Sunday, 17 March 2019

Why Even The Unemployed & The Distressed Farmers Should Vote For Modi


Corruption, inflation & policy paralysis, were the biggest issues on the basis of which the opposition attacked MMS government ahead of the 2014 general election. With corruption, inflation & policy paralysis ceasing to exist thanks to the good work done by the Modi government, the opposition is fighting the upcoming general elections, by attacking them on issues such as unemployment, farm prices & intolerance.

We analyze the three issues & analyze whether the BJP government did in fact fail us on these fronts

Jobs




PM Modi baiters don't miss a chance to compare the performance of UPA government under PM Manmohan Singh from 2004-08 to that of Modi government from 2014-19. While economy grew at a brisk pace under MMS from 2004-08, people seem to forget that the world economy was in very good shape before the financial meltdown of 2008. Not just India, but almost all countries across the globe were growing exponentially during those years. While India missed the manufacturing led growth during the 70's & 80's, luckily thanks to liberalization India too reaped the benefits of a global economic growth during this period. Credit must also be given to the Vajpayee government for laying a strong foundation by ushering reforms from 1998-2004. Ruchir Sharma  - a vocal critic of PM Modi's policies, too mentions in his book - The Breakout Nations, that a lot of the growth which happened across the globe was due to the high amount of liquidity & had little to do with the policies of the incumbent governments.

While economist PM - Manmohan Singh won the 2009 elections on the back of a strong economy, his handling of the economy from 2011-14 showed that he was not as adept at managing the economy as people thought him to be. Turned out several companies were given soft loans to stay afloat, despite having shaky fundamentals. This did not eradicate the issue at hand, but only delayed the inevitable. From GDP growth rate of almost 10%, the GDP growth rates had fallen to almost 4% by 2014. The government was facing flak for its role in several scams, stagflation, policy paralysis, unemployment, high fiscal deficit & its handling of Pakistan.

There is very little authentic data available on jobs. Apart from the Employee Provident Fund Organisation(EPFO) data, there is little or no authentic data which one can refer to when it comes to commenting on the jobs scenario in the country. Both the BJP & Congress have been guilty of using the lack of information to attack the other when in the opposition. While the leaked NSSO reports to claim that the unemployment rate is at a 45 year high, there is little data to support/reject these claims.

But one has to admit that the high appraisals of the 2003-2012 era are now long forgotten. Single digit appraisals are the norm.

Farm Prices




While high inflation due to rampant corruption meant significant increases in farm prices YOY under Congress rule, it meant lower savings. Approx. 50%+ of the Indian population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture it barely contributes to 20% of the GDP. While the previous governments did little to make the farmers better, the BJP government took several steps to make the lives of farmers better. From soil health cards, to fertilizer insurance, to handouts of 2000 every quarter to farmers with small holding areas the BJP government has made a serious effort to eradicate issues plaguing the farmer. One shouldn't forget that farmers were also the benefactors of the LPG scheme, Jan Dhan, Ayushman Bharat(medical insurance for all) , Swach Bharat(building of toilets), rural electrification, building of highways etc.

But sadly due to low inflation, better food storage, uneven monsoon farmers are in distress.

Intolerance

Rising intolerance is the biggest weapon for Modi baiters to attack him. While there has been a marked decrease in riots, communal tension & the number of terrorism related incidents(minus Kashmir), the opposition claims otherwise.

From the time the ban on cow slaughter has been imposed the minorities have been complaining of a environment of fear prevailing in the country.

Many of our friends on social media especially from the minority communities seem to agree, that they were not as comfortable as they used to be under the Congress regime.

So has the Modi government indeed failed us on these front? Do they deserve to be voted out in the upcoming elections? The answer is an emphatic NO! Here is why


  • While India was placed in the group of fragile 5 economies under MMS, it is  the fastest growing economy under Modi. irrespective of whether the growth rates have been tampered with, fact remains that the world looks at India as a bright spot. India has grown rapidly in the ease of business rankings from being ranked 142nd under MMS, we are now at 77th rank in just a span of 4 years under Modi. This has led to many companies investing in India. India is now the leader in mobile phone manufacturing across the globe. the job scenario in India is much better than other countries. Apart from the US, very few countries have reported lower unemployment rate. India is now the 3rd largest when it comes to the startup ecosystem.
  • The low appraisals are in part due to low inflation rates. Companies do consider inflation rate which deciding on the appraisals. Due to inflation rate of 2%-3% under Modi, as against 10% under UPA2, appraisals have fallen. Your savings in fact will be higher under Modi government due to lesser expenditures thanks to a low inflation rate. 
  • The NSSO data claims that unemployment rate is at a 45 year high. So is the unemployment as high as in the 70's & 80's where the Gandhi family's socialist policies led to a sub 4% growth & barely any jobs? Obviously not! Just look at the number of people who are part of the gig economy - delivering food, clothes, shoes etc at your doorstep.
  • Congress governments have traditionally shied away from reforms which would help grow the economy. Apart from liberalization under PV Narasimha Rao, we can't think of a single big economic reform ushered in by Congress governments. Congress governments have always been risk averse & will never take measures which would make their voters unhappy.
  • The Modi government on the other hand doesn't blink an eyelid before implementing bold reforms. Be it demonetization(to attack black money), GST(which was stuck since 2004), IBC(which solved the NPA mess). It is these steps which have led to the significant jump in the Ease of Doing Business rankings.
  • Nobody has an answer to the issues which ails the farmer. If the monsoons are weak, the farmer is unhappy as it leads to draughts. if the monsoon are very strong, the farmer is unhappy due to flooding. The monsoons are unpredictable. Unless a PM can make it rain, no PM can fix these issues! The fact remains that the indian farmer is unable to make a living despite being given subsidized electricity, water, fertilizer, pesticides & urea. Farming is a huge drain on the Indian economy & no leader across the globe has been able to tackle issues which affect the farmer. Sadly we missed the bus when it came to shifting to manufacturing industry when most of Asian neighbours shifted to manufacturing in the 70's & 80's thanks to the socialist policies of Indira Gandhi . This has led to our Asian neighbours having a much higher per capita GDP. One mustn't forget that the per capita income of even Pakistan till 1985 was much higher than India.  
  • The Congress governments went easy of muslims indulging in terrorism despite mounting evidence. Neither did they take measures to stop conversions by christian missionaries. Under Modi rule, the police has been given a free hand to apprehend those whom they think are indulging in terrorism related activities or christian missionaries who bribe the tribals & poor Indians in remote parts of the country to convert to christianity. It is situations like these which have led to the leaders of the minority communities   crying intolerance & one shouldn't punish the Modi government over it. There may have been some innocent muslim youth who may have been put behind bars. But one has to admit that it is a small price for the country to pay to secure our country. Would you prefer a few muslim youth be troubled by mistake or risk a terrorist activities which would harm 100's of innocent Indians & increase communal tensions? You decide. 
The fact remains that the Modi government has gone all out to ensure economic growth, to improve the life of Indian farmer & the minorities. One can't blame the Modi government for taking steps to curb terrorism & prevent christian missionaries from illegally converting gullible rural citizens of the country.

Whatever problems exist, people should vote for Modi as he rightly said "Sab jaante hai, agar koi theek kar paayega to Modi"(everybody knows that only Modi can solve the issues affecting India). IF MODI CAN'T DO IT, NOBODY CAN! 

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