India’s President while initiating the budget session, its prime minister from Red fort on Independence Day and the finance minister in his budget speech every year promise to nation many things. If the government would have kept the promises, India would have by now become a better place to live with poverty gone and prosperity all around.
As reported, ‘in fact, an analysis of the assurances given by the President in her speeches in the last three years reveals that nearly 65% of the promises remain pending’. However, it is interesting and exhilarating to go through the data on performances taken from this year’s speech, if we can take it as sanguine and not concocted. Here are some from the speech of the president this year:
1.Under the National e-Governance programme, more than 97,000 Common Service Centres have been established across the country for making public services conveniently available to citizens. Departments responsible for Income Tax, Passports, Central Excise, and Corporate Affairs have started delivering online services.
2.During the past one year, over 1.5 crore students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Minorities have been awarded scholarships and fellowships.
3.The Infant Mortality Rate has declined from 58 per thousand live births in 2005 to 47 in 2010 and Maternal Mortality Ratio has declined from 254 per one lakh deliveries in 2004-2006 to 212 in 2007-2009. The Janani Suraksha Yojana registered impressive gains with 1.13 crore women benefitting during 2010-11.
4.Over the last three years there has been a 26 per cent increase in MBBS seats and 62 per cent increase in post graduate seats.
5.More than 12.46 lakh titles have been distributed under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act.
6.The agricultural sector has grown at 6.6 per cent during 2010-11, the highest growth rate recorded in recent times. The country witnessed a record production of 241.56 million tonnes of food grains during 2010-11, and achieved record production of fruits and vegetables at 231 million tonnes, pulses at 18 million tonnes, oilseeds at 31.1 million tonnes, and cotton at 33.42 million bales.
7.During the year 2011-12 the minimum support prices of selected agricultural commodities were raised by 10 to 40 per cent over the previous year.
8.Credit to agriculture reached about 4,60,000 crore in 2010-11 which is 22 per cent above the target. An interest subvention scheme was implemented to ensure the availability of crop loans to small farmers for loans up to 3 lakh at the rate of 7 per cent per annum. An additional subvention of 3 per cent is being provided to such farmers who repay their short-term crop loan in time, reducing their effective interest rate to 4 per cent.
9.In the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, since its inception, about 1100 crore man-days of employment has been generated and nearly 1,48,000 crore has been spent . The scheme has benefitted 25 crore people so far.
10.Under the ambitious Bharat Nirman programme started in 2004, the cumulative targets of creating additional irrigation potential of 1 crore hectares, providing electricity to 1 lakh villages and 1.75 crore poor households, upgrading 1.94 lakh kilometres of existing rural roads and providing safe drinking water to identified habitations, have been achieved well before 31st March, 2012, the targeted date.
11.The number of foreign tourist arrivals in 2011-12 is around 63 lakh, an increase of 9 per cent over the previous year.
12.The e-filing of income tax returns, e-payment of taxes, ECS facility for electronic refunds directly in taxpayers’ bank accounts and electronic filing of TDS returns are now available throughout the country. A Single Window System, called Aayakar Seva Kendra, for computerized registration of all taxpayers’ applications including paper income tax returns, has been introduced.
13.India’s merchandise exports touched US$ 298 billion during 2011 registering a growth of more than 34 per cent over 2010.
14.By November, 2011, over 49000 villages had been covered for extending banking services through banks or technology based banking solutions.
15.Bharat Oman Refinery Limited, a joint venture of BPCL and Oman Oil Company with refining capacity of 6 million metric tonnes per annum, was commissioned in June 2011.
16.Today there are 76 telephone connections for every 100 persons.
17.Capacity addition for the power generation in the 11th plan period is likely to be around 52,000 MW as against 21,000 MW in the 10th plan period. In 2011-12 alone we are likely to add a record 15,000 MW.
18.Public investment in Research & Development has grown at 20 to 25 per cent each year during the 11th Plan period. Government has successfully introduced the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research or INSPIRE scheme and more than 5 lakh science students have been given awards till now.
19.To focus on socio-economic issues of national importance that have linkage with science & technology, an Academy for Science Policy Implementation and Research or ASPIRE has been set up. The Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research has also been set up.
20.Eight satellites were launched successfully. The communication satellite GSAT-8 was put into orbit.
21.Our ambitious Pan African e-Network project has been commissioned in 47 out of 54 countries in the African continent.
The government would have provided only the yearly figures against target and not the cumulative ones to make its performance impressive. It is unethical. However, I shall like the readers to go through the president’s speech and themselves find out the galore of promises in forms of pending bills, sanctioned amount, and plans.