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PM shares a blog post on reforms and policymaking on LinkedIn

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today posted a blog titled "Reforms by Conviction and Incentives" on LinkedIn platform.

The post is as below:-

The Covid-19 pandemic has come with a whole new set of challenges to Governments across the world in terms of policy-making. India is no exception. Raising enough resources for public welfare while ensuring sustainability is proving to be one of the biggest challenges.

In this back-drop of financial crunch seen across the world, do you know that Indian states were able to borrow significantly more in 2020-21? It would perhaps pleasantly surprise you that states were able to raise an extra Rs 1.06 lakh crores in 2020-21. This significant increase in availability of resources was made possible by an approach of Centre-State bhagidari. 

When we formulated our economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to ensure that our solutions do not follow a ‘one size fits all’ model. For a federal country of continental dimensions, finding policy instruments at the national level to promote reforms by State Governments is indeed challenging. But, we had faith in the robustness of our federal polity and we moved ahead in the spirit of Centre-State bhagidari. 

In May 2020, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, the Government of India announced that State Governments would be allowed enhanced borrowing for 2020-21. An extra 2% of GSDP was allowed, of which 1% was made conditional on the implementation of certain economic reforms. This nudge for reform is rare in Indian public finance. This was a nudge, incentivising the states to adopt progressive policies to avail additional funds. The results of this exercise are not only encouraging but also run contrary to the notion that there are limited takers for sound economic policies.

The four reforms to which additional borrowings were linked (with 0.25% of GDP tied to each one) had two characteristics. Firstly, each of the reforms was linked to improving the Ease of Living to the public and particularly the poor, the vulnerable, and the middle class. Secondly, they also promoted fiscal sustainability.

The first reform under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ policy required State Governments to ensure that all ration cards in the State under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) were seeded with the Aadhaar number of all family members and that all Fair Price Shops had Electronic Point of Sale devices. The main benefit from this is that migrant workers can draw their food ration from anywhere in the country. Apart from these benefits to citizens, there is the financial benefit from the elimination of bogus cards & duplicate members. 17 states completed this reform and were granted additional borrowings amounting to Rs. 37,600 crores. 

The second reform, aimed at improving ease of doing business, required states to ensure that renewal of business-related licences under 7 Acts is made automatic, online and non-discretionary on mere payment of fees. Another requirement was implementation of a computerized random inspection system and prior notice of inspection to reduce harassment and corruption under a further 12 Acts. This reform (covering 19 laws) is of particular help to micro and small enterprises, who suffer the most from the burden of the ‘inspector raj'. It also promotes an improved investment climate, greater investment and faster growth. 20 states completed this reform and were allowed additional borrowing of Rs. 39,521 crores. 

The 15th Finance Commission and several academics have emphasised the crucial importance of sound property taxation. The third reform required states to notify floor rates of property tax and of water & sewerage charges, in consonance with stamp duty guideline values for property transactions and current costs respectively, in urban areas. This would enable better quality of services to the urban poor and middle class, support better infrastructure and stimulate growth. Property tax is also progressive in its incidence and thus the poor in urban areas would benefit the most. This reform also benefits municipal staff who often face delay in payment of wages. 11 states completed these reforms and were granted additional borrowing of Rs. 15,957 crores. 

The fourth reform was introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in lieu of free electricity supply to farmers. The requirement was for formulation of a state-wide scheme with actual implementation in one district on a pilot basis by year end. Additional borrowing of 0.15% of GSDP was linked to this. A component was also provided for reduction in technical & commercial losses and another for reducing the gap between revenues and costs (0.05% of GSDP for each). This improves the finances of distribution companies, promotes conservation of water and energy and improves service quality through better financial and technical performance. 13 states implemented at least one component, while 6 states implemented the DBT component. As a result, Rs. 13,201 crore of additional borrowings was permitted. 

Overall, 23 states availed of additional borrowings of Rs. 1.06 lakh crores out of a potential of Rs. 2.14 lakh crores. As a result, the aggregate borrowing permission granted to states for 2020-21 (conditional and unconditional) was 4.5% of the initially estimated GSDP. 

