In the last few days, we have been trying to cover the Government’s performances as much as we can. We are back with another edition of our Election Special Series! This is the squeal to our Part 1 of Achievements of Modi Government. Just to give our readers a short recap, we began with this article on Failures of Modi Government. After that, we wrote about the Achievements of Modi Government (Part 1). Now, we are here with Part 2 of Achievements of Modi Government! After this, there will be another article – Part 3 on Achievements of Modi Government. However, the part 3 will be based upon just 1 particular segment which is not only the most important achievement as far as the nation is concerned, but it impacts India more than any other development could ever do! Anyway, that’s for the Third Part. For now, let’s begin with the Second Part to Achievements of Modi Government!
Also Read: Failures of Modi Government
Also Read: Achievements of Modi Government
Part 2 – Achievements of Modi Government
1. Infrastructural Development
The BJP has always kept high focus on developing the infrastructure of the nation. Even when late Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was India’s Prime Minister, India saw a stellar growth in development of roads and railways. Once again, with one of the finest transport ministers Mr. Nitin Gadkari on PM Modi’s side, India has achieved unprecedented growth in construction of roads and railways. India has also constructed a marvel in the Statue of Unity, world’s largest statue, attracting thousands of tourists everyday. It is also during PM Modi’s tenure that India got it’s National War Memorial (finally). Better infrastructure has boosted several achievements of Modi Government! From FDIs to faster movement of goods to higher production of cement to higher coal transportation and what not, infrastructure development is the base for all these achievements of Modi Government!
a. Highway Construction
India is touching new milestones every passing year as far as constructing highways is concerned. In 2017-18, India constructed 27 KMs of highway everyday. In the last year of UPA, in 2013-14, only 11 KMs were constructed a day. Comparing the last 4 years of UPA with first 4 years of NDA, highway construction has seen a mammoth 73% rise! While the BJP constructed a total of 28,531 KMs of highway till 2017-18, the UPA Government had constructed a meager 16,505 KMs in the last 4 years up to 2013-14.
Further, it is one of the achievements of Modi Government that it has built more highways in 4 and a half years than the UPA did in 7 years! In 4 and a half years up to mid 2018, BJP built 33,361 KMs of highways, which is more than the UPA’s count of 33,061 in 7 years!
b. Railway Line Construction
If we talk about achievements of Modi Government in Indian Railways, it deserves a separate mention and perhaps, even a separate article. For now, we will be listing down some infrastructural based statistics here. A separate list of achievements of Modi Government in Indian Railways will follow in the next pointer.
i. Electrification of Railway Lines
The NDA Government has achieved an unparalleled growth in electrifying railway lines. In the first 4 years of the Modi Government, 1500 KMs of railway lines were electrified every year. During the UPA Government, between 2010-2014, only 654 KMs of railway lines were electrified per year. About 250% rise in electrification of railway lines is no small feat! Electrification of railway lines will save thousands of crores of rupees due to reduced usage of imported fossil fuel.
ii. Commissioning of new Railway Lines
Not only electrification of Railway Lines, but even the construction of Railway Lines have gained an impetus under NDA Government. Under the NDA Government, Railway Lines have been laid 11.5% faster in the first 3 years compared to the UPA Government’s first 3 years. The Railways constructed 7,666 KMs of Railway Line between 2014-17, against 6872 KMs during the first 3 years of UPA.
As far commissioning of new lines is concerned, the difference is even higher! As per The Indian Express, between 2009-2014, Railways under the UPA Government could commission only 7600 KMs in 5 years. In 4 years alone, the NDA Government has commissioned 9528 KMs. The NDA Government is already leading by heads and shoulders, with an entire year of data yet to be added! If we go on per day statistics to draw a reasonable comparison, Modi Government is commissioning railway tracks 54% faster than the UPA did.
Indian Railways is battling a problem with its revenue stream for sure, but this has been the case since over decades. What matters is how the Railway Connectivity is growing faster than ever and the lines are being modernized at a rapid pace!
d. Connecting North East better
Even decades after India’s independence, the North East states have been long ignored. Would you believe that Sikkim got its first airport ever in the year 2018? The airport was planned during Mr. Vajpayee’s term, and no progress was visible during the UPA tenure. The NDA made it a priority to give Sikkim it’s first airport ever during their term. In fact, Sikkim did not even have a broad gauge Railway Line before the NDA regime! Also, the first every commercial flight landed in Arunachal Pradesh only in 2018.
