Implement schemes by Jan 26: PM to ministers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has instructed ministers and bureaucrats to implement all projects and government schemes by January 26, 2024. He emphasized the need to explain the benefits of the schemes to the people and reach out to voters, stating that voters are becoming more educated. Modi also urged leaders to focus not only on the next general elections in 2024 but also on the broader timeline until India's 100th year of independence in 2047. The meeting discussed capital expenditure, flagship schemes, and budget proposals. The PM also highlighted infrastructure development and making India ready for 2047.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked ministers and bureaucrats to implement all projects, including the promises made in the Union Budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year and capital expenditure infusion by January 26 next year, and emphasised on the need to go to the people and explain the benefit of government schemes, functionaries present at the meeting said.
At a meeting with his council of ministers, the PM also asked leaders not to focus only on 2024 (the next general elections), but also look at a broader timeline till 2047, when India completes 100 years of freedom. For the next nine months – the 2024 general elections are likely to be held in the summer – the ministers need to reach out to the people and detail the government’s work over the past nine years, he added.
“We can’t be content in merely implementing the schemes, but we also have to explain the benefit of the schemes to the people. Voters are smart. Sessions should be organised at village, district and tehsil levels to appraise people of their rights and entitlements. Bankers should also be sensitised,” PM Modi said, according to the party functionaries quoted above who did not wish to be identified.
He also said that the demography of the country was changing and voters were getting more educated, the functionaries added.
Speaking of the period in the run up to the centenary of independence, the PM said that the third decade of the last century was seminal for India and similarly, the current period was also seminal.
Two functionaries present in the meeting said that Modi asked departments and ministries to implement new projects and ensure saturation in key flagship schemes by Republic Day. “This will help the government start its campaign early, on the basis of quantifiable achievements and steady implementation,” said a senior bureaucrat requesting anonymity. Capital expenditure, saturation in 14-15 flagship schemes and budget proposals will be implemented during this period, they added.
HT reported on June 21 that the PM will call a meeting on expected capex expense of central public sector enterprises, saturation in flagship schemes of the government and implementation of budgetary proposals. HT also reported that a number of key schemes and projects with larger public outreach in 6-7 ministries will see a further push and early deadlines.
In Monday’s meeting, major department-wise capital expenditure was reviewed to look at a possible infusion of additional capital to create jobs and boost the economy, they said. The Union Budget had earmarked ₹10.1 lakh crore towards capital expenditure, the bulk of it routed through central public sector enterprises. The capital expenditure target is 33% higher than the last year’s revised estimate of ₹7.7 lakh crore. Ministries such as petroleum, power and defence are expected to spend the bulk of the proposed money.
A third functionary said the meeting also took stock of schemes ready for inauguration or laying of foundation stones. The government is expected to go on a blitzkrieg in rolling out schemes ahead of the 2024 elections.
The thrust of the PM’s speech was on infrastructure development and making India ready for 2047, said the people mentioned above said. The policies of the government must be oriented toward fulfilling the agenda of Sabka Saath, Sabha Vikas (equitable development for all) and there had to be a concerted effort to meet that, said a person speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi said the PM gave a vision for 2047. “He has said this before, yehi samay hai, sahi samay hai...(this is the time, this is the right time),” she said.
The PM addressed the ministers for about 40 minutes.
He told the ministers to give a details account of the work accomplished in the past nine years in the next nine months before the 2024 general elections, party officials present there said.
The meeting comes amid speculation that a rejig in the government and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) organisational set up is on the cards. According to party functionaries, state units of the BJP in several states could see new appointments.
Foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra gave a presentation on the PM’s recent US trip and briefed the ministers. Rajiv Bansal, the civil aviation secretary, gave a presentation on infrastructure.
In the meeting, the PM emphasised on fulfilling the commitments of various ministries.
He also said that bilateral treaties signed between India and G20 countries must be implemented before the G20 summit in New Delhi, scheduled in September.
Modi categorically asked ministers to explain the benefits of central schemes to the people and mentioned that it was the task of the “political leaders” to complete the chain of a scheme from implementation to awareness.
The PM also underlined the importance of the private sector. According to Modi, while the government must meet its targets, India’s private sector must produce some of the best companies of the world. He also said the government will work closely with the private sector, according to the party functionaries.