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Narendra Modi's Sixth week in Office Analysis


Narendra Modi's Sixth week in Office Analysis


The Narendra Modi government successfully completed one-month in office last week. There were many bouquets and brickbats in this short period of time. Now, let us find out the most important tasks undertaken by this new government in the last one week.

Handling Iraq Crisis

One of the gravest problems Narendra Modi government is facing is the on-going Iraq imbroglio. Till now 39 Indians have been kidnapped and captured by terrorist organisation ISIS. The Indian government stepped up efforts to evacuate all Indians from Iraq and assured families of the kidnapped persons about the steps undertaken to safely rescue and bring back their kith and keen.

As crisis in violence torn Iraq escalated, Sushma Swaraj met India's envoys to the Gulf countries last Sunday (June 29) and discussed how the envoys can facilitate in bringing back 10000 strong Indians stranded in the war ravaged country. The Government has brought back 46 Indian nurses stranded in Tikrit, the militant stronghold. In addition to the nine teams already working in the three cities of Iraq – Karbala, Najaf, and Basra – government decided to send two more teams to Baghdad.

Budget Issues discussed with President

On July 3, Narendra Modi met President Pranab Mukherjee and discussed issues related to the 2014 budget session. This meeting over lunch was especially significant because the budget session will begin on July 7 and the PM is expected to attend BRICS Summit during July-end. As four governors have resigned in the recent past, Modi-Pranab meeting assumed added significance.

Behemoths of IT industry meet Ravi Shankar Prasad

Top leaders from Wipro and TCS met the Communications and IT Minister and discussed issues relating to visas and taxes. Loss of around US$ 118 billion in IT-ITES industry due to visas and taxes were highlighted and discussed in the meeting. Both of them had separate meetings with the minister.

One of the major concerns of Indian IT giants include US Immigration Bill, not yet passed by the US House of Representatives, that proposes enhanced audit by US agencies along with increase in visa fees. These companies send visa dependent workforce to the US to service clients. But with introduction of the Bill, the companies will be required to hire local talents, thereby enhancing their cost of operations by leaps and bounds. It needs special mention that 60 per cent of export earnings by the IT and ITES companies come from US. Therefore, their bottomline will be negatively affected if the proposed Bill gets passed by the US.

Potatoes and Onions brought under the Essential Commodities Act

Inflation was the main poll plank of Modi during election. As inflation continues to be much above the safe inflation limit of 4 to 4.5 per cent. The Centre took the decision on July 2, 2014 of including onions and potatoes under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. This has been done to let states impose stock holding limits on these food items so that their prices don’t cross a certain level. Poor monsoon forecast has prompted many middlemen to hoard these items, leading to escalation of their prices. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) took this decision for letting the states carry on de-hoarding operations.

Cabinet Panels on Prices and Aadhar Dropped

The government has issued notification regarding latest rules related to business transactions. This included change in the list of Cabinet Committees along with their functions. Four panels started by the erstwhile government including the ones on Aadhaar and prices were dropped. Skill development has been emphasised and that’s why a panel on this has been added.

Spotlight on Social Media

Modi has given due importance to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Twitter will not only advise minsters and bureaucracy on social media usage but also organise workshops for diplomats and ambassadors.

While meeting the PM, Sheryl Sandberg - CEO of Facebook, on Thursday (July 3) stressed upon working closely with Indian government in areas such as e-governance, better connectivity, and better education for connecting people.

Synergy between NPR and Aadhaar

The possibilities of bringing synergy between Aadhar projects and National Population Register (NPR) were discussed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Home Minister) with Minister of State for Planning and Law Minister. To avoid any duplication issue, the government is considering the steps required to make them complementary.

Major Revamp in Social Security Schemes

Social security framework is going to witness a major revamp as three key schemes will be converted into one. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS), Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana (AABY), and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) will be brought under a pilot project under the Ministry of Labour and Employment. This pilot project is expected to be launched from January 1, 2015 in 20 districts for facilitating unorganised workers access the three schemes through a single smart card.

Indo-France talks

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius discussed with his Indian counterpart the step required for pushing defence deals as well as bilateral trade on June 30, 2014. France is the first Western power to hold talks with the new Indian government. It has been learnt that foreign investors are upbeat about Modi government as he is perceived to be a reform-friendly PM who, they believe, would further open up the economy to usher in economic growth. Discussions also took place on production and technology sharing of Rafale fighter jets, tourism efforts, space cooperation, and others.

Stepping up ties with the US

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh on July 3 reiterated the fact that the US is a crucial part of the new government’s critical outreach. The Modi government is not keeping any stone unturned to step up stronger ties with the US so that both the countries get benefitted by the partnership.

 

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Last Updated on July 5, 2014, 9:59 am