25 achievements, 25 challenges (One Year of Modi Government)

By Sarkaritel May 25, 2015 09:51

25 achievements, 25 challenges (One Year of Modi Government)

The following are a set of 25 key achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government in the past one year, as listed by stakeholders and analysts, and an equal number of challenges that need to be addressed:

The Journey So Far:

– Jan Dhan Yojana: More than 15 crore bank accounts opened, over 10 crore RuPay debit cards issued, with life cover, pension

– Corporate sector adopts prime minister’s ‘Swachch Bharat’ mission with promise of total sanitation by 2019

– Cooking gas now under direct-cash-benefit transfer scheme, with potential saving of $5billion annually in subsidies, plus Diesel prices de-regulated

– Foreign equity in rail infrastructure allowed, without limit

– Foreign equity cap in defence raised to 49 percent; 74 percent in case of technology transfer

– Fast-tracking of defence purchases: 36 Rafale fighters being bought, orders for several long-pending purchases placed

– Foreign equity cap in insurance and pension sectors increased to 49 percent

– Nod for IPOs/FPOs by banks to raise funds, as long as government equity remains 52 percent or over

– Nod for real estate and infrastructure investment trusts, with tax benefits

– Cabinet nod for Prime Minister’s 100 Smart Cities Project

– $130 billion proposed spending on railways over five years on schemes including high-speed trains

– Definitive steps forward in introducing pan-India goods and services regime

– Successful conclusion of two rounds of coal block auctions, more lined up

– Impasse in mining sector ended with passage of new bill for regulation and development

– Successful conclusion of auctions for telecom spectrum for mobile telephony and broadband

– Launch of ‘Make-in-India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives with focus on defence and electronics, primarily to create jobs

– Mudra bank launched with Rs.20,000 crore corpus to extend loans of between Rs.50,000 and Rs.10 lakh to small entrepreneurs

– Commencement of divestment programme in public sector companies

– Disbanding of various ministerial groups for faster decision-making

– Adoption of 14th Finance Commission recommendation on far-reaching changes in sharing of revenues between the Center and the States

– Single-window scheme for various clearances to steel, coal and power projects

– Price stabilisation fund set up for agri-commodities to check inflation

– Warehouse Infrastructure Fund with Rs.5,000 crore corpus to increase shelf-life of farm produce (replace if possible)

– Clarity in tax treatment on income of foreign fund whose fund managers are located in India , as also on transfer pricing for resident and non-resident tax payers

– Panel set up under law commission chairman on issue of minimum alternate tax

The Challenges Ahead:

– Land acquisition remains a sore point with industry and lack of consensus among political parties is not helping in boosting investor mood

– Fiscal prudence needs to come back on track, which could lift global sentiments on India with a fiscal deficit of 3 percent of GDP soon

– Innovative ways to be found to increase government spending on various schemes

– To promote ease of doing business, action awaited to club together some 35 central laws pertaining to labour into just four new legislations

– Promised schemes for gold monetisation and gold bonds to be announced, draft norms out

– Direct-cash-benefit transfer needs to extend further to fertiliser and food

– Push needed to ensure new goods and services tax regime begins from April 1, next year

– Challenges in agriculture remain, notably in ushering a second Green Revolution to enhance productivity further

– Create a national common market for farm commodities and Agricultural Produce Market Committees should be just one among numerous options to sell farm produce

– Once a new law against back money abroad is enacted, strong follow-up mechanisms needed to ensure the return of ill-gotten stashed away by Indians abroad

– Details on comprehensive bankruptcy code awaited

– Public Sector Banks need a combination of fresh capital infusion, consolidation and freedom to hire talent and stronger mechanisms to address the issue of stressed assets

– Details on promised consolidation of public sector banks awaited

– New banking licences yet to be issued

– No clear road map on comprehensive policy to tackle subsidies

– Promised new policy on coal-bed methane still awaited

– While existing ultra-mega power projects suffer, progress awaited in promised five new ones

– Issue of minimum alternate tax yet to be resolved for past cases

– Rationalisation of direct tax regime with low rates and minimum exemptions, seen as a major initiative to ensure compliance, remains a challenge

– Delivery pending on proposed National Industrial Corridor Authority, based out of Pune, to oversee smart cities projects

– Bill prepared but action awaited on higher investment limits for micro, small and medium units

– Eliminating all exemptions for countervailing duty can eliminate the negative protection facing Indian manufacturers and help the ‘Make in India’ initiative without violating India’s international obligations

– The recognised weaknesses in present public-private partnership model, the promised institution could be set up fast to remove impediments, notably the rigidness of contractual terms, and carving out of mechanisms for early redressal of disputes

– Delivery awaited on the promised 50 ‘no frills’ airports in Tier-II and Tier-III cities

– The oil ministry now needs to spell out how it intends to achieve the stated objective of creating 25,000 km of gas grid across the country.

By Sarkaritel May 25, 2015 09:51