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Our Sankalp for a Bhavya and Divya Gujarat

 

Dear Friends,

Earlier this week, we released the Gujarat BJP manifesto, our Sankalp Patra, to present to you what our Government determines to do in the next five years.    

When government after government run by Congress and its allies throw crumbs at sections they aim to capture as their vote bank, politically expendable sections get left out; not because they are not meritorious; not because they don’t have the ability to grow; but, merely because governments don’t find them electorally useful. When governments indulge in this ‘vote-bank governance’, they try to fool people by saying that their aim is to attain equality of outcome. This saddens me a lot.

But this needs to change. Why shouldn’t every segment, every Gujarati, whether or not he votes for the BJP, get equal access to opportunities to progress and prosper?

Our vision for Gujarat has been, is and will remain inclusive, all-round growth to create a
Bhavya and
Divya (glorious and divine) Gujarat. With this Sankalp Patra, I am asking my Gujarati brothers and sisters to elect the BJP.
Elect us once again for assuring equality of opportunity irrespective of religion, caste or creed. Elect us for having uplifted large sections from the depths of poverty to a bright future.

 

 

Elect us for wiping off every trace of middlemen and agents in our poverty alleviation schemes. Friends, ‘Garibi Hatao’ is a very attractive slogan. Unfortunately, Congress has kept it merely as a slogan – an ornament it can take out of the locker to display every five years and dazzle the nation. Middlemen flourishing under Congress rule have reduced every rupee that leaves government coffers to a meager 15 paisa. Instead of galvanizing growth, Congress has created persistent poverty.

Due to our Government’s efforts, a huge number of Gujaratis across all religions and castes have now entered the middle class segment. They are the “neo middle class” with aspirations, dreams and determination. They are one of the most critical drivers of the Gujarat’s growth engine. We want to keep nurturing the symbiosis between these stakeholders and Gujarat. ‘Our growth for Gujarat’s growth’ is what I want everyone to imbibe.

You must have observed that most election manifestos of Congress governments and its allies still contain promises to provide the most basic services and facilities, despite the fact that they have not been able to fulfill the promises they took in earlier manifestos! Friends, so far we have filled the ditches that previous Congress governments left. We are now laying the path for enhancements to
existing schemes and programs, many of which have got nationwide and global recognition.

In crucial areas such as education, particularly girl-child education, healthcare, urban and rural housing, agriculture and irrigation, poverty alleviation and
bijli (electricity)
, sadak (roads)
, paani (water) and
naukri (employment), Gujarat is now ready to take even bigger strides ahead.

As Gujarat braces itself for the challenges that global competitiveness have brought, I want to share my thoughts on a recent disturbing development.

With scam after scam running into thousands of crores of rupees, UPA has taken our nation to the lowest depths. The policy paralysis and the absence of Neta, Niti and Niyat have spoiled the entrepreneurial environment, creating nothing but pessimism everywhere. Many are starting to look at business, industry and investment with suspicion.

This is bad for our nation. It is enterprise, industry and investment that will provide our nation self-dependence and sustenance. With every investment that is made in Gujarat, the capital that otherwise sits idle or flies abroad is introduced into our economy. This generates many employment opportunities.

Not just that, many ancillary and allied units are set up in the vicinity and across the State which gives rise to self-employment opportunities as well. From a five star hotel to an affordable guesthouse, from a fancy multi-cuisine restaurant to the local tea stall – several such businesses can get a boost. So many Gujarati brothers and sisters are able to light their stoves with their own hard earned money. The entire area starts bubbling with energy and dynamism.

What needs to be decimated is corruption and cronyism, and not enterprise. Enterprise needs to be encouraged with vision and vigour. What needs to be destroyed is the brazen belief that one family or one party enjoys the sole entitlement to your hard-earned money. That is what I will continue to do.

Friends, let us take a
Sankalp today to uproot the Congress in the coming elections
. Congress is not a constructive participant in our democracy. In Gujarat, it has not only failed while in power but also failed in its role as an Opposition.

You are a vital stakeholder in how and where Gujarat progresses. Election is the most important festival in our democracy and voting is your most important right. Choose your vote carefully. In the end, whoever you vote for, remember that we are all in this march together.

Jay Jay Garvi Gujarat!

 

Yours,

Narendra Modi

 

 ALSO READ- BJP releases Sankalp Patra for 2012 Gujarat VIdhan Sabha elections

 

Read the detailed "Sankalp Patra" in English.

