Narendra Modi in Barmer: Taking on the Congress for its alleged unkept promises, PM Narendra Modi lashed out at the party in Barmer, Rajasthan today, saying, “For them (Congress), Garibi Hatao was an attractive slogan. Praising the Jan Dhan Yojana – that provides bank accounts to all – Modi said, “It has facilitated the poor to get access to banking facilities.” Modi took this opportunity to criticize the Congress, saying, “They nationalized the banks but the doors of the banks never opened for the poor.” Inaugurating the Barmer refinery in Rajasthan today, he also compared with drought, the Congress. “Wherever Congress goes, twin brother drought follows,” Modi said.
Here are the facts and analysis of PM Modi’s criticism against the Congress Party:-
1. LPG connection: PM Modi said, “Remember how much problems one faced to get a gas cylinder? One had to go to MPs for a letter. Many MPs sold coupons in black. It was not acceptable to me that women of India should suffer due to lack of cooking gas facilities.”
Assessment: Of course it was a tough job earlier to get an LPG connection. One had to wait for many days to finally get the connection at home. With the help of digitisation, one can now get the connection and refill a cylinder sitting at home. The digitisation has also helped the government to transfer the LPG subsidy directly to the bank account of the consumers. This, in turn, has cut down the leakages and corruption. In fact, the Jan Dhan Yojana has also helped the government in proper utilization of funds. Last year in April, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said “In 2014 the number of households with gas connections was 14 crore and it stands at 20 crore now.”
2. On nationalisation of banks, Modi said, “For them, ‘Garibi Hatao’ was an attractive slogan. They nationalized the banks but the doors of the banks never opened for the poor. Jan Dhan Yojana changed this and the poor got access to banking facilities”
Assessment:- Heading aggressively towards socialism, Indira Gandhi nationalised 14 commercial banks by an ordinance in 1969. It was done because private banks had failed from 1947 to 1955. At that time these banks had also ignored the agricultural sector. The State Bank of India was the only bank that was not privately owned till 1969. Many say that nationalisation was done as 361 private banks had “failed” between 1947 and 1955 and there were also fears that depositors may lose all their money as they were not offered any guarantee by their respective banks. Second, one can also argue that those commercial banks were mainly catering to the needs of large industries and businesses. Agriculture, as a sector, was largely ignored by these banks and the situation of the farmers worsened.
One can, of course, say that the policies like Jan Dhan Yojana and Demonetisation, have pushed many people to the banks as they didn’t have any other options.
3. On OROP, PM Modi said, “For 40 years nothing was done about OROP. Before 2014 elections a symbolic amount was allocated even when it was known this sum is just too less. It was our commitment to make OROP a reality and we worked towards making that possible.”
Assessment:- The Indira Gandhi government discontinued an earlier form of the OROP with the 3rd pay Commission structure. The Commission cut military pensions from 70% of the last salary to 50%. While in 1979, finance minister Bahuguna had hiked the basic pay of serving soldiers by merging a portion of the basic pay to the DA. The word OROP was first used in the report by MoS Defence K.P. Singh Deo committee in 1984. The report presented a 160-page report with a list of 69 recommendations to Indira Gandhi, as per CNN News18 report.
Coming to the year 2008, the UPA government had rejected the OROP demand, the fall out of which was ex-servicemen returning their gallantry medals to the President. However, the UPA government announced an annual Rs 2,300 crore additional in 2012 as pension package for ex-servicemen. Before the 2014 elections, UPA 2 government had allotted Rs.500 crore for the implementation of OROP in the interim budget of 2014-15.