For a large nation with complex challenges as ours, this was a unique experience. We have often seen that for various reasons, schemes and reforms remain un-operational often for years. This was a pleasant departure from the past where the Centre & States came together to roll out public friendly reforms in a short span of time amidst the pandemic. This was made possible due to our approach of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas. Officials who have been working on these reforms suggest that without this incentive of additional funds, enactment of these policies would have taken years. India has seen a model of ‘reforms by stealth and compulsion’. This is a new model of ‘reforms by conviction and incentives’. I am thankful to all the states who took the lead in ushering in these policies amidst tough times for the betterment of their citizens. We shall continue working together for the rapid progress of 130 crore Indians.

#NarendraModi
22-June-2021
blog

PM shares a blog post on reforms and policymaking on LinkedIn

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today posted a blog titled "Reforms by Conviction and Incentives" on LinkedIn platform.

The post is as below:-

The Covid-19 pandemic has come with a whole new set of challenges to Governments across the world in terms of policy-making. India is no exception. Raising enough resources for public welfare while ensuring sustainability is proving to be one of the biggest challenges.

In this back-drop of financial crunch seen across the world, do you know that Indian states were able to borrow significantly more in 2020-21? It would perhaps pleasantly surprise you that states were able to raise an extra Rs 1.06 lakh crores in 2020-21. This significant increase in availability of resources was made possible by an approach of Centre-State bhagidari. 

When we formulated our economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to ensure that our solutions do not follow a ‘one size fits all’ model. For a federal country of continental dimensions, finding policy instruments at the national level to promote reforms by State Governments is indeed challenging. But, we had faith in the robustness of our federal polity and we moved ahead in the spirit of Centre-State bhagidari. 

In May 2020, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, the Government of India announced that State Governments would be allowed enhanced borrowing for 2020-21. An extra 2% of GSDP was allowed, of which 1% was made conditional on the implementation of certain economic reforms. This nudge for reform is rare in Indian public finance. This was a nudge, incentivising the states to adopt progressive policies to avail additional funds. The results of this exercise are not only encouraging but also run contrary to the notion that there are limited takers for sound economic policies.

The four reforms to which additional borrowings were linked (with 0.25% of GDP tied to each one) had two characteristics. Firstly, each of the reforms was linked to improving the Ease of Living to the public and particularly the poor, the vulnerable, and the middle class. Secondly, they also promoted fiscal sustainability.

The first reform under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ policy required State Governments to ensure that all ration cards in the State under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) were seeded with the Aadhaar number of all family members and that all Fair Price Shops had Electronic Point of Sale devices. The main benefit from this is that migrant workers can draw their food ration from anywhere in the country. Apart from these benefits to citizens, there is the financial benefit from the elimination of bogus cards & duplicate members. 17 states completed this reform and were granted additional borrowings amounting to Rs. 37,600 crores. 

The second reform, aimed at improving ease of doing business, required states to ensure that renewal of business-related licences under 7 Acts is made automatic, online and non-discretionary on mere payment of fees. Another requirement was implementation of a computerized random inspection system and prior notice of inspection to reduce harassment and corruption under a further 12 Acts. This reform (covering 19 laws) is of particular help to micro and small enterprises, who suffer the most from the burden of the ‘inspector raj'. It also promotes an improved investment climate, greater investment and faster growth. 20 states completed this reform and were allowed additional borrowing of Rs. 39,521 crores. 

The 15th Finance Commission and several academics have emphasised the crucial importance of sound property taxation. The third reform required states to notify floor rates of property tax and of water & sewerage charges, in consonance with stamp duty guideline values for property transactions and current costs respectively, in urban areas. This would enable better quality of services to the urban poor and middle class, support better infrastructure and stimulate growth. Property tax is also progressive in its incidence and thus the poor in urban areas would benefit the most. This reform also benefits municipal staff who often face delay in payment of wages. 11 states completed these reforms and were granted additional borrowing of Rs. 15,957 crores. 

The fourth reform was introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in lieu of free electricity supply to farmers. The requirement was for formulation of a state-wide scheme with actual implementation in one district on a pilot basis by year end. Additional borrowing of 0.15% of GSDP was linked to this. A component was also provided for reduction in technical & commercial losses and another for reducing the gap between revenues and costs (0.05% of GSDP for each). This improves the finances of distribution companies, promotes conservation of water and energy and improves service quality through better financial and technical performance. 13 states implemented at least one component, while 6 states implemented the DBT component. As a result, Rs. 13,201 crore of additional borrowings was permitted. 

Overall, 23 states availed of additional borrowings of Rs. 1.06 lakh crores out of a potential of Rs. 2.14 lakh crores. As a result, the aggregate borrowing permission granted to states for 2020-21 (conditional and unconditional) was 4.5% of the initially estimated GSDP. 

