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Narendra Modi's Twelfth (12th) week in Office Analysis


Narendra Modi's Twelfth (12th) week in Office Analysis


Modi’s first Independence Day speech wins hearts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his maiden speech, made it very clear that violence of any form including caste-violence and left-wing extremities must be abstained from to take the country forward. He urged the youth to give up extremism of any kind and embrace development instead.

Modi called on the global investors to come and manufacture in India. Sell anywhere but ‘Make in India,’ he said, ‘we have the skills.’ This indicates that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is looking at pushing for policy reforms in an aggressive manner.  

He went on to say that India cannot work in isolation but has to work hand in hand with all the countries. He emphasised on proper hygiene in all schools – including toilets – by the next Independence Day, villages to be adopted by an MP each so that they can be turned into role model villages, and provision for bank account and insurance for every household. He also talked about a national campaign against female foeticide.

He strongly took up the topic of rape, describing it is a national shame.  He urged the parents to rein in their sons and teach them the difference between right and wrong.

Describing himself as a Pradhan Sewak (prime servant), he also went on to add that India is country represented by farmers, youth, labourers and women and called upon the countrymen to unite and fight poverty.

Finances stand to improve in coming quarters: Finance Minister

Finance Minister Arum Jailed said that finances would improve in the coming quarters and dismissed worries about missing the fiscal target. He said that the government’s disinvestment plan was on track and the government planned to raise about Rs 58,425 crore through the sale of stakes in state-owned units.

He asked people not to go by the percentage and the number of months, as in the initial months there will be a carry-over of expenditure and refunds from the previous year. By next month, direct tax collections will also pick, he added.

The government had intended to contain the fiscal deficit at 4.1 percent of the gross domestic product, but it looks challenging. Fiscal deficit in the first three months was Rs 2.97 trillion and for the whole year, it is at 5.31 trillion.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is looking forward to a credible financial consolidation policy by the government to contain inflation and promote growth.  RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said the current policy rates are on track to meet the inflation projection, until and unless there are some changes in the key macro-economic data.  

Both Arun Jaitley and Raghuram Rajan were addressing a press conference after the RBI’s board meeting in Delhi.

It is time to conclude the civil nuclear deal: India to Japan

On the sidelines of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) meet in Myanmar, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Japan counterpart Fumio Kishida had a bilateral meeting. Swaraj referred to the upcoming visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Tokyo and told Kishida that India wanted a substantial meeting and expressed hope that the civil nuclear deal will be concluded soon. Even if the inking of the deal was not possible during the visit, India looked for the negotiations to be concluded as soon as possible, Swaraj added. Kishida also expressed the same sentiments and said Japan too looked forward to a substantial meeting.

Though the talks are still pending, the Japan government is of the view that such a co-operation was significant considering the fact that India expressed a strong wish for such a co-operation even after the 2011 Fukushima disaster and the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries.  

India has already signed an agreement for cooperation with South Korea that competes with Japan in the civil nuclear technology area and Korea awaits allocation of a site to build its nuclear reactor.

Government constitutes panel to form rules for e-rickshaws.

With the Delhi High Court barring battery operated cycle rickshaws from operating in New Delhi, the NDA government has decided to form a panel that will recommend rules for the construction and maintenance of these rickshaws.

Currently, the e-rickshaws have no accountability and neither are they issued any licenses or registered with any authority. There are about 70,000 such e-rickshaws plying on the roads of New Delhi.

With a view of making the e-rickshaws safer, the panel will recommend rules on the construction, the equipment and the overall maintenance of e-rickshaws. On the panel are representatives from the Automotive Research Association of India, department of heavy industries, transport department of Delhi, ministries of environment and forest and power, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Energy and Resources Institute.

This project is championed by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari who had earlier promised that e-rickshaws will not be considered illegal. The earlier United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had deemed them illegal.

If e-rickshaws are legalised, it will directly hit the sales of three-wheelers. Few experts are of the opinion that the Centre is trying to give legal protection to these unsafely assembled rickshaws.

Modi visits Kargil

Modi made a one-day visit to Ladakh to inaugurate few notable power projects. Addressing the officers and soldiers, he said that his government would never compromise on the Siachen Glacier, which India has controlled since 1984. He condemned Pakistan for its proxy war and went on to add that Pakistan was incapable of fighting conventional war, hence was resorting to terrorism.  

Later, he flew down to Kargil to inaugurate the 44 MW Chutak hydro-power project. He was the first prime minister to visit this area after the conflict of 1999 with Pakistan. He went on to say that he wanted to settle the 20 percent displaced people in Jammu and Kashmir and bring prosperity to the region. In Leh, Modi emphasised on the fact that his government would strive to bring prakash, paryavaran and paryatan (Power, Environment and Tourism) to the region.

Reacting to Modi’s accusation, Pakistan's Foreign Office said they were baseless and emphasised that both the countries should focus on resolving the issues via dialogue. The Pakistan Foreign Office went on to say that the accusation is unfortunate as Pakistan is looking forward to establishing cordial relations with India.

To this, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said that terrorism is a "core concern" for India and a "real and present danger". India’s concern has its roots in the fact that some of the deadliest terror attacks have stemmed from either Pakistan or Pakistan controlled areas.

On August 25, the foreign secretaries of both the nations are set to meet. Would this exchange of statements then play a role in hampering the relationship between the countries? Something that one has to wait and watch out for.

WBMN16.08.2014

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Last Updated on August 9, 2014, 10:45 am