, 67 per cent lower than 421,000 jobs that were added in 2014, the last year of the Manmohan Singh government.
  4. Make in India remains a slogan only.
  5. Bringing back black money in Swiss banks etc in 100 days remains a shallow promise.
  6. PSU Bank's NPA doubled from Rs.2.86 to Rs.5.71 lakh crores in the past one year, due to default by corporate's close to ruling BJP. Improving liquidity or recapitalization needed urgently for banks remain operational.
  7. Despite crude oil prices falling by 70% from its peak prices, consumer sale prices were reduced by just 15%. GOI retained 85% advantage to itself by increasing excise duty etc.
  8. Riding on the wave of low oil prices, Modi government hasn't made any meaningful impact on Indian economy so far.
  9. The BJP had promised to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) at the rate of cost of production along with 50 per cent profit. Agricultural sector is in distress with  no hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers.
  10. The biggest failure, however, is the mishandling of the agriculture and drought situation across the country and the continuing neglect of agriculture. While Modi promises to double agricultural incomes, it is yet to be seen how he will achieve that target. Agricultural growth rate has fallen from about an average of 3.7 per cent per year under UPA to just about one per cent in Modi's tenure.
  11. The drought situation was totally neglected. The drought manuals and rules by the government itself said that water trains and tankers are to be pressed into service as last resort and number of steps ought to have been taken before reaching that step which the government at the centre and state missed. Lack of seriousness by the government of India in assessing and mitigating the drought situation and crisis worsened afflicting nearly 33 crore Indians across several states. Drought is, perhaps, the only natural calamity one can plan against in advance, unlike floods and earthquakes. National Disaster Management Authority manual on management of drought speaks of "drought mitigation" as part of public policy and not just drought relief but this was clearly lost on the Modi government.
  12. All schemes are being renamed and repacked with reduced central contributions passing on the burden on states. They are unable to conceive any new sensible scheme so far on their own.
  13. Cross border firings and ceasefire violations in Jammu & Kashmir are at a high.
  14. Modi's Pakistan policy and his foreign policy is defective. It has been driven by style over substance, adventurism over analysis; by self projection, vanity and petty domestic political calculations over larger interests. The ministry of external affairs has been more like a tour operator or logistics handler, and not a source of policy and executive inputs. Modi's relentless foreign travel remained pleasure trips burdening exchequer.
  15. Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) remained a big failure, despite tough talk.
  16. Demonetization of big notes of Nov 8, 2016, except for its secrecy in unveiling failed to achieve any of its stated objectives viz. black money, fake money, terrorist financing & corruption except causing disruption to civic life in all segments especially informal economy, agriculture and rural economy apart from causing innumerable difficulties for common man for exchanging old notes or withdrawing their own cash from banks. About 70 people died standing in bank/ATM queues and 15 bank employees died due stress and long work hours continuously. Manmohan Singh had rightly remarked that "I do not disagree with the objectives but the process of demonetization is monumental mismanagement and is a case of organised loot and legalized plunder of the common people".
  17. Failed to recover Rs.8,000 crores lent to King Fischer Vijay Mallya who has absconded and banks have just written off as bad loans.
  18. GST bill still incomplete.
  19. Swachh Bharat, Yoga, LPG subsidy give up & Cashless transaction campaigns, even though good, doesn't deserve that much high decibel campaigns.
  20. Smart Cities & Digital India projects are yet to take off from the ground despite announcements a year ago.
  21. Has not fulfilled many of the AP Reorganization Act 2014 commitments or BJP promises of 2014 election campaigns to Andhra Pradesh. Whatever little has been done was with delay of two years reducing its impact and results.
  22. Diverting lot of money for his pet project Ahmedabad - Mumbai bullet train which serves only rich & upper middle classes with ticket price of Rs.3,000.
  23. Many agreements and concessions for enriching richer people but nothing for poor or rural population.
  24. Modi and his Cabinet colleagues foreign trips cost the exchequer Rs.567 crore during 2015-16, an increase of more than 80% from the previous year Rs 269 crore. This is besides the over Rs.500 crore spent by his bureaucrats on their foreign travel.
  25. Reliance has resorted to stealing gas from ONGC gas fields during 2009-11 to the tune of Rs.12,000 crores. Against the consultant recommended claim of ONGC for Rs.30,000 crores Modi passed orders on Reliance to pay up Rs.10,000 crores recently. This was contested in courts by Reliance.
  26. Recollect BJP's political failed adventures in Uttarakhand and Arunchal Pradesh to usurp power leading to a suicide by an innocent Ex-CM in Arunachal Pradesh. It was rumored that BJP spent Rs.15 crore per MLA crossing in intense horse-trading.
  27. NDA and all state governments are spending lots of money on advertisement campaigns while doing very little on the ground.
  28. While Assam's BJP win can't be termed as endorsement of Modi's government, Delhi & Bihar's defeat is a clear rejection for Modi. In all the five states that went to the polls recently, BJP dropped its vote share since 2014, and minus Assam. Even the Congress party scored nearly twice as many Assembly segments compared to the BJP. The Modi tsunami is now withdrawing back to the sea and those who revelled when it hit the coast are now in a real danger of being drowned by it.
  29. Artificial JNU controversy on nationalism is another black spot on Modi.
  30. Modi government seemed more keen on confrontation than conciliation in order to get tricky legislation's passed. Consequently, very little has actually got done on the development and economic front.
The reason for the victory of Narendra Modi was the tremendous support he got from first-time young voters and floating voters who saw him as the best alternative then may very well change their opinion come 2019 and that is the nature of a fence sitter who isn't ideologically wedded to what the BJP represents.

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel but in the case of Modi's government, pseudo-patriotism is the last resort of the incompetent.

My View:
The last two years, if seen in totality, offer very little for the Modi government to gloat about. Modi government harping on the past that Congress hasn't done anything is futile. While Congress was certainly bad, they never meddled with the lives & livelihood of poor & peasants. In the absence of strengthening Lok Pal & RTI bringing Politicians, Bureaucrats, Judiciary & Businessmen under its purview, granting autonomy and teeth to CBI, CVC  & ACB etc and no steps to enforce transparency & accountability, Modi's talk about elimination of corruption & black money etc is shallow and is a mere lip service. Modi should do something for the nation with sincerity of purpose evident rather than blaming Congress for all the ills of nation even after two and half years of ascending to power. It sounds nice only during first quarter and second quarter but sounds awkward in the 10th quarter. Above all, Modi government in collision course with Supreme Court regarding judges appointment matters for prolonged periods of over an year doesn't august well irrespective of merits.

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