ALSO READNews digest: BJP national executive meet, Air India sale, and more BJP National Executive meet: Decoding options before Modi to boost economy Govt now asks departments to fast-track budgeted spend; stimulus can wait BJP LIVE: Amit Shah hits out at Rahul, says BJP leaders rise on performance Stay in battle mode for elections: Amit Shah
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Executive on Monday unanimously passed a resolution to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making a ‘New India’ by 2022, even as it conceded the teething troubles with the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and recognised the need for the government to take steps to meet the challenges of economic slowdown.
In the run-up to the executive meeting, senior BJP leaders had said the meeting would pass a resolution on economic issues. However, the party eventually decided to pass one standalone resolution that addressed both political and economic issues.
“The government is sensitive to the economic issues. All of us (ministers) are giving the PM feedback. We are making an effort on a war footing (to deal with economic issues),” said Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who briefed the media after the national executive unanimously passed the resolution.
The BJP has also had a rethink on allowing a live telecast of the PM’s speech at the national executive. The speech will now remain a closed-door affair, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefing the media on the speech at 5pm.
According to Gadkari, the resolution focused on the foreign policy successes of the Modi government, congratulated the PM and Jaitley on the rollout of GST, bringing the issue of terrorism on the international agenda and economic issues.
Gadkari indicated the government was mulling a booster shot for the economy in the sectors of power and roadways, and likely to allocate Rs 40,000 for the purpose. He said unemployment among youth remained a problem, but the Modi government has attempted to address it through its policies of Mudra scheme, stand up-start up scheme and skill development.
The resolution has said the Modi government observed the centenary year of Jan Sangha leader Deendayal Upadhyaya as the ‘year for the welfare of the downtrodden’. It resolved to pursue economic policies inspired by Upadhyaya’s commitment to ‘garib kalyan’, or welfare of the poor, and construct a ‘New India’ by 2022.
It identified a six point programme for building this ‘New India’. These include – poverty free India, clean India, an India without terrorism and separatism, an India without casteism and communalism and corruption free India.
On GST rollout, Gadkari said big reforms do face teething troubles but the GST Council was at work to resolve sectoral issues. He said demonetisation has doubled the number of people filing Income Tax returns and ‘black’ or unaccounted money has reduced in the economy. “These are short term problems and would lead to long term gains. Much effort is being put in the infrastructure sector,” Gadkari said.
The resolution stressed on the women-centric agenda of the Modi government. Gadkari said 30 million have benefitted from the Ujjwala Scheme, that has provided cooking gas cylinders to poor families.
On Congress President Sonia Gandhi writing to the PM to ensure the passage of the women’s reservation Bill, Gadkari said the Congress should have got the Bill passed when it was in the government at the Centre. He, however, this was under PM’s consideration.
Gadkari said the lathicharge on women students at the Banaras Hindu University needed to be criticized in strongest possible words. He said the PM and BJP chief Amit Shah have spoken with Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath on the issue and an inquiry committee is being set up.
The resolution has congratulated the PM for the amicable resolution of the Doklam military standoff with China, inauguration of the Sardar Sarovar Project and the ‘bhumi poojan’ of the ‘Bullet’ or high speed Ahmedabad-Mumbai train.