For a large nation with complex challenges as ours, this was a unique experience. We have often seen that for various reasons, schemes and reforms remain un-operational often for years. This was a pleasant departure from the past where the Centre & States came together to roll out public friendly reforms in a short span of time amidst the pandemic. This was made possible due to our approach of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas. Officials who have been working on these reforms suggest that without this incentive of additional funds, enactment of these policies would have taken years. India has seen a model of ‘reforms by stealth and compulsion’. This is a new model of ‘reforms by conviction and incentives’. I am thankful to all the states who took the lead in ushering in these policies amidst tough times for the betterment of their citizens. We shall continue working together for the rapid progress of 130 crore Indians.

#NarendraModi
22-June-2021
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PM calls for reform in global governance institutions

 

On the second day of the Outreach Sessions of the G7 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in two sessions titled 'Building Back Together—Open Societies and Economies' and 'Building Back Greener: Climate and Nature'.

Invited to speak as a Lead Speaker in the session on Open Societies, PM recalled that democracy and freedom were a part of India's civilizations ethos. He shared the concern expressed by several Leaders that open societies are particularly vulnerable to disinformation and cyber-attacks and stressed the need to ensure that cyberspace remains an avenue for advancing democratic values and not of subverting them.

Highlighting the non-democratic and unequal nature of global governance institutions, PM called for the reform of the multilateral system as the best signal of commitment to the cause of Open Societies. The leaders adopted the 'Open Societies Statement' at the end of the meeting.

In the session on climate change, PM highlighted that the planet's atmosphere, biodiversity and oceans cannot be protected by countries acting in silos, and called for collective action on climate change. Speaking about India's unwavering commitment to climate action, he mentioned the commitment by Indian Railways to achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2030. He stressed that India is the only G-20 country on track to meet its Paris commitments. He also took note of the increasing effectiveness of the two major global initiatives nurtured by India i.e. the CDRI and the International Solar Alliance.

Prime Minister stressed that developing countries need better access to climate finance, and called for a holistic approach towards climate change that covers all dimensions of the problem- mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer, climate financing, equity, climate justice and lifestyle change.  

Prime Minister's message of global solidarity and unity, especially between open and democratic societies and economies, in tackling the global challenges of health, climate change and economic recovery was well received by the Leaders at the Summit.

#NarendraModi #G7Summit
14-June-2021
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PM Modi to attend 47th G7 summit

 

At the invitation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the Outreach Sessions of the G7 Summit on June 12 and June 13 in virtual format.

The UK currently holds the Presidency of the G7 and has invited India, along with Australia, the Republic of Korea and South Africa, as Guest Countries for the G7 Summit. The meeting will be held in hybrid mode. 

The theme for the Summit is 'Build Back Better' and the UK has outlined four priority areas for its Presidency. These are leading the global recovery from coronavirus while strengthening resilience against future pandemics; promoting future prosperity by championing free and fair trade; tackling climate change and preserving the planet's biodiversity; and championing shared values and open societies. The Leaders are expected to exchange views on the way forward on global recovery from the pandemic with a focus on health and climate change. 

This is the second time the Prime Minister will be participating in a G7 meeting. India had been invited by the G7 French Presidency in 2019 to the Biarritz Summit as a "Goodwill Partner" and Prime Minister participated in the Sessions on 'Climate, Biodiversity and Oceans' and 'Digital Transformation'.

#NarendraModi #G7Summit
10-June-2021
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Centre announces financial assistance for those affected by Cyclone Tauktae

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited Gujarat to review the situation arising out of Cyclone Tauktae.

The Prime Minister undertook an aerial survey of the cyclone-affected areas in Una (Gir - Somnath), Jafrabad (Amreli), Mahua (Bhavnagar) in Gujarat and Diu.

Thereafter, he chaired a meeting at Ahmedabad to review the relief and rehabilitation measures being undertaken in Gujarat and Diu.

He announced financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore, for immediate relief activities, to the State of Gujarat. Subsequently, Union Government will deploy an Inter-Ministerial Team to visit the state to assess the extent of damage in the State, based on which further assistance will be given.

Prime Minister assured the people of the State that the Union Government would closely work with the State Government at this difficult time, extend all possible assistance for restoration and rebuilding of the infrastructure in the affected areas.

During his visit, he also took stock of the situation relating to the Covid pandemic. The state administration apprised the PM of the response measures being taken and the PM stressed the need to ensure that preventive measures should also be taken.