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Reforms by Conviction and Incentives
June 22, 2021
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The Covid-19 pandemic has come with whole new set of challenges to Governments across the world in terms of policy-making. India is no exception. Raising enough resources for public welfare while ensuring sustainability is proving to be one of the biggest challenges.

In this back-drop of financial crunch seen across the world, do you know that Indian states were able to borrow significantly more in 2020-21? It would perhaps pleasantly surprise you that states were able to raise an extra Rs 1.06 lakh crores in 2020-21. This significant increase in availability of resources was made possible by an approach of Centre-State bhagidari. 

When we formulated our economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to ensure that our solutions do not follow a ‘one size fits all’ model. For a federal country of continental dimensions, finding policy instruments at the national level to promote reforms by State Governments is indeed challenging. But, we had faith in the robustness of our federal polity and we moved ahead in the spirit of Centre-State bhagidari. 

In May 2020, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, the Government of India announced that State Governments would be allowed enhanced borrowing for 2020-21. An extra 2% of GSDP was allowed, of which 1% was made conditional on the implementation of certain economic reforms. This nudge for reform is rare in Indian public finance. This was a nudge, incentivising the states to adopt progressive policies to avail additional funds. The results of this exercise are not only encouraging but also run contrary to the notion that there are limited takers for sound economic policies.

The four reforms to which additional borrowings were linked (with 0.25% of GDP tied to each one) had two characteristics. Firstly, each of the reforms was linked to improving the Ease of Living to the public and particularly the poor, the vulnerable, and the middle class. Secondly, they also promoted fiscal sustainability.

The first reform under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ policy required State Governments to ensure that all ration cards in the State under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) were seeded with the Aadhaar number of all family members and that all Fair Price Shops had Electronic Point of Sale devices. The main benefit from this is that migrant workers can draw their food ration from anywhere in the country. Apart from these benefits to citizens, there is the financial benefit from the elimination of bogus cards & duplicate members. 17 states completed this reform and were granted additional borrowings amounting to Rs. 37,600 crores. 

The second reform, aimed at improving ease of doing business, required states to ensure that renewal of business-related licences under 7 Acts is made automatic, online and non-discretionary on mere payment of fees. Another requirement was implementation of a computerized random inspection system and prior notice of inspection to reduce harassment and corruption under a further 12 Acts. This reform (covering 19 laws) is of particular help to micro and small enterprises, who suffer the most from the burden of the ‘inspector raj'. It also promotes an improved investment climate, greater investment and faster growth. 20 states completed this reform and were allowed additional borrowing of Rs. 39,521 crores. 

The 15th Finance Commission and several academics have emphasised the crucial importance of sound property taxation. The third reform required states to notify floor rates of property tax and of water & sewerage charges, in consonance with stamp duty guideline values for property transactions and current costs respectively, in urban areas. This would enable better quality of services to the urban poor and middle class, support better infrastructure and stimulate growth. Property tax is also progressive in its incidence and thus the poor in urban areas would benefit the most. This reform also benefits municipal staff who often face delay in payment of wages. 11 states completed these reforms and were granted additional borrowing of Rs. 15,957 crores. 

The fourth reform was introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in lieu of free electricity supply to farmers. The requirement was for formulation of a state-wide scheme with actual implementation in one district on a pilot basis by year end. Additional borrowing of 0.15% of GSDP was linked to this. A component was also provided for reduction in technical & commercial losses and another for reducing the gap between revenues and costs (0.05% of GSDP for each). This improves the finances of distribution companies, promotes conservation of water and energy and improves service quality through better financial and technical performance. 13 states implemented at least one component, while 6 states implemented the DBT component. As a result, Rs. 13,201 crore of additional borrowings was permitted. 

Overall, 23 states availed of additional borrowings of Rs. 1.06 lakh crores out of a potential of Rs. 2.14 lakh crores. As a result, the aggregate borrowing permission granted to states for 2020-21 (conditional and unconditional) was 4.5% of the initially estimated GSDP. 

For a large nation with complex challenges as ours, this was a unique experience. We have often seen that for various reasons, schemes and reforms remain un-operational often for years. This was a pleasant departure from the past where the Centre & States came together to roll out public friendly reforms in a short span of time amidst the pandemic. This was made possible due to our approach of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas. Officials who have been working on these reforms suggest that without this incentive of additional funds, enactment of these policies would have taken years. India has seen a model of ‘reforms by stealth and compulsion’. This is a new model of ‘reforms by conviction and incentives’. I am thankful to all the states who took the lead in ushering in these policies amidst tough times for the betterment of their citizens. We shall continue working together for the rapid progress of 130 crore Indians.