People will get benefits of NDA govt soon: Amit Shah

People will get benefits of NDA govt soon: Amit Shah

People will get benefits of NDA govt soon: Amit Shah

BJP president Amit Shah asserts that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first year in office has laid foundation for fulfillment of the high hopes of the people since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He spoke to Deccan Herald’s Dalip Singh and Shekhar Iyer. Excerpts:

Has Modi delivered on the ground?
Ours is a pro-active government unlike the previous one. It is visible and transparent and has not hesitated to take right decisions. We have laid the base for clear outcomes. People are bound to see results in every sector.

Aren’t people feeling impatient?

When you have high hopes, you will have to see from where we started. Everything was in a mess when the UPA lost power. We put the economy back on rails. We are out of the policy paralysis. We have launched several welfare schemes. We have enhanced relaxed norms for farmers affected by natural calamities for compensation. We have opened bank accounts for 14 crore people, empowering them. This government has done a huge amount of work in an integrated manner.

But, what’s your biggest achievement so far?

We have done away with corruption. There are no lobbies at work. In the last 10 years, there’ve been more than 70 scams involving Rs 12 lakh crore funds. In one year, nobody can level any charge of corruption.

Isn’t Modi government seen as a one-man show?

For 10 years, a government was run as if every person was a PM of his department and the PM was not recognised as PM. Today, PMO’s stature has been restored and ministers are working independently and decisions are taken speedily.

But aren’t things still tough for the common man?

People will see benefits coming soon. In one year of this government, the inflation index (WPI) which used to be 6-7 per cent, has touched a negative 2.66 per cent in April. Retail inflation, which used to be 8.25 per cent, has been limited to 4.87 per cent. Modi’s government has taken steps to ensure a growth rate of 4.4 to 5.7 per cent (based on old parameters). There’s been an increase of 40 per cent in FDI and forex reserves have risen 14 per cent to about $32,000 crore. This is the highest reserve in 10 years. Earlier, 14 per cent projects were stalled. In a year, we’ve brought it to 6 per cent. This includes new projects.

When will jobs be created?

When the economy revives, GDP grows, there has to be an increase in employment. The ‘Make in India’ programme has attracted attention of companies from abroad. A huge number of jobs will be created in the manufacturing sector in the days to come. The Skilled India programme will help drive out unemployment. The move to finance the self-employed through Mudra Bank is a huge decision. In this year’s budget Rs 20,000 crore has been set aside. This should be one of the biggest plans to create jobs after Independence.

Has the government got stuck on the land acquisition bill and the Goods and Services Tax bill? The Congress is not going to bail you out in the Rajya Sabha.

Our objective is clear. With the amendments we brought in 2014, I can say with authority, not one inch of land will be given to favour big industrial houses. This bill is for ensuring that development reaches villages. Land will be acquired only for projects that will create jobs. Politics should not be played when it comes to people’s future. GST will create a common market, which will benefit everyone.

But, aren’t farmers wary of the new land bill?

Farmers are beginning to understand the propaganda against the bill. If they get two or four times the prices, they won’t become landless labourers. They will buy land and put the rest of the money in any other use. Their family members will get the jobs created by projects.
Don’t you have problems while convincing your allies, too? The Shiv Sena is very critical of you.

We will convince them on merits of each policy. There is no question of taking excuse behind “compulsions” of running a coalition like the UPA said when it did not take decisions. We have responsibility to provide good governance. We will do whatever it takes. For good results.
Why  is there confusion on an issue like the FDI in retail? Even the RSS is opposed to continuation of the UPA policy.

Our opposition to the FDI in retail as announced by the previous UPA rule is unchanged. The RSS knows our position. Those who are spreading word about the BJP-RSS differences do not know the reality. They cannot understand the BJP-RSS ties.

Why are you unable to control BJP leaders who make provocative statements?

We are taking stern action and we’ve issued notices to them. We won’t let anyone divert our attention and energy from governance. Every citizen will be protected by the law.
Your next challenge is Bihar polls later this year. There is talk of aligning with Nitish Kumar again.

There is no question of any alliance with the JD(U). All development took place when the BJP was with JD(U). This time, we’ll form the government with full mandate.