In preparation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day, the government has prepared a report card on the status of promises he made in his speech last year. It has also written to the ministries concerned, seeking responses on any recent update that may have been left out.
After a detailed analysis of the speech, eight specific promises have been identified for the report card. These pertain to the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, energy-rich India, farmers’ welfare, healthy India, saluting freedom fighters and saluting tribals and giving an identity to every Indian.
Interestingly, the report card says that no status update is available with the Press Information Bureau on the promise of giving an identity to every Indian.
On Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), which is also among the 70 schemes to be showcased to mark 70 years of independence, the report card says that the pace of construction of rural roads reached a seven-year high of 130 km per day in 2016-17 as compared to 73 km in 2011-2014.
In the present financial year 2017-18, the target is to construct 57,000 km of roads under PMGSY, at an average per day rate of 156 km, connecting 16,600 habitations, according to the tabulated worksheet.
On Modi’s commitment to an energy rich India — he had made special mention of solar energy — the document says: “Total solar capacity as on 30.06.2017 is 13114.59 mw (*This is a quantum jump from Solar Power installed capacity of 3,743 MW in 2014-15).”
On farmers’ welfare, an issue on which the government has been facing heat, the report card mentions a new central sector scheme called Kisan Sampada Yojana approved in May with a Rs 6,000-crore outlay, 236 integrated cold chain projects in the works and a special fund of Rs 2,000 crore in NABARD to make credit available to designated food parks and agro-processing units.
The report card notes that that the promise of increasing freedom fighters’ pension to Rs 30,000 per month from Rs 25,000 has been fulfilled by the Home Ministry through an order that sanctioned the monthly sum for ex-Andaman political prisoners or their spouses. Modi’s emphasis on online medical records in last year’s speech was followed by financial assistance to 16 states and Union Territories under National Health Mission for creation of online medical records, says the report card.
The most detailed update has been drawn up on the promise of “saluting tribals” with the Tribal Affairs Ministry having received four proposals from Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh to set up parks and museums and showcase tribal movements.