Why has PM Modi stopped mentioning his flagship schemes during campaigning?

PM Modi is maintaining silence in his election speeches over the state of the government’s flagship schemes announced with much fanfare 4 years ago, as no progress has been made in executing them

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Umakant Lakhera

The election campaigning for assembly elections in five states is in its last phase but it is surprising that the Modi has stopped mentioning his government’s flagship schemes, which it had announced with much pomp and show three years ago. This consistent silence on these schemes during his election campaigns is happening for the first time. Make in India, Smart City, Digital India and Skill India are the among the leading government schemes which has proved to be unsuccessful.

The Modi government’s Digital India scheme is that the projects were supposed to link the villages digitally so that a transparency could be maintained, and rural India could be benefited by these schemes. However, these services have either broken down or have been running at a snail’s pace. The digital system proved to be useless in many rural areas because a very large section of the rural population is still computer illiterate. The internet services remain only on paper.

During the entire election campaigning the Modi government, instead of mitigating the farmers’ troubles, seemed to be on the defensive for sympathising with the prominent industrialists of the country. The condition of the farmers and rural India has worsened in the drought-hit areas because they have not been able to get proper price for their crop.

From Information Technology to employment and Make in India, all the schemes were launched with a lot of fanfare and enthusiasm. India is still the biggest importer of low cost Chinese goods. It was claimed that under Make in India scheme, India would be as good as China. During several of PM Modi’s foreign visits, it was mentioned that investments will be invited for this purpose from abroad but the government sources admit that in the last four years no such huge industry or manufacturing unit was established on whose basis the government could claim some achievements in this regard.

Many experts who openly supported the government now do not even defend it. Many of them now firmly believe that the entire scheme of expanding small and large industries and attracting investors in a big way proved to be a complete failure because immediately after demonetisation, the imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) damaged the investors and the industrialists the most.

The most important thing is that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) keeps a direct watch over these various flagship schemes related to various ministries of the government and the PMO keeps taking a stock of the development of these schemes at regular intervals from these ministries. But for the last few months all these things have been gradually been put on hold.

According to government officials, the main reasons for the constraints, obstacles were because the government did not have the infrastructure available to move forward in the production and manufacturing sector. In the field of basic technology and engineering, the Indian youth are far behind the Chinese. Though the Indian Youth’s knowledge of English and Indian software professionals have set new records in Europe and the US market, but on the other fronts such as ‘Make In India’, the Modi government does not have anything special to boast of.

When these plans of the Modi government started lagging in the last two years, they started publicising a new slogan stating that these schemes will be fully implemented by 2022. The Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana has also met the same fate. Housing is one of the most severe problems in Delhi and the NCR region. Two years ago it was announced that in the next four years, 20 million homeless people would be provided housing by 2022. It was claimed that a budget of ₹2 lakh crores will be spent on this project. This scheme has also gone for a toss. On its own four year old claims, the present government is just playing in the dark for its own schemes

The government's 100 smart city missions in the country also failed because of its own reasons. In March 2018, the Parliamentary Committee for Urban Development Affairs found that smart cities have been announced but they do not have any budget allocated for them. Consequently, work could not be carried out in more than 400 areas.

The Modi government recently had to face severe criticism for its clean Ganga campaign during the Sant Samagam in Ayodhya. The National Mission for clean Ganga ‘Namami Gange’ is a living example of the failures of the Modi government.

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