Mobility is the key to ensure that human endeavours expand and elevate. It is an aspiration of the middle class, which has, a lot of times, been hindered by lack of conducive environment to help them take off. Under the Modi government, the needs of the middle classes have been especially taken care of and their mobility in various spheres (economic, physical and digital) has been ensured, opening a number of opportunities for them.
The daily grind of worrying about the rising expenses and reduced savings, faced by the middle class, has been minimised to a large extent. With the inflation hitting record lows, it has increased the disposable income of citizens. With higher growth and lower rate of inflation, a lot more resources and energy are available to pursue a better life, save or invest for the future.
Homebuyers, who have always dreamt of owning a house and saved money, now find that real estate prices are more affordable and EMIs have come down.
Additionally, the taxes on daily commodities too have come down, owing to the introduction of GST. They are liberated from the constant worries about the prices of onion, rice or milk and are able to devote their time, effort and funds to aspire for a good quality of life.
A convenient transportation system is a necessary condition to ensure a good quality of life. The Modi government has laid a lot of emphasis in deepening connectivity within and around the cities.
A number of metro rail projects have come up in the past 5 years. As of October 2018, more than 515 km of metro lines are operational in fifteen cities and more than 664 km of metro rail projects are under construction. According to government data, some new cities acquiring metro services are Hyderabad, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Patna and Lucknow.
In addition to the metro rail network, the Regional Rapid Transit System is being developed to decongest Delhi & NCR. Apart from the metro rail, peripheral expressways also play a vital role in decongesting and depolluting cities. The recent example of the 135-km-long Eastern Peripheral Expressway around Delhi is one of the examples. It was built at a cost of about ₹11,000 crore in a record time frame of seventeen months, much before the deadline. This expressway reportedly caused 50,000 trucks, which would otherwise ply in Delhi, to bypass the city and bring down the pollution levels.
Rapid construction of highways as well as UDAN making flying affordable for the common man are contributing to enhance mobility for the middle class.
The world over, a mobile revolution has taken over. It has become a significant tool for empowerment for billions. India, too, has taken a cue from it and ushered in a smartphone revolution. The Modi government’s policies in the telecom sector ensured that there is healthy and fair competition and the benefit of this reaches the end consumer.
In the last five years, data tariff fell to Rs 19 per GB in 2018 from Rs 269 per GB in 2014 and mobile data consumption increased 50 times in last 5 years. With the fall in data rates, there is an increased demand for smartphones. This has led to more mobile and parts manufacturing units coming up in a span of 5 years, i.e. from 2 units to more than 268 units.
The easy availability of data at affordable prices has led to opening up of new-age industries that have been instrumental in ushering a transformation in the lifestyle of middle class. The taxi services have been revolutionised. There are a number of app aggregators flourishing across sectors, from hospitality to health services. These start-ups are mostly tech-based and absorb bright young minds.
New online media services have led to creation of new age content which is also leading to more employment opportunities in the sector. An entire industry is rising and will flourish even more in future for creating content for online apps as more and more people find it affordable to glue in. This would mean more jobs for our technicians, cameramen, lighting people, support staff and actors!
A number of entrepreneurs have risen on the online platform. Many homemakers now have their Youtube channels where they are sharing their talents with the world and earning money from the comfort of their homes.
The middle class is the biggest beneficiary of this revolution as it has not only made life much more convenient for them but has also opened up opportunities, some of them never even existed.