Further, the capitals of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim and Nagaland are not connected by Railways yet! The NDA Government has budgeted Rs. 90,000 crore to connect these capitals via Railways by 2020. It is strange and surprising why these state capitals had no rail access even after 71 years of Independence!
The North East now boasts about both, India’s longest railroad bridge, the Bogibeel bridge and India’s longest roadway bridge, Dhola Sadiya bridge. Both these marvels became functional only in the NDA tenure. It is almost impossible to list down all the highway and railway projects going on in the North East. However, the priority given to connecting North East states is higher than ever.
Connectivity, tourism and defense!
Apart from the internal connectivity, North East India is strategically important for the Armed Forces. To counter any potential Chinese invasion, connectivity in these states is crucial. The highways and railway lines near the India China border in the North East will now make it easier for our defense forces to mobilize it’s troops in the high terrain regions. The new bridges are being prepared in such a way that they can carry the heaviest of tanks the army possesses.
This connectivity has also led to a surge in tourism in the North East states. There has been a double digit percentage growth in number of tourists visiting the state, thanks to better connectivity. You can read the complete article on the same by The Hindu by clicking here.
e. Inland Water Transportation
For the first time ever, India as a country thought of using rivers to transport goods between cities. National Waterway 1 has been setup between Haldia and Varanasi. Based on River Ganga, transportation between these 2 important cities has become easier than ever! The 1360 Kilometers long stretch will not only reduce India’s fuel consumption, but also provide a cheaper alternative to transport goods within the country.
As per World Bank, while 1 liter of fuel can transport 24 tonnes of cargo by road and 85 tonnes by rail, 105 tonnes of cargo could be transported by waterways.
Further, while the cost to transport 1 tonne of goods for 1 kilometer via roadways and railways is Rs. 2.28 and Rs. 1.41 respectively, it is just Rs. 1.19 for waterways. A cleaner environment with lesser fuel consumption and lower cost shall boost India’s trade and transportation over the coming years.
As of now, a study has revealed that 21.98 Metric Tonnes of cargo will be transported over the National Waterways 1 by the year 2021. This is just the start. The benefits to be derived by this innovative measure are immense. The Nation Waterway 1 is one of the landmark achievements of Modi Government. It will provide perpetual economic benefits to the nation for years to come.
2. Indian Railways
As mentioned above, the Indian Railways has blossomed in several verticals under the Modi Government. A proper mention of all the achievements of Modi Government in this arena would require a thousand words. However, we would love to highlight the most significant achievements of Modi Government in modernizing the Indian railways for now.
a. Use of Bio Toilets
As a part of the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan, the Railways have notably tried to keep the trains cleaner than ever. One can complaint about cleanliness in trains directly on twitter or by sending an SMS. One of the most significant progress in achieving cleanliness in trains has been installation of bio toilets. During 2004-2014, the UPA government could install only 959 bio-toilets a year. The NDA has installed about 29,290 a year! In short, NDA has installed more bio toilets in a single year than the UPA could in a decade. Most importantly, these bio-toilets are Made in India as well!
b. Making LHB Coaches
Very recently, India created a world record by producing most number of LHB coaches in the world in a year. India’s Integral Coach Factory, based in Chennai, is producing about 20% more LHB Coaches every year than what the 2nd largest China-based rail car making factory does. Also, India manufactured more number of LHB Coaches in the last 2 years alone, than it ever did (in 17 years)!
During the 10 years of UPA, India produced an average of 233 LHB Coaches per year. This number has risen to 1387 per year under the NDA! In fact, in 2018-19 alone, the India manufactured over 2919 coaches, which was a world record. These LHB Coaches are advanced coaches which can travel at high speeds and provide more comfort for passengers. In case of a rail accident, these LHB coaches won’t turtle and cant’t be crushed lengthwise either. Thus, these coaches are way safer than the traditional ICF coaches used earlier.
c. Indian Railways is now much safer!
