Manmohan Singh UPA Achievements
I’d like to highlight some of them here.
- GDP growth rate.
2004-05 we clocked close to 8% and then a hat-trick of 9% for three consecutive years. And despite having global economic crisis we managed clock to 6.7% growth in 2008-09. So, on economic front we have had quite a zooming economy.
- SEZ Act, 2005.
Though IT services picked up growth a regime earlier, SEZs have helped in furthering the export of engineering services, they have helped to increase the international trade volume, furthermore, a huge amount of foreign investment has been directed towards export trade, lot of FDI came in. In a way for the above figures of growth rate, SEZs have contributed a major chunk.
- NREGA, 2006
By far NREGA is the world’s largest rural job guarantee scheme. In 2012-13, the scheme provided employment to over 4.98 crore households, generating more than 213 crore person-days of employment. Across villages, NREGA has changed many lives, and has been pet scheme of low wage laborers of the villages.
- RTI Act, 2005
In the arena of governance in India, if you ask me, RTI is the landmark legislation for the faceless citizen of India. Ever since the enactment the mere mention of invoking this Act puts fear into the hearts of government officials, who now think twice before denying a citizen his due.
This notable legislation, came under UPA in 2005, has since then empowered every citizen of our country to ask for and get details of any publicly funded scheme, project or institution. It would be no exaggeration to say that this single piece of legislation has considerably changed the realities of governance in India.
- Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan:
Though Swacch Bharat Mission is taken it to a next level , the sanitation programme of UPA was good too, however they lacked on the advertisement and aggressive education of people towards cleanliness, nevertheless if not for this program, it wouldn’t have been this easy for Swacch Bharat Mission to take it forward.
- Modernization of Mumbai and Delhi Airport, 2007
Soon after, Indira Gandhi international airport received fourth best airport award after the renewal and up-gradation.
- Mobile Penetration in India.
India ranked 5th in Mobile penetration in 2004-05 and after it was opened up for private participation in 2005-06 I suppose, there has been amazing growth, by 2013 India jumped 3 places ahead to 2nd place closing in on the gap with China, the unprecedented growth in telecom services could be attributed UPA govt.
- JNNURM, 2005
As the first national flagship programme for urbanisation, JNNURM has been effective in renewing focus on the urban sector across the country.
Over 80 per cent of the funds committed have been for projects in water supply, sewerage, drainage, and solid waste management, reflecting the reality that most cities still have significant backlog in the provision of basic urban services to all their residents, especially the poor.
While we are looking at Smart cities now under Modi Govt which seems to be his pet project, the contribution of JNNURM can’t be undermined, esp with the kind of testimonials from AP, Karnataka and Maharashtra which have implemented this well.
- Expansion of Education
Increased spending on Mid day Meal scheme, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan through Education cess, saw a great increase in Gross Enrollment ratio from 2004-2013, and around 44 new Central Universities came up which includes 10 NITs, 5 IITs, 6 Law Universities. Overall education policy of UPA was very good.
- Owing to Immunization programmes of UPA, no new polio case reported since 2011.
Thus, UPA- I has been very good.
But, their second tenure changed everything. Whatever they achieved was all wasted, what followed post 2010-11 are half baked policies, like AADHAR, LAND ACQUISITION ACT, GST bill which got no consensus from states despite having Congress Govts, Tax Terrorism by Retrospective taxation on Vodafone and Nokia.
Let’s first look first at what was India before 2004. The Pokhran test had pushed India into nuclear apartheid, no place in important committees of UN, slacking economy-such a worst condition that SAIL-BSL(Bokaro Steel Plant) had to sell its ‘staff quarters’ to pay even a meager salary to their employees and people were running for VRS.
FDI: FDI plays a major role in developing countries like India. They act as a long term source of capital as well as a source of advanced and developed technologies. The investors also bring along best global practices of management. As large amount of capital comes in through these investments more and more industries are set up. This helps in increasing employment. FDI also helps in promoting international trade. This investment is a non-debt, non-volatile investment and returns received on these are generally spent on the host country itself thus helping in the development of the country.
India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement of 2008 not only ended the nuclear sanctions but also ended the nuclear apartheid as Australia agreed to send Uranium to India.
Unprecedented GDP growth: Earlier 9%+ GDP growth was only a dream. Dr. Manmohan Singh not only made it true but also his benchmark for excellency. Not just 1 year but 4 year India witnessed 9%+ GDP growth rate. A feat achieved only under Dr. Manmohan Singh’s tenure as PM.
- Farmer Waiver 2008: On 29 February 2008, P. Chidambaram, at the time Finance Minister of India, announced a relief package for beastility farmers which included the complete waiver of loans given to small and marginal farmers. Called the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, the 600 billion rupee package included the total value of the loans to be waived for 30 million small and marginal farmers (estimated at 500 billion rupees) and a One Time Settlement scheme (OTS) for another 10 million farmers (estimated at 100 billion rupees).
During the financial year 2008-09 the debt waiver amount rose by 20% to 716.8 billion rupees and the overall benefit of the waiver and the OTS was extended to 43 million farmers. In most of the Indian States the number of small and marginal farmers ranges from 70% to 94% of the total number of farmers.
I clearly remember the results for 2009 Lok Sabha elections were out on 16 May, 2009-Saturday. The markets opened on 18 May, 2009-Monday. On 18 May 2009, the SENSEX surged up 2,110.79 points to close at 14,285.21, from its previous closing of 12,174.42, for its largest single day rally. Less than a month later, on 4 June 2009, the SENSEX would cross the 15,000 mark.
