(GIST OF YOJANA) THE STORY OF A NEW INDIA-JULY-2017

(GIST OF YOJANA) THE STORY OF A NEW INDIA-JULY-2017

India is rewarding its growth story in the global geopolitical economic landscape, charting new courses in its governance paradigm and striving to demolish the old images and impressions as viewed through coloured lenses in the comity of nations to evolve into a 'New India'.

Let us start with the most recent announcement of demonetisation of RS.500 and Rs.1000 notes, one of the most impactful steps taken to curb the three pronged menace of black money, counterfeit currency and corruption. It provided a logical climax to the series of initiatives taken towards this of the government which include closely collaboration with the Swiss bank officials, setting up of an SIT to deal with investigations on individual cases of tax evasion and Income Declaration Scheme, which mobilised tax revenue of nearly Rs. 65,000 cr. A move to purge the economy of the toxic black cash not only induces more efficiency and reduces corruption, but also gives room for the government and the central bank to cut tax rates and interest rates respectively, spurring up investments while being on track to attain the fiscal deficit and growth targets. This is the story of a Resurgent India.

India's digital leadership was clearly visible post demonetisation when the effort to boost the Digital Payments ecosystem received a much needed fillip. The aim was to inculcate a behaviour change in promoting cashless transactions and converting India into a lesscash society, thereby seeking to increase transparency and accountability. It is heartening to note that about 1.5 crore people have adopted the BHIM app so far in just over 2 months time of its launch. To facilitate digital transactions, over 30 crore Rupay debit cards had been issued by the government including those issued to Jan Dhan account holders. Around 12.51akh people have won under the Lucky Grahak Yojana and 70,000 traders bagged prizes under the Digidhan Vyapar Yojana. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana provided the last chance to tax evaders to declare their income, the funds of which would be channelized for the benefit of the poor. Demonetization gives us a unique opportunity to harness this digital revolution to deal a mortal blow to corruption and black money. Payment through online channels significantly reduces the need for cash and brings about transparency in financial dealings. It is the responsibility of those who are well-versed in the use of digital channels for payments etc to teach those who are new to it, The fight to improve people's living standards and weed out corruption and black money has to be a collective, societal effort. This is the story of a Digital India.

Demonetisation and other decisions taken in the economic sphere have gone hand in hand with the aggressive drive towards achieving universal financial inclusion and bringing every citizen into the formal banking net, Nearly 28.13 cr accounts have been' opened so far under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) which gives a much needed fillip to move towards a cashless economy, and realise the dream of
'financial untouchability'. The scheme has managed to open more bank accounts in the last two years than in the all the years since India's independence to August 2014 combined. This is the story of an Inclusive India.

The 'Make in India' Campaign is one of the flagship schemes of the government that aims at making India a global manufacturing hub and reaping the economic spin offs thereon in terms of better infrastructure" better employment opportunities and leveraging on India's massive demographic dividend. The net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows have hit an all-time high in early 2017 of the order of $3.35 bn and have more than financed the current account deficit. Foreign investment has increased by nearly 46 per cent since the launch of Make In India. This is the story of a Investor-friendly India.

The passage of the historic GST legislation is set to simplify the tax regime, create a nation wide market for goods and services and broaden the tax base giving a fillip to economic growth. Government revenues are set to rise, Logistics, Inventory costs, tax evasion will fall and manufactured goods would be cheaper. The dream of One nation, One tax is now a reality. This proves beyond doubt the decisiveness of the government. Manufacturing will get more competitive as GST addresses "cascading of tax, inter-state tax, high logistics costs and fragmented market. There will be increased protection from imports as GST provides for appropriate counter veiling duty. This is the story of a Transformational India.

On the skill development front, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is the flagship scheme of the government launched with the objective of enabling a large number of Indian youth to take up industry- relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. With the slogan of "Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat", a total of 19.85 lakh youth have been trained and 2.49 lakh placed in FY 16, while 8479 training centers have been opened in 596 districts. This is the story of a Skill India.

The schemes in the agriculture sector such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojaiia, Soil Health Card scheme, Neem coated urea, augmenting the minimum support prices among other initiatives have served the 'Kisans' of our nation in good stead even in the face of vagaries of the monsoon. Nearly, 15.86 lakh hectares brought under micro irrigation from 2014-17 under 'Per Drop More Crop' for micro irrigation, while 6.20 crore soil health cards have been distributed so far. On the insurance coverage front, 23 States during Kharif 2016; 390 lakh farmers covered and 386.75 lakh hectares have been insured to the tune ofRs.1,41,883.30 crores. During Rabi 2016-17, as of now, 167 lakh farmers have been covered and about 193.35 lakh hectares insured over the sum insured of Rs. 71,728.59 crores. These numbers speak volumes about the government's commitment towards the welfare of the 'Annadaatas' of the nation.

On; the infrastructure front, initiatives such as the Smart Cities project, AMRUT Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, passage of RERA among others have enhanced the performance of the sector.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Atal Pension Yojana, Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Krishi Sinchai Yojana, MUDRA Bank Yojana, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Nayi Manzil Yojana among others try to ensure a well balanced development of all sections of the society, be it the girl child, senior citizens, farmers, minorities, urban house dwellers or rural villagers. The schemes of the government have touched all sections of the society and have simplified their lives. This is the story of the Garib, Kisan and Mahila who are reaping the benefits of a Transforming India.

India's stance has changed from that of strategic restraint to greater assertion in response to terrorism from Pakistan. It has been made amply clear that India wants pure bilateralism and will not accept Islamabad's talks with separatists as demonstrated by calling off foreign secretary level talks and walking out of regional summits (SAARC summit in Pakistan). The attack on the Indian army retaliated through surgical strikes further reinforced this position. Also, by boycotting the SAARC summit, India sent out a stem message to the extent of major world powers considering motions to declare Pakistan as terror state.

In her multilateral engagements, India's bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council found many backers and significant progress has also been made for entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. India's engagement in regional groupings such as BRICS, SAARC, BIMSTEC has been fruitful. India has also been able to lead the cause of the developing nations in multilateral negotiations on climate change (in Paris Summit) and trade negotiations in WTO.

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