He was accompanied by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other officials during this visit to Gujarat.

Prime Minister expressed his complete solidarity with all those who suffered due to the cyclone in different parts of India and expressed deep sorrow to the families who have lost their kin during the calamity.

He announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to the seriously injured in the cyclone in the States of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the UTs of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

#NarendraModi #CycloneTauktae
19-May-2021
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COVID testing needs to scaled up further, says PM Modi

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the Covid and the vaccination-related situation in the country.

The officials briefed the PM on the current Covid related situation in the country. PM was briefed that testing has gone up rapidly in the country, from around 50 lakh tests per week in early March to around 1.3 crore tests per week now. They also informed the PM about the gradually decreasing test positivity rate and increasing recovery rate. It was discussed that cases that had gone over 4 lakh cases per day are now coming down as a result of the efforts by healthcare workers, state governments, and central government.

The officials gave a detailed presentation on the state and district level situation of Covid, testing, oxygen availability, healthcare infrastructure, vaccination roadmap. 

Points made by PM:-

  1. The PM said that localised containment strategies are the need of the hour especially for states where TPR in districts is high.
  2. The Prime Minister instructed that testing needs to be scaled up further, with use of both RT PCR and Rapid Tests, especially in areas with high test positivity rates.
  3. PM said that states should be encouraged to report their numbers transparently without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts.
  4. PM asked for augmentation of healthcare resources in rural areas to focus on door to door testing and surveillance.
  5. He also spoke about empowering ASHA & Anganwadi workers with all necessary tools.
  6. PM asked for guidelines to be made available in easy language along with illustrations for home isolation and treatment in rural areas.
  7. The Prime Minister directed that a distribution plan for ensuring oxygen supply in rural areas should be worked out, including through provision of Oxygen Concentrators.
  8. The Prime Minister added that necessary training should be provided to health workers in the operation of such equipment, and power supply should be ensured for smooth operation of such medical devices.
  9. The Prime Minister took serious note of some reports about ventilators lying unutilized in storage in some states and directed that an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the Central Government should be carried out.
  10. The Prime Minister added that refresher training for properly operating ventilators should be provided to healthcare workers if necessary. 
  11. PM said that India's fight against Covid has been guided throughout by scientists and subject experts and will continue being guided by them.

The Officials briefed PM about the vaccination process and the state-wise coverage of 45+ population. The roadmap for future vaccine availability was also discussed. He directed officials to work closely with states to ramp up the speed of vaccination.

#NarendraModi #COVID19
15-May-2021
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PM reviews Army's preparedness, initiatives for COVID management

 

Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. 

They discussed various initiatives being taken by the Army to help in Covid management.

General MM Naravane informed the PM that the medical staff of the Army is being made available to various state governments. He also briefed the PM that Army is setting up temporary hospitals in various parts of the country. 

General MM Naravane informed the PM that Army is opening up its hospitals for civilians wherever possible. He also said that citizens can approach their nearest army hospitals.

General MM Naravane informed the PM that the Army is helping with manpower for imported Oxygen tankers and vehicles where specialised skills are required to manage them.

#NarendraModi #IndianArmy #COVID19
29-April-2021
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US President Joe Biden pledges America's full support to India in fighting COVID

 

US President Joe Biden has pledged America's full support for India in fighting the COVID pandemic.

US President said on Monday, "Today, I spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pledged America's full support to provide emergency assistance and resources in the fight against COVID-19. India was there for us, and we will be there for them."

He said, "Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need."

During the telephonic conversation, President Biden conveyed solidarity with India and affirmed that the United States was determined to support India's efforts by quickly deploying resources such as therapeutics, ventilators and identifying sources of raw materials to be made available for the manufacture of Covishield vaccines.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the offer of assistance and support from the Government of the United States of America. The Prime Minister underscored the need to ensure smooth and open supply chains of raw materials and inputs required for the manufacture of vaccines, medicines, and therapeutics related to COVID-19. 

Both leaders underlined the potential of the India-US partnership in vaccine development and supply to address the COVID-19 pandemic and directed their respective officials to maintain close coordination and cooperation in their efforts in this domain.

#NarendraModi #JoeBiden #India #US
27-April-2021
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Programme of free vaccine by Government of India, says PM on Mann Ki Baat

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Nation through his Mann Ki Baat programme today. The PMs interactions with many people involved in the fight against COVID like doctors, nurses, ambulance driver and COVID survivor, who spoke about their experience during their fight against COVID, were also aired.

