PM Modi’s failed projects and lies: The saga continues... 

In the last four-and-half years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in a hurry to announce projects and inaugurate schemes. However, a number of them have failed or malfunctioned. A look at them...

PM Modi’s failed projects and lies: The saga continues... 

Zaheeb Ajmal

In the last four-and-half years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been on an inauguration spree; he has been willing to inaugurate even small stretches of roads and metro lines.

In the run up to Gujarat Assembly elections, he had inaugurated the ₹144 crore Ro-Ro Ferry project, which after functioning for over a year is now defunct as the ferry’s engine has collapsed.

Soon after, people took to social media this week, to duly report that the elevator at the newly-inaugurated Statue of Unity site broke down thrice in December. Angry visitors even demanded a refund of their money. On November 14, Bihar's deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi along with another state Gujarat minister and officials got stuck in the Statue of Unity elevator twice.

Inaugurated in June 2018 by PM Modi, BJP's Bastar development plan is still a mere showpiece. The regional connectivity scheme UDAN was supposed to link Bastar, 20 kms from Jagdalpur, with Chhattisgarh's capital Raipur by air, which is well connected to different cities in the country. Save for one flight with hours of delay, there are no flights from Jagdalpur Airport.

On June 29,2018, it was reported that the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 27, 2018, had signs of damage due to pre-monsoon showers. At first, a distinct crack had appeared on the expressway. Later, an entire portion of the road caved in. Working on the reconstruction of the same, the engineers blamed the water trickling in from the drains for dismantling the road.

Not only this, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name has become synonymous with lies to the people. His promises turned out to be a mere election stint. This election season has been no different for PM Modi and his lies.

Here is the recap of the most recent ones:

On November 18, 2018, while addressing a public rally in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, PM Modi said that in last 15 years of Shivraj rule, agriculture sector has been brought to number one.

Fact: Madhya Pradesh 11,000 farmers have committed suicide in nine years. Also one must not forget that it was during the Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s rule that six farmers were shot dead during a protest in Mandsaur.

On November 26, 2018, during the campaign in Rajasthan, PM Modi asked earlier was there roads to villages, electricity and water.

Fact: Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana from 2008 to 2011, 158,000 kilometers of road were constructed. Whereas under PM Modi from 2014 to 2017, construction of roads has been only 120,000 kilometers.

In the same rally, he went on to say that our government has given approval to eight medical colleges.

Fact: According to Lok Sabha data, only one medical college in Dholpur has received central government approval, as of August 2018.

On October 19, 2018, PM Modi during a public meeting said we have constructed 1 crore 25 lakhs houses. Congress had constructed 25 lakhs in four years.

Fact: According to standing committee report on rural development, 162 lakh house were built between 2007-2014. Whereas BJP government has only managed to build 53 lakh houses, which is 52 percent of BJP’s target of one crore.

On November 26, 2018 , During his rally in Rajasthan he said that his government has opened bank accounts of every Indian.

Fact: As of July 2017, 18 public sector banks and 16 rural branches have over one crore Jan Dhan accounts with only ₹1. As of July 2018, there are approximately 6 crore bank accounts which lie inactive.

As he faces the next general election in less than half a year, let’s take a some of his failed programmes and policies:

Make in India /Startup India: The Modi government launched its flagship ‘Make in India’ programme in a attempt to boost local manufacturing and creating a new skills development ministry to provide vocational training to unskilled youth. It also launched a much publicised ‘Startup India’ with the aim of making India the startup capital of the world, just like Israel.But none of these initiatives seem to have gone very far. In fact, how badly India has performed in export terms is a result of the country’s trade deficit with China. It remains skewed in the latter’s favour by a ratio of four to one. According to a status report on the Startup India website, only 74 startups had been identified to receive tax benefits as of January first week.

Black money: On the intervening night of November 8, 2016, PM Modi banned the use of ₹500 and ₹1000 notes, sucking 86% of the currency in circulation, with the objective of delivering blow to black money hoarders. While the government aimed as much as a third of India’s unaccounted wealth would go out of the system, in the end, nearly all the currency found its way to the bank, riding pillion on hundreds of thousands of poor Indians who acted as mules, for a cut, filling up their inactive Jan Dhan accounts, or simply exchanged cash over the counter. The move brought the country’s informal economy to a standstill and affected growth badly.

Bad loans: Bad debts, which is now at more than ₹9 trillion, continue to weigh heavily not just on government-controlled banks but also on its fiscal health. Last year, the central government implemented a massive ₹2.11 trillion recapitalisation plan to keep public-sector banks afloat. But its efficiency is in doubt, especially after PNB was hit by a ₹13,000-crore fraud.

BJP government also merged the SBI with its subsidiary banks, and could merge several of the remaining 22 state-owned banks among themselves. But it is to be seen whether these measures will take the massive load of bad debt off their books. It can, however, be safely said that the next regime too will inherit this problem, only at a much bigger scale.

Agriculture: One of PM Modi’s key promises in general election 2014 was to double farm incomes by 2022. Instead, farm incomes have declined, primarily on account of food price deflation and the breakdown in the cash-based rural economy in the wake of the November 2016 demonetisation. In fact, if one compares India’s real GDP growth to expansion of its farm sector, the latter has consistently lagged the former since 2012.

The 2018 pre-budget Economic Survey notes that on account of climate change, farm incomes could see a further 25% decline in the long term. Not only has farm distress worsen the issue of farmer suicides, it has also brought farmers on to the streets, as happened in Mumbai and Delhi, when in March and November this year farmers converged upon India’s metropolitan cities demanding a complete waiver of loans and power dues.

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