His importance can only be judged by the fact the fact even after he retired from his post, he was awarded the highest civilian award of Japan, in August(not sure), 2014.
Also it reminds of an incidence, I was in Lucknow in November, 2014 at an international quiz competition. There I asked some Russians about what images come to their mind when they hear the word “India”. They said, “Lord Budhha”, “peepal tree” and a strong economic power(hinted-made by Manmohan Singh). Then I asked them specifically, that had Manmohan Singh as our Prime Minister and now Narendra Modi. What personality and image do they enjoy internationally or at least in Russia.
They said that Manmohan Singh is a man of utter respect, knowledge and work whereas Modi has no specific image in their country.
Perhaps, any person may work more or less than Sr. Manmohan Singh in capacity as the Prime Minister of India but he is the only person whose “name” too will keep working for India and precisely Indian students. Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarship
It has been fashionable to blame Manmohan Singh for everything going wrong in India. And it’s true that all is not well.But there’s no denying the fact that he will go down in history as the prime minister who has most changed the rhetoric around development in India. Nor is he paralleled by another prime minister in making good on election promises.
When Singh’s first coalition government, the United Progressive Alliance government (UPA I) came to power in 2004, it was a symbol of the electorate’s upfront rejection of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “India Shining” campaign.
His government chose a rights-based approach to development over the well-trodden welfare approach.Here’s are some of his achievements during his tenure:
- Education – India has achieved “near universal education” at the primary school level due to Right to Education and the dropout rates have also decreased. The outlay for education has been constantly increased. Central universities increased from 17 to 44 during 2004-13.
- Farmer welfare – Minimum support prices (MSP) for wheat and paddy has been doubled since 2004, while MSP for other grains have increased three fold. More than 650 lakh farmers were financed by the banking system during 2012-13. The new Land Acquisition Act will provide livelihood rehabilitation and financial benefits for the affected people.
- Food security- There has been a three-fold increase in food subsidy during UPA tenure. The Food Security Act will entitles 35 kg of food-grains per month and other families for 5 kg per person at subsidised rates.
- Rural employment- The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is the largest welfare scheme of its kind in the world started in 2006. Wages given under the scheme per day have almost doubled from Rs.65 to Rs. 128 since the launch of the scheme. In 2012-13, the scheme provided employment to over 4.98 crore households, generating more than 213 crore person-days of employment.
- Healthcare- Consistent investment in public healthcare showed reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates, while life expectancy has improved. Absence of new endemic polio case for the last three years.
- Social security for special sections – There has been ten-fold increase in the expenditure on minorities since 2004-04.
- Economic growth – Per capita income in India has grown three fold since UPA came to power. The average GDP growth during the period of UPA government has been 7.7 percent despite two global slowdowns.
- Infrastructure – More than 2 lakh km of new roads have been added to the rural road network. Allocation for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana has increased by 88 percent in the 12 th Five Year Plan.
- Poverty reduction – Average decline in poverty was two percent per annum.
- Direct benefit transfer and Aadhaar card- The UID has issued more than 51 crore Aadhaar cards giving people access to direct benefit transfer in 184 districts.
- Development of Northeast : Internal security has improved and the growth rate in north-eastern region is now higher than national average. Northeast growth rate is 9.9 percent compared to national average 7.4 percent.
- Governance and transparency –Right to Information Act, 2005 , second administrative reforms commission, and e-governance ensured transparency. Among the anti-corruption measures, the government was able to bring the Lokpal Act, as also the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, Grievance Redressal Bill, and Amendment to Prevention of Corruption Act.
- Security of women and children –The law has been amended to provide stringent punishment for sexual offences against women and children. The government has also passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. TheWomen Reservation bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha.
Vivek GautamAnswered May 29, 2015During 10 years as PM, Singh has done huge amount of good work. It’s difficult to list all here. His key contributions include RTI, RTE, UID, Civil Nuclear deal, Infrastructure push (Metro Rails across cities, Airport modernization, Highways), sustained good economic growth rate for almost 7 years until WW economic crisis hit, improvement in overall poverty, education etc. He continued to serve the country until last day of his office. A testament to that is huge queue of Legislation drafted during his tenure but couldn’t be enacted in parliament due to irrational opposition. Such bills include – Goods & Services Tax (GST), Land Acquisition Bill, Real Estate Regulator Bill, Public Procurement Bill and several others. In fact his government has passed-on such a strong pipeline of “bills to be passed” to current government that existing government will be busy doing so for next 2 years.
Like any other leader he too has his share of failures especially his inability to prevent some of the ill doings when he was in office. Many of the so called scams however were blown out of proportion by media. In fact it will be WRONG to call some of these ill doings as scams because there was no “quid-pro-quo” or undue benefit Singh or his family members seems to have gained. There are exceptions though e.g. Telecom Spectrum auctions seems to have involved quid-pro-quo with few ministers in his cabinet.
Net-Net I would say he remains a great PM India ever had. One who has set standards for future prime ministers to beat in terms of what they can achieve. It’s easy to attract criticism in a society like India especially when you are doing things not everyone understands. It takes real courage and self belief to continue doing the right thing particularly when you are surrounded by people who just think of you as a punching bag.
To be sure, Singh is hardly the first prime minister to make strides toward empowering the poor.Also in Singh’s favor: no former prime minister enjoyed a sustained annual GDP growth rate of 8% over a period of eight years. But given the opposition toward the social programs, Singh’s fastidiousness is remarkable—and commendable.Apart from China, no major economy around the world comes close to India’s growth rate right now.