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Dear Friends,

Today marks the culmination of a long campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. I addressed my final rally in Ballia, the land of the hero of 1857 Mangal Pandey, in Eastern UP.

Since September 13th 2013 when the responsibility of being the BJP’s PM candidate was given to me, I have been travelling across the length and breadth of India. Friends in the Party told me that I have addressed rallies and programmes in almost 5800 locations, covering a distance of over 3 lakh kilometers. The number of rallies I addressed in this campaign season is 440, including the Bharat Vijay Rallies that I began with the blessings of Maa Vaishno Devi on 26th March 2014.

Extensive, Innovating and Satisfying: The Story of 2014 Campaign

The campaign was a wonderful opportunity to once again witness India’s celebrated diversity, the vibrancy of the people and the beauty of our culture. Working for the Organisation I have travelled across India in the past but this time it was very different. 

The unprecedented blessings I have received from the people have been very humbling. Conventional wisdom would suggest such a campaign would be tiring but I am experiencing a deep satisfaction and freshness that one would feel after a long and elaborate Sadhna. Through the campaign I got to worship the Janata Janardan.  

When I look back at the entire campaign, three words come to my mind - Extensive, Innovative and Satisfying. 

Throughout our campaign, we took agenda of development and good governance to every corner of India. People are tired of false promises, corruption and the same old tape-recorded messages ridden with dynastic references only to hide one’s own failure. They want a better tomorrow and NDA is the only alliance that can provide this change.

Nothing made me more glad than seeing the enthusiasm of our Karyakartas! They have worked tirelessly throughout the campaign. Seeing a rally on TV and social media is one experience but working on the ground is something out of the world! We do not view campaigns through the limited prism of electoral victory or defeat. A campaign becomes a life changing experience for the Karyakartas. It is a golden opportunity to strengthen and expand the Organisation and increases the bond between the people and the Karyakartas. Our Karyakartas went door-to-door and spread the Party’s message and we are very proud of them. Our campaign is the story of the hardwork of each and every BJP worker, who has selflessly set out to create a better India for future generations. 

In the entire campaign we received the continuous support and guidance of the leaders of the Party. We derive immense strength and inspiration from the solid experience and wisdom of our leaders and their active participation in the campaign gave us an impetus and boosted the confidence of Karyakartas. 

This campaign will be remembered for path breaking innovation. In a polity where political campaigns were more about one-way communication, our Chai Pe Charcha was an innovative break from the past.  Charchas were held in over 4,000 locations across India. During these Charchas, I sat for hours and heard the views of the people and then answered their questions on a wide range of issues. One of the Charchas was held in Wardha (Maharashtra) where I met families of farmers who had committed suicide. I was really saddened. After so many years of freedom, our farmers are still ending their lives even as the present Government watches on silently. For how long can we let this go on?

Innovation was seen in the Bharat Vijay 3D rallies. In one month I addressed 12 rounds of 3D rallies covering 1350 locations. The response to the 3D rallies was phenomenal. So many youngsters wrote to me on mail and social media ‘thanking’ me for coming to their village. People told our Karyakartas- we want to meet Modi ji on stage…such was the buzz these rallies generated.

For the first time in the history of Indian electioneering an exclusive volunteer portal was set up in the form of India272+ (http://www.india272.com). All one had to do was log in and begin work either online or by participating in the onground activities. Through India272+ we sought inputs from our volunteers. I was truly enriched by their ideas and contribution. Such forums have the potential to revolutionize campaigning and create a paradigm shift in interfacing and mobilizing well-wishers.

It was amazing how all forms of social media were innovatively used throughout the campaign. This includes the ever popular WhatsApp- a lot of friends showed me innovative WhatsApp messages, campaign slogans and infograhpics that were hugely popular. After casting my vote I shared my own Selfie and called for your Selfies. This generated tremendous buzz on social media. I also had a free and frank interaction with several friends from the print and electronic media. I was interviewed by the Hindi, Regional and English media.

I cannot forget the affection I have received in the last eight months. The events of Patna will remain etched in my memory- there were live bombs on one side but the resolve of the people prevailed. Nobody left the venue of the rally. I had a clear message that day that I repeated often during the campaign- we can decide whether we want to fight each other or we want to unite to fight poverty? The former will lead us nowhere while the latter will take our Nation to greater heights.

Most importantly I wish to thank the people of India who joined our rallies, 3D events and Charchas in large numbers. People cutting across all age groups and transcending barriers of caste, creed or religion joined us. I often said that Narendra Modi or any one else is not fighting these elections. The people of India have taken these elections on their shoulders. Each and every citizen of India has become a driving force of change.

In most places where I addressed rallies, it was very hot yet people came in record numbers. A few days ago when I was in Visakhapatnam, it suddenly started raining during the rally. Yet the people remained. No words will be able to convey my gratitude to the people. I assure the people of India that I will repay this overwhelming affection with unprecedented development that will lay the foundations of a strong India.

The campaign has ended today but one phase of the Elections remains. I urge all those voting in the final phase to vote in record numbers, especially the youth. Please go to vote, take your family and friends to vote. Every vote matters! 

As I travelled across India I could not help but think- there is something in this soil that makes India special. History is full of examples of how our land has shown the way to the world and today once again, our destined role of a Jagad Guru calls us. Let us rise to the occasion and create a strong, developed & inclusive India that will show the way to the world. 

Yours,

Narendra Modi 

 

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Reforms by Conviction and Incentives
June 22, 2021
షేర్ చేయండి
 
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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.