10 Priorities For The Modi Government

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Retail price inflation stood at 8.31 per cent at the end of FY14. The new government will have to rein it in through supply-side measures, to enable the central bank to cut interest rates. Former finance minister has recommended “liberally” releasing foodgrains from stocks to check food inflation.The BJP has promised to act upon a report on food inflation by a committee of chief ministers headed by Narendra Modi in 2011. The party’s manifesto has outlined steps such as checking hoarding and black marketing, setting up a Price Stabilization Fund, unbundling Food Corporation of India into procurement, storage and distribution units, and evolving a single National Agriculture Market.
     Reviving economic growth: Economic growth has been sub-five per cent for 2012-13 and 2013-14. The BJP plans to spur growth through huge public investments in infrastructure such as roads, railway lines and ports.
The BJP manifesto described the decade-long UPA rule as a period of “jobless growth”. To generate jobs, it has pledged to “strategically develop labour intensive manufacturing (textile, footwear, electronics assembly, etc) and tourism. Other sectors to be strengthened for job creation are agriculture and allied segments and retail stronger credit and market linkages.
The BJP has said it will take steps to reduce corruption by simplifying procedures. It has pledged to set up a task force to recommend amendments to existing laws or bring about new laws to check the flow of black money and track and bring back black money stashed in foreign banks.
     Fiscal discipline: The BJP manifesto said the party would “strictly implement fiscal discipline” without compromising on funds available for development. It has set a fiscal deficit target of three per cent of gross domestic product by 2016-17. The manifesto stated the current account deficit would be reduced aggressively by focusing on exports and reducing dependence on imports. It added value-addition for our products would be vital.
     Boosting manufacturing: Narendra Modi has said his dream is to make India a global manufacturing hub. The BJP has said it will set up a task force to revive micro, small and medium enterprises and cut red tape; environmental clearances will be made transparent and time-bound.
     Financial sector reforms:
The BJP has committed to banking reforms, including reducing non-performing assets. It will strive for consensus along state governments for implementing the Goods and Services Tax. The manifesto promised to end tax terrorism and uncertainty, and have a tax policy road map.
     Social welfare schemes: The party has envisaged reviewing and revamping the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and linking it to agriculture; the party might also revamp the Food Security Act, etc. It has pledged to review all laws and schemes, in consultation with states, to ensure efficient implementation of food security.
     Urbanisation / rural rejuvenation: The BJP has promised huge investment in improving urban areas and building 100 new cities, adhering to concepts such as sustainability. It also plans to improve transport and housing.
The party has also proposed a rural rejuvenation programme comprising integrated strategies for personal, economic and social well being. In its manifesto, the BJP said it would bring urban amenities to rural areas, “while retaining the soul of the village”. In rural areas, it will work towards better roads, potable water, education, health, supply chain, electricity, broadband, job creation, security and linkage to markets.
     Agriculture: The party has promised making the minimum support price 50 per cent more than farmers’ production costs, as well as better irrigation, an increase public investment in agriculture, rural development and unbundling the Food Corporation of India into procurement, storage and distribution units.
     Education & skill development: The BJP wplans universal secondary education, a National Multi-skill Mission and skill mapping.
The BJP has promised to increase public spending on education to six per cent of GDP and involve the private sector. The University Grants Commission will be transformed from a grant-distribution agency to a higher education commission.


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