Prime Minister Narendra Modi has demonstrated that it does not feel shy of taking decisions that may be irksome in the immediate term and has gone ahead with far-reaching reforms such as demonetisation of high value currency in the larger interest of economic growth and the welfare of the people in the long term, said Amit Shah, Rajya Sabha member and BJP President, ending the long awaited interaction organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on 9 September 2017.
“The BJP Government that took office three years ago has completely transformed the thought processes of the people and has been successful in creating ‘Brand India’. It is now for the Indian industry to cash in on the high pedestal that the economy has been placed,” Shah said and added, “Our vision and mission is to push the reforms agenda to its logical conclusion so that it leads to transformative changes in the economy and the lives of the people.”
The BJP Chief said that before the Narendra Modi Government assumed office, there was all round despondency, especially on the economic front as indicated by the GDP numbers, the fiscal deficit, current account deficit and inflation. Corruption and scams were the order of the day and the credibility of the government and the investment climate were under a cloud.
“The governance was dubbed as policy paralysis as all the ministers in the UPA Government acted as if they were the Prime Minister and no one recognised the Prime Minister as the Prime Minister”, he declared.
Shah said that the mood of the nation today stands transformed. “After the formation of the government we started taking long term decisions and we seek to provide a stable policy regime for the next 30 years”, he said, adding “We have changed the very definition of infrastructure development to touch the lives of all through financial and social inclusion.”
He said that the BJP government has upheld the federal structure of governance. This was exemplified by the ‘Pragati Programme’ wherein the Prime Minister regularly interacts with the Chief Secretaries of States to devise ways to remove the roadblocks on the way of stalled projects. The results, he said, were not far to seek. While the speed of road building and railway projects has doubled during the last three years, the timeline for environment and forest clearances for projects has been reduced from 600 to 180 days.
Demonetisation, he said was the perfect example of the effort of the government to delink development for all from vote bank pressures. Demonetisation will increase the size of the formal economy, has unnerved black money generators and increased the tax base from 3.7 crore taxpayers achieved during the last 65 years to 6.3 crore in the last three years alone.
By far the most notable reform has been the roll out of the GST for which a consensual agreement was arrived taking all state government and political parties on board. The ‘One-Tax, One-Nation’ reform measure will address the problem of regional development imbalance and within 15 years there would be all-round development of the country, the BJP Chief asserted.
While the NPAs of banks has shown an increase from 5.1% to 9.6% , this increase should be attributed to the government’s effort at clearing the balance sheets of banks and not concealing the bad debts, he pointed out. Overall, the fruits of the government’s labour can be seen from the progress made in road building, especially rural roads, railway projects, village electrification, regional air connectivity, laying of the optical fibre network, and the drive to provide housing to all by 2022.
The success achieved in raising GDP growth is no mean achievement, Shah said. GDP which had touched a high of 8% during the Prime Ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, slipped to 4.7% in 2013-14. Modi government has been able to steer the economy to a high growth path of 7.1%, he declared.