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In Focus

January, 4

Prime Minister has become re-Packaging Minister

On December 31st, when PM Modi addressed the Nation, people wanted to know whether what they had suffered in the past 50 days was worth it, whether a major chunk of the Rs 14.86 lakh crore of demonetised currency had been burnt by black money hoarders, or immersed in the river Ganges. People wanted to hear from the Prime Minister – no queues from tomorrow.

But, neither did the PM offer any relief, nor did he offer any stats on how much black money had been purged from the system. That’s because the truth was too embarrassing to be incorporated in his PR exercise. Instead, what he did was, he picked up UPA schemes that are already in force, and sold them to people as ‘New Year gift’.    

The flurry of announcements he made on 31st December were simply reiterations of Congress’ policies. PM Modi announced, with fanfare, that Rs 6,000 would be transferred to the bank accounts of pregnant women who undergo institutional delivery. It appears no one told him the scheme was already in place under the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana, since 2013. 

More importantly, his Government’s budgetary allocation for this is a meagre Rs 400 crore. If he really wanted to help all women, the amount would be closer to Rs 15,000 crore. The unpleasant truth, which he would not want people to know, is that his Government has not disbursed the promised Rs 6,000 to pregnant women for the past 30 months.

Another misdirection of the PM was with regard to the Kisan Credit Cards. Contrary to what he said on the 31st December, the provision for RuPay and other debit cards against Kisan Credit Cards has been in place since 2012. 
In yet another case of ‘old wine in a new bottle,’ the Prime Minister was busy taking credit for the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, which is simply a revised version of Indira Awaas Yojana. 

Modi Government is incapable of originality and efficiency. Most of the schemes that he parrots as his achievements are merely rebranded ideas and policies of the UPA Government. His ineptitude in Governance came to the fore on Demonetisation, which has unleashed untold miseries on the people of India and claimed lives of 115 honest Indians.

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