NEW DELHI: ‘Garibi Hatao’ and ‘Jai Kisan’ have found a new script in the Modi government. Top bureaucrats have drafted a plan to eliminate poverty by 2032 and accelerate India’s growth rate to 10 per cent from the current 7.4 per cent.
The focus is on four major areas: social equity, agricultural growth, manufacturing and creating a world-class infrastructure. A detailed Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) note accessed by Express shows that government envisages 175 million new jobs to make India a $10 trillion economy. Instead of pumping in thousands of crores in subsidies, the emphasis of the road map — prepared by former finance secretary Ratan P Watal, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Corporate Affairs Secretary Tapan Ray, and Ministry of External Affairs Secretary Sujata Mehta — is on boosting manufacturing and services, supporting agriculture, improving education access to SC/STs and tribals; all with a definite deadline. Over 25 Joint Secretaries from different ministries have assisted the officials.
Bank accounts will be opened for of all BPL persons by 2017. Financial services in all Gram Panchayats through Post Offices will be extended by 2019. Equipment leasing companies will be set up at the block level by the same year, and 100 start-up villages will be created across the country by 2017. The PMO note says the new jobs created will contribute to 25 per cent of India’s GDP by 2022. “Service industry would continue to be the major contributor to GDP. Focus is to be sunrise service sectors — information technology–enabled services, medical tourism, contractual R&D, BPO and tourism for inclusive growth,” the government note said.Since the Opposition has held up the land acquisition bill in Parliament, the government is mulling over flexible land laws through an executive order.
The proposal includes an e-enabled national market for agricultural produce and FDI in cold chains by 2017. Reducing transactions cost from Rs 1,500 to Rs 10 by 2019 will empower 100 million more Indians by next year.
However, there remains scepticism in terms of delivery since various schemes launched with fanfare were either delayed or implemented partially. For example, the soil health card scheme for farmers could not meet the target set by the government last year and schemes such as those on Ganga rejuvenation are stuck at various approval stages due to friction between states and the Centre. Concerned over the delay in several flagship “nation-building” schemes, Niti Aayog has been roped in for speed and proper implementation.
According to an estimate by the C Rangarajan Expert Group, 30.9 per cent of the rural population and 26.4 per cent of the urban population were below the poverty line in 2011-12. The all-India ratio was 29.5 per cent. As per the report, 363 million people were BPL in 2011-12.