Modi's imprint writ large on Jaitley's budget

Modi's imprint writ large on Jaitley's budget

Modi's imprint writ large  on Jaitley's budget

‘Modinomics’ manifested in a big way in the general budget presented in Parliament on Thursday, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley virtually adopting the Gujarat model as India’s benchmark for growth.

Several schemes that are being implemented in Gujarat from the time Narendra Modi was chief minister, and his vision for the economy, figured extensively in the budget. In fact, the BJP had documented these objectives in its 2014 election manifesto and vowed that it would be the guide to government policy-making.

In his speech in Lok Sabha, the minister said that people’s growing aspirations will be drafted into the Modi government’s development strategy, influenced by the “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” motto — which helped them sweep the Parliament polls.

Some of the Gujarat development programmes that will be replicated by the Centre include the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission, which is based on the BJP-ruled state’s model of urbanisation of rural areas by providing efficient civic infrastructure.

Another facsimile scheme announced was the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, aimed at ensuring uninterrupted supply of power to homes even in rural areas through feeder separation. Modi has often referred to this scheme in his election speeches.

Congratulating Jaitley on his maiden budget, Modi said, “This budget is a new ray of hope for the poor and downtrodden sections of society.” Adding that there is an effort to make India “skilled and digital”, he said: “The budget will give an impetus to ‘Jan Bhagidari’ (people’s participation) and ‘Jan Shakti’ (people’s power).”

The BJP manifesto is also reflected in plenty in the proposals. Jaitley’s monetary push for schemes to promote development in the North-East, rejuvenation of the polluted Ganga, modernisation of madrasas, building of satellite towns to decongest big cities, empowerment of women through education of the girl child and conservation of the Himalayan region, draw from the manifesto.

Even the catchphrases for a few schemes, like “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana”, have been borrowed from the party’s poll document.

Moreover, many of the schemes are named after ideologues of the Sangh Parivar, a marked contrast to the UPA government’s tenure that saw projects named after the Gandhi and Nehru family.

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