The Indian Railways recorded its safest year in the past 57 years in 2017-18. Rattled by accidents in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the then railway minister Suresh Prabhu had stepped down from his post. The cause of the incidents were identified and that is when India started giving more importance to the LHB coaches mentioned above. Also, modernizing of railway tracks and eradicating all unmanned crossings helped the cause. In 2017-18, the Railways recorded just 73 accidents. For the first time in 57 years, number of accidents were in 2 digits. The man of all seasons, Piyush Goyal once again stepped up the ranks to take control of Indian Railways. He once again played significant role in achievements of Modi Government.
d. India now manufactures world class trains
For the first time, India has started manufacturing trains. Train 18, wholly manufactured in India, is also the fastest running train in India. It is estimated that the cost of manufacturing it is 150% expensive outside than what India has spent to build the first set. While the estimated cost of making the train in India is Rs. 100 Crores, manufacturing it outside the country would cost approximately Rs. 250 crores. While Also known as Vande Bharat Express, it is one of the most advanced trains running in India. Train 18 is a result of the Make in India campaign. A lot of countries have expressed their desire to import Train 18. Exporting Train 18 would bring in a good amount of money to the loss making Indian Railways. Train 18 is surely one of the biggest engineering achievements of Modi Government.
Apart from Train 18, trains like Tejas, Mahamana, Vistadome Coach Train, Gatimaan Express, etc. have also improved the standard of Indian Railways. You can read about these trains here. A lot has changed in the last 5 years from those traditional blue and red coaches we were so used to.
e. Exporting Trains
From making world class trains in India now to even exporting them, Indian Railways have come a long way! In 2016, India exported made in India metro coaches to Australia. It was for the first time that India had exported metro coaches! Further, in 2018, the first set of Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) was exported to Sri Lanka. This world class train was once again first of its kind manufactured by India. The lack of an export policy during 2010-2012 crippled the ability of state run factories to seek overseas orders. However, things have changed under the Modi Government and the Indian Railways can expect a steady stream of foreign revenues.
The Railways is also planning to export the Train 18 talked about now. In fact, as per this report by NDTV, the officials have claimed the inquiries for the same have started flowing in already. Apart from Australia and Sri Lanka, India has exported trains and coaches to several other countries as well. Slowly and steadily, India is trying to become a big player in the $200 Billion World Market! It goes on without saying that these exports are a big boost to the Make in India campaign and one of the achievements of Modi Government.
f. Intangible Changes
The Railways have always been known for dirty trains, late schedules and poor services. However, these things are changing. The Railways now provides free wifi service to over 700 stations. 8 Million people use this wifi every month. Also, one who frequently travels in trains would acknowledge the fact that trains are cleaner than they used to be. One can simply reach out the Railway authorities via a tweet or an SMS and request their coaches to be cleaned. Reaching the authorities has never been simpler!
Sharing a personal experience, for the first time my train from Mumbai to Varanasi reached on time in over 2 decades last year. Also, we were asked to fill feed back forms towards the end of our journey – something that had never happened with me before. These changes can only be felt and there is no data I can provide, but well, things are changing for sure! This is definitely one of the most visible achievements of Modi Government.
3. Swacch Bharat
On 2nd of October, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan. Following the dream of Mahatma Gandhi, the PM urged the nation for a cleanliness drive. It is only during this period that half of India realized that the other half doesn’t even have access to toilets! However, things have turned around 360 degrees since last 5 years. Modi Government did what people thought was not achievable 5 years ago. Hence, this features in our list of biggest achievements of Modi Government. Swacch Bharat was not only a policy, but it was an attempt to bring in the biggest behavioral change in the world. India has recorded thrice as fast as the fastest 5 year decline in open defecation recorded ever globally!
a. Rural Households having access to toilets
As per the census of 2011, only 32% rural households had toilets. For people staying in cities, it is hard to imagine that two third of houses in villages did not have toilets! However, in 2019, as per a survey, 93% of rural households have toilets. From one third to almost all, this is one of the most significant progress among all achievements of Modi government. The success story just doesn’t stop here. By October 2019, entire rural population will have access to toilets and this figure will go as far as 100%!
b. Reduction in people practicing open defecation
In 2014, about 600 Million people in India used to defecate in open. This accounted to 60% of world’s open defecating population. It means, 6 out of 10 people defecating in open were Indians. in 2019, there has been a complete turnaround. The 600 Million figure has come as low as 100 Million. By October this year, India will be an open defecation free country. This goes down a big break through and relieves India of one of the most shameful lists to be on. There is no surprise why this ground breaking turnaround finds a place in our list of achievements of Modi Government.
c. Thousands of lives saved due to Swacch Bharat
The World Bank has estimated that about 3,00,000 lives have been saved by 2019, thanks to Swacch Bharat. Additionally, over 1,50,000 lives will be saved annually due to better living conditions. People are less likely to fall sick due to a cleaner environment. Also, UNICEF (2017) has estimated that each family in an open defecation free village saves about Rs. 50,000 annually due to reduced medical cost, increase in life expectancy and lesser sick leaves from work.