Salient Features of today's Mann Ki Baat:- 

  1. I am expressing Mann Ki Baat at a time when Corona is testing our patience.
  2. After successfully confronting the first wave of Corona, the country was full of enthusiasm, full of self-confidence, but this storm has shaken the country.
  3. The Government of India is applying its entire might to give a fillip to the endeavours of State Governments. The State Governments too are trying their best to fulfill their responsibilities.
  4. If you need any information, if you have any apprehension, get the information only from the correct source. 
  5. Don't get swayed by any rumour about the vaccine. You all must be knowing that people above 45 years of age can benefit from the free vaccine that has been sent to all state governments by the government of India.
  6. Now from 1st May onwards, the vaccine is going to be made available for every person above 18 years in the country. 
  7. The Corporate Sector too will be able to participate in the programme of administering the vaccine to their employees.
  8. The programme of free vaccine by the government of India that is going on now will continue further too. I appeal also to the states to extend the benefit of this free vaccine campaign of the government of India to a maximum number of the people of their state.
  9. Positive Spirit is imperative to fight Corona and the countrymen have to maintain the very same positive spirit.
  10. Ambulance Drivers have also contributed a lot to all the lives that have been saved in this fight against Corona. 
  11. I once again urge all of you to get vaccinated and we also have to take full care. 'Dawaibhi, Kadaibhi' - Get vaccinated and maintain all precautions.

#NarendraModi #MannKiBaat #COVID19
25-April-2021
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Along with upgrading resources, COVID testing should also be focused: PM to CMs

 

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting on the COVID-19 situation with Chief Ministers of 11 states and Union Territories which have reported the maximum number of cases recently.

Noting that the virus is affecting several states as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities at once, PM Modi called for working together to fight the pandemic with collective power. 

Details of the meeting:-

  1. PM Modi assured Centre's full support to all the states and in this fight. He added that the Ministry of Health is also in touch with the states and is monitoring the situation closely and issuing necessary advices to the states from time to time.
  2. On oxygen supply, PM Modi took note of the points raised by the states. He said there is a continuous effort to increase oxygen supply. All the concerned departments and ministries of the government are also working together. Industrial oxygen has also been diverted to meet immediate requirements.
  3. He urged the states to check hoarding and black marketing of oxygen and medicines. The PM said that every state should ensure that no oxygen tanker, whether it is meant for any state, is stopped or gets stranded.
  4. The Prime Minister urged the states to set up a high-level co-ordination committee to carry oxygen to different hospitals of the state.
  5. This Coordination Committee should ensure that as soon as there is an allotment of oxygen from the centre, it can deliver oxygen as per requirement in different hospitals of the state immediately.
  6. PM informed the Chief Ministers that yesterday he chaired a meeting on oxygen supply and will be attending one today to discuss all the options for increasing the oxygen supply.
  7. PM Modi stated that the central government is working on all possible options to reduce the travel time and turnaround time of oxygen tankers. For this, Railways has started Oxygen Express. Empty Oxygen tankers are also being transported by the Air-Force to reduce one way travel time.
  8. The Prime Minister said that along with upgrading of resources, we have to focus on testing. He emphasized that widespread testing should be conducted so that people get the facility easily.
  9. The PM remarked that our vaccination programme should not slow down in this situation. PM Modi mentioned that India is running the world’s largest vaccination programme and so far, more than 15 crore vaccine doses have been provided free of cost to the states by the Government of India.
  10. The campaign launched by the Central Government to provide free vaccine to all citizens above 45 years as well has Health-Care workers & Front-Line workers, will also continue in the same manner.
  11. From May 1, PM Modi added, the vaccine is going to be available to all citizens above 18 years of age. We will also need to work in mission mode to get more and more people vaccinated.
  12. PM Modi said along with all measures for treatment of the patients, hospital safety is also very important. Expressing grief on recent incidents of oxygen leakage and fire at hospitals, PM Modi said the administrative staff of the hospital needs to be made more aware about the safety protocols.
  13. PM Modi also urged the administration to continuously make people aware so that they do not indulge in panic buying. He said that with united efforts, we will be able to stop this second wave of pandemic across the country.
  14. During the interaction, Chief Ministers of states briefed the PM about the steps being taken by respective State Governments in the current wave.

#NarendraModi #COVID19
23-April-2021