The successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 on Monday coincided with the Narendra Modi government 2.0 completing its first 50 days in office, and the government stated that it is “walking the talk” on the promise of rapid development, and the pace of reform in its second term has increased, compared with its previous tenure.
Presenting the report card of the first 50 days of Modi 2.0, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said “speed, skill and scale” have exemplified the 50 days of the government. He detailed the various programmes, policies and measures taken for the betterment of all sections of society.
Government sources said Parliament working overtime was one more evidence that it is hard at work. They said the government has ensured the passage of 10 bills, most passed unanimously, in the ongoing session. The Opposition, however, bemoaned the government jettisoning the practice of referring bills to parliamentary standing committees for scrutiny. “With every passing day, rule after rule, convention after convention, is blatantly broken in Parliament,” Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien said.
The government plans to extend the ongoing Parliament session by at least a week to complete its legislative agenda, which it believes could make it one of the most “successful” sessions of Parliament in terms of business transacted in Parliament’s history.
The Lok Sabha, where the government has a healthy majority, has sat until 11 pm on some of the days to complete pending work. Government sources said the productivity of Parliament in this session is as much as 130 per cent, which is the best for the last 20 years.
As many as eight to nine questions are being asked on average during the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha. This is an improvement from the previous average of three to four questions. Sources said 90 per cent of the 277 first-time MPs have got the opportunity to speak in the first session of a new Lok Sabha itself, which is unprecedented.
Javadekar identified the setting up of the National Research Foundation and National Sports Education Board and the launch of ‘study in India’ programme as some of the initiatives taken in the education sector.
The minister said the government has taken steps to codify labour laws and help small and medium-sized enterprises.
He said changes in labour code will benefit 400 million informal sector workers through wage and labour security. He said these efforts will increase employment opportunities and also ensure justice and welfare for all sections of the society.
Javadekar said the government will achieve its ambition to make India a $5-trillion economy in the period in which it has decided to achieve the target. “Investment will come from across the globe,” he said.
“With Rs 100 trillion of investment to be made in roads, railways, ports, airports and other infrastructure, the formation of Jal Shakti ministry, the mission to reach out to every house by 2024 with assured water supply, we are walking the talk with speed and many historical decisions,” Javadekar said. He said the Budget has allocated Rs 70,000 crore for recapitalisation of public sector banks, and given corporate tax benefits, both of which will help achieve the objective of a $5-trillion economy.
The minister said the Modi government had taken strict action against economic offenders and efforts were on to bring back such fugitive offenders. He said the government had brought a bill in Parliament to check ponzi schemes and the massive action taken against corruption in bureaucracy.
The minister said the government has extended PM Kisan Nidhi, where farmers get an assistance of Rs 6,000 per annum, to all farmers. He said the government had increased the minimum support price of several crops.
Other initiatives of the last 50 days that the minister highlighted were pension for traders, reduction in ESI contribution rates for employees and employers, a separate television channel for start-ups to be started soon, and non-functional financial up gradation has been provided to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) officers.
On internal security, the minister claims the Modi government’s policies have been successful “in reducing the impact of separatists in Jammu and Kashmir”.
He said India had emerged as a global leader by hosting BIMSTEC leaders for the oath-taking ceremony of the PM and his council of ministers, and said the PM’s visits to the Maldives and Sri Lanka were significant.
Javadekar said the government had shown decisiveness in safeguarding children against sexual crimes through amendments to the POCSO Act. He said the government has taken steps to reform medical education in the country and to ensure transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education in the country.
Javadekar said the PM’s first decision after assuming office for the second term was to approve scholarships for children of slain military and police personnel. Among other achievements of the government, he cited benefits to reduce home loan interest and in tax rates in goods and services tax.