Over 90% of people in rural India have started using toilets, which is almost thrice the number as on 2014. Over 5,20,000 villages, 530 districts and 25 states and union territories have been declared open defecation free. If this isn’t an achievement, then what is? As far as the cleanliness in our surroundings is concerned, we cannot expect the Prime Minister of the MPs and MLAs come out with a broom and clean the area. It is our responsibility to keep our environments clean as much as it is of the government. But bringing such a behavioral change among over 60 crore people is surely one of the most widespread achievements of Modi Government!
4. Relief to tax payers and yet increasing tax revenues!
The BJP Government indeed went out of the way to give relief to honest tax payers. Be it Direct Taxes or GST, the burden of tax on the common men has fallen. The middle class has enjoyed lower tax rates and greater savings. Yet, in spite of reducing the taxes, India’s tax revenue has only increased! If we go by this data alone, a lot of assumptions can be made. First it means that the number of people earning in India have increased. Further, their incomes have increased too! This can be a befitting reply to all people who argue that jobs have reduced under the Modi Government. This relief to the middle class by NDA is one of the biggest achievements of Modi Government!
a. Reduction in Direct Taxes
In 2014, before the BJP came into power, the tax slabs were much lower. The basic exemption was pegged at Rs. 2 lakhs. Deduction under section 80C was capped at Rs. 1 lakh. The tax rate for income between 2 Lakh to 5 Lakhs was 10%. The Corporate Tax Rate, i.e. rate of tax for companies was 30%. Things have, however, significantly changed ever since.
i. For Individuals
At first, the BJP Government increased basic exemption from 2 lakh to 2.5 lakhs. Maximum deduction under section 80C was increased to 1.5 lakhs. Tax rebate was also increased such that any taxable income upto Rs. 3 lakhs would get 100% rebate. That means, income below 3 lakhs would be fully exempt, without considering any deduction under 80C. Further, the rate of lowest slab was reduced from 10% to 5%. These were indeed incredible changes helping the common men save thousands of rupees a year.
However, they didn’t stop here. In the latest interim budget for Financial Year 2019-20, the rate of rebate u/s 87 was increased such that any income now upto Rs. 5 lakhs is exempt. Again, this is without considering the deductions u/s 80C. The graph below shows the significant differences.
ii. For Corporate
Apart from relief to individuals, the government also took significant steps for Indian companies. Tax rate for Indian Companies with a turnover of less than Rs. 250 Crores in FY 16-17 was reduced to 25% from 30%. This covers almost 99% of the companies. A 5% reduction in tax is not all. Apart from this, several incentives were brought in to increase employment by providing tax exemptions based on number of people employed. A tax relief to business class has indirectly helped in reducing inflation and keeping prices in check.
b. Increase in Tax Revenues
In spite of a reduction in tax, India has recorded tremendous growth in tax revenues. In 2013-14, the last year of UPA, India collected Rs. 6,38,596 Crores in tax revenues! By 2017-18 itself, this figure has risen by over 57%. In 2017-18, the projected tax collection has crossed Rs. 10 Lakh Crores for the first time ever! The projected collections for FY 2017-18 was pegged at 10,02,741 Crores! This is one of the most significant achievements of Modi Government. Keeping in mind the reduction in burden of taxes too, this indirectly signifies how well the economy has been doing.
Source: Income Tax Department
A higher tax revenue enables the government to spend more for the welfare of its people. Further, every penny that Government spends has a multiplier effect. The Government Expenditure plays a crucial role in functioning of an economy. Moreover, this increased tax revenue has helped India in controlling the Fiscal Deficit as well.
P.S: GST Has not been considered as an achievement of Modi Government, because it is not the BJP’s efforts alone. All the parties are equally responsible and should be equally credited for the success of GST. The GST Council, which regulates GST Law in India constitutes of the Finance Ministers of each and every state of India and all decisions are made unanimously. These Finance Ministers belong to different parties and contribute equally to the law.
The last point in this section will be put up separately in Part 3 of our achievements series. That is because, the last point needs a separate recognition and special attention. It is an extremely important measure and one of the biggest achievements of Modi Government. Stay Tuned and let us know what you think about these achievements of Modi Government!
A Chartered Accountant , Parth Parikh is a 22 year old aspiring writer and entrepreneur. He loves to express his views on every topic on earth he is aware of! Passion in his veins, love in his heart and work on his mind keep him alive. Born with love for writing in his blood and having an experience of working with multiple websites, he now wishes to start a venture of his own in the form of